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The Septuagint and its role in the birth and spread of Christianity

ucyow3c22 January 2015

pencil-iconWritten by Wenqing Peng, UCL Arts & Humanitites PhD student

Painting of Jesus

Credit: James Shepard.

The Septuagint, or the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, plays a crucial role in the spread of Christianity into a world religion, from its roots as a minor Jewish sect. Dr. Aleksander Gomola (Jagiellonian University) presented a range of illustrations of the nuances in translation that influenced the writers of the New Testament and the subsequent direction of Christianity itself.

In the first part of the talk, Dr Gomola examined the legend and fact of the Septuagint (LXX): a koine Greek version of the Hebrew Bible. The legend of the translation is found in the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas to his brother Philocrates in the 2nd century BCE, which elaborated on the invitation by Ptolemy II Philadephus to 72 Jewish scholars to translate the first five books of the Hebrew Bible into Greek for the Library of Alexandria, and how they accomplished this feat in 72 days.

Dr Gomola then explained the significance of the relation between the LXX and Greek thought: the LXX revised the hierarchy of the Greek classics and the writings of Jewish patriarchs and prophets.

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UCL alumni reception in Greece

news editor3 May 2012

Alexia Svolou (Biochemistry 1992), Health Editor for a Greek national newspaper, reports on an alumni reception held at the British Embassy in Athens.

It is an undeniable fact that Greece, my home country, has lived through better days, but despite our society’s gloomy mood – due to the continuing recession – the UCL alumni reception in Athens, last week, was a great success.

Hundreds of Greek alumni put aside their problems and anxiety about the future, and came in the best of their spirits to the “hottest event in town”, as our Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant, so smartly said.

On 25 April, for one night, the talk of the town was not the recession, but our beloved British university and the memories that we cherish from our student years.

All the Greek UCL alumni that attended the reception at the British Embassy felt proud to be part of the history of UCL. The first University to accept women as students, the first University that put religion aside – UCL is part of our personal history.

The legacy of UCL runs in our veins and reminds us nowadays that although our country is on the verge of default, there is always a solution and that science and technology can always find a way, even in the gloomiest situations.

Our Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant, opened the UCL alumni reception with a friendly and spirited speech that reminded us once again how lucky we are to be a living part of UCL.

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