Hexapla

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See also: English Hexapla
The inter-relationship between various significant ancient versions and recensions of the Old Testament (some identified by their siglum). LXX here denotes the original septuagint.

Hexapla (Ἑξαπλᾶ: Gr. for "sixfold") is the term for an edition of the Bible in six versions. Especially it applies to the edition of the Old Testament compiled by Origen of Alexandria, sometime before the year 240, which placed side by side:

  1. Hebrew
  2. Secunda – Hebrew transliterated into Greek characters
  3. Aquila of Sinope
  4. Symmachus the Ebionite
  5. A recension of the Septuagint, with (1) interpolations to indicate where the Hebrew is not represented in the Septuagint—these are taken mainly from Theodotion's text and marked with asterisks, and (2) indications, using signs called obeloi (singular: obelus), of where words, phrases, or occasionally larger sections in the Septuagint do not reflect any underlying Hebrew.
  6. Theodotion[1]

Origen's eclectic recension of the Septuagint had a significant influence on the Old Testament text in several important manuscripts, such as the Codex Sinaiticus. The original work, which is said to have had about 6000 pages in 15 volumes and which probably only ever existed in a single complete copy, seems to have been stored in the library of the bishops of Caesarea for some centuries, but it was destroyed during the Muslim invasion of the year 638 at the latest. The subsisting fragments of partial copies have been collected in several editions, for example that of Frederick Field (1875).

The fragments are now being re-published (with additional materials discovered since Field's edition) by an international group of Septuagint scholars. This work is being carried out as The Hexapla Project [2] under the auspices of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies,[3] and directed by Peter J. Gentry (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Alison G. Salvesen (Oxford University), and Bas ter Haar Romeny (Leiden University).

Octapla[edit]

The so-called "fifth" and "sixth editions" were two other Greek translations supposedly miraculously discovered by students outside the towns of Jericho and Nicopolis: these were later added by Origen to his Hexapla to make the Octapla.[4]

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