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Aquila’s Version

AQUILA’s VERSION. This VS of the OT is known by report in Jewish and Christian writings; fragmentary remains can be found in Hexaplaric marginal notes of LXX MSS, and a few complete texts have come to light in palimpsests and other old MSS. Origen gave the VS as the third column of the Hexapla and was in part guided by it in his asterisked additions to the LXX text. Aquila (̓Ακύλας, G217, Heb. עֲקִילַס) is said to have been the Emperor Hadrian’s brother-in-law, who from paganism moved to Christianity and thence to Judaism. He is identified by some with Onkelos (אﯴנְקְלﯴס), author of an Aramaic Targum, but this is not proven. Ostensibly a pupil of Rabbi Aqiba, he exemplifies the close adherence to the letter of Scripture inculcated by him, and the value for understanding ascribed to syllables and letters. He accordingly used his wide learning in both Gr. and Heb. to produce a rigidly literal rendering in which every significant feature of Heb. had a conventional equivalent. Words of the same root were rendered by words of the same Gr. root, even where this was foreign to Gr. usage. His aim was apparently not to give a rendering but a guide to the inspired and significant Heb. text.

Bibliography J. Reider, Prolegomena to a Greek-Hebrew and Hebrew-Greek Index to Aquila, JQR 4 (1913), 321ff., 577ff., and 7 (1916), 287ff.; A. E. Silverstone, Aquila and Onkelos (1931); I. Soisalon-Soininen, Der Charakter der Asterisierten Zusaetze in der Septuaginta (1959); D. Barthélémy, Les Déranciers d’Aquila (1963); J. Reider, An Index to Aquila. Completed and rev. by N. Turner (1966).