), the translator of the Old Testament into Greek, was a native of Pontus. Epiphanes (De Pond. et Mens.
15) states, that he was a relation of the emperor Hadrian, who employed him in the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Aelia Capitolina); that he was converted to Christianity, but excommunicated for practising the heathen astrology; and that he then went over to the Jews, and was circumcised; but this account is probably founded only on vague rumours. All that we know with certainty is, that having been a heathen he became a Jewish proselyte, and that he lived in the reign of Hadrian, probably about 130 A. D. (Iren. 3.24; Euseb. Praep. Evan.
7.1; Hieron. Ep. ad Pammach.
vol. iv. pt. 2, p. 255, Mart.)
Translations of the Old Testament
He translated the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek, with the purpose of furnishing the Jews who spoke Greek with a version better fitted than the Septuagint to sustain them in their opposition to Christianity.
He did not, however, as some have supposed, falsify or pervert the sense of the original, but he translated every word, even the titles, such as Messiah,
with the most literal accuracy.
This principle was carried to the utmost extent in a second edition, which was named κατ᾽ ἀκρίβειαν
The version was very popular with the Jews, in whose synagogues it was read. (Novell.
It was generally disliked by the Christians but Jerome, though sometimes showing this feeling, at other times speaks most highly of Aquila and his version. (Quaest.
2, ad Damas.
iii. p. 35; Epist. ad Marcell.
iii. p. 96, ii. p. 312; Quaest. Heb. in Genes.
iii. p. 216; Comment. in Jes.
100.8; Comment. in Hos.
The version is also praised by Origen. (Comment. in Joh.
viii. p. 131; Respons. ad African.
Only a few fragments remain, which have been published in the editions of the Hexapla [ORIGENES], and in Dathe's Opuscula,