17th International Septuagint Day

It is yet again that magical time of years for lovers of the Septuagint: International Septuagint Day. In case you are unaware, this joyous occasion has been celebrated these seventeen years, ever since the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) pronounced it a holiday in 2006. 

As you can see in the image to the right, however, this celebration goes back to antiquity. Even the sphynxes observed this important festival. In that same spirit, I include here links to previous years’ celebrations:

ISD 2022    |    ISD 2021    |    ISD 2020    |    ISD 2019    |    ISD 2018

ISD 2017    |    ISD 2016    |    ISD 2015    |    ISD 2014

To celebrate this year, I am pleased to point readers to another important annual event within Septuagint scholarship.

The 2023 Grinfield Lectures on the Septuagint

As with International Septuagint Day, I have also posted a number of times over the years about the Grinfield lectures (see here). If you aren’t aware, the Grinfields began in 1861 as a multi-year series of lectures hosted by Oxford and focused on the Septuagint. 

This new series will be given by Sébastien Morlet, Professor of Greek language and literature, Sorbonne Université. His research is devoted to ancient Jewish and Christian texts written in Greek, with a focus on their relation to Greek paideia and philosophy. He is the author of La Démonstration évangélique d’Eusèbe de Césarée. Étude sur l’apologétique chrétienne à l’époque de Constantin (2009), Christianisme et philosophie : les premières confrontations (2014), Les Chrétiens et la culture : conversion d’un concept (2016) and Symphonia. La concorde des textes et des doctrines dans la littérature grecque jusqu’à Origène (2019). He is preparing the volume « 2 Règnes » (2 Kingdoms) in the Bible d’Alexandrie series.

Morlet’s first series of lectures will be given in just a few weeks, and is entitled “The Plurality of the Biblical Text: Past and Present.” You can attend the lectures virtually if you register in advance, which you can do by contacting Stefania Beitia ( More information:

Remembering the Work of Marguerite Harl († 30 August 2020)

It is with sadness and gratitude that the Septuagint scholarly community is commemorating the life and work of Professor Marguerite Harl, who passed away just over a week ago at the remarkable age of 101 in her hometown of Paris, France.

Prof. Harl was born in April 1919. She studied under Henri-Irénée Marrou, a well known French scholar of early Christianity and the Late Antique period. In 1959, Harl was elected for her post at the renowned Sorbonne University in Paris. There she helped establish the Centre Lenain de Tillemont, which is now known as the Textes anciens research project, and which now has several working groups, one of which focuses on the Septuagint.

Of course, Harl is especially well known among Septuagint scholars for her pioneering work in helping to launch the new translation known as La Bible d’Alexandrie in 1980. At that point, no modern translations of the Septuagint existed, nor were the English (NETS), German (LXX.D), and Spanish (LBGE) projects to begin for a decade or more. The Septuagint had a very limited place of research among biblical scholars and classicists, and Harl’s labors alongside her colleague Jacques Fontaine helped to change that.

The La Bible d’Alexandrie project is not only  extremely well regarded among scholars, it is still ongoing, with several more books yet to be included in the series before it is complete. You can read more about the approach to the Septuagint taken there here and here.

Prof. Harl retired in 1983 but remained very active in her scholarship for many years. You can get a sense for the scope and influence of her work by scrolling through this catalog listing.