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THE TRANSLATION OF AQUILA 5th - 6th century
What   did   the   early   Jews   do   with   old   Bible   manuscripts   that   could   not   be   used   anymore?   Because   of   their   respect   for   the holy    Name    of    God,    they    did    not    throw    them    away    or    destroy    them.    They    stowed    the    old    documents    away    in    a    room belonging   to   the   synagogue,   called   geniza.   When   there   was   no   more   room   in   the   geniza,   they   took   the   material   to   sacred ground and buried it ceremoniously. Time decomposed the material. In    the    year    1890    Solomon    Schechter    discovered    such    a    geniza    in    Cairo,    Egypt.    He    found    a    tremendous    amount    of manuscripts,   including   Bible   fragments.   This   geniza   was   found   intact   because   the   documents   were   placed   in   brickwork   -   in this   way   hidden   for   centuries.   Superstition   may   have   played   a   part   in   this.   A   poisonous   snake   was   presumed   to   be   at   the entrance of the geniza, ready to kill thieves. In   between   the   old   documents   was   a   very   important   one,   written   about   128   A.D.   by   a   Jew   proselyte   named   Aquila.   The document   was   a   palimpsest,   a   manuscript,   which   was   re-used   -   in   most   instances   the   parchment   would   be   washed   and/or scraped   and   resurfaced,   then   written   on   again.   In   this   case,   the   letters   were   scraped   from   the   original   scroll,   but   the   new   text was   still   visible   under   the   old   one.   The   parchment   contains   parts   from   the   Psalms   in   Greek,   translated   by   Aquila.   In   various places the Divine Name is written in Old-Hebrew.
Facsimile made by B. Bonte
It   is   interesting   to   know   that   the   3rd   century   theologian,   Origines   used   Aquila’s   translation   in   his   famous   Hexapla.   In   this enormous work he placed 6 columns besides each other, containing Hebrew Scriptures. Column 1: the Hebrew and Aramaic text Column 2: the Greek transliteration from column 1 Column 3: Aquila's Greek translation Column 4: Symmachus' Greek translation Column 5: the Greek Septuagint, reviewed by Origenes Column 6: Theodotion's Greek translation By presenting these translations together Origines hoped to shed more light on the original text.