Aquila of Sinope

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Aquila of Sinope was a 2nd Century CE native of Pontus in Anatolia known for producing an exceedingly literal translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek around 130 CE. He was a proselyte to Judaism and a disciple of Rabbi Akiba (d. c. 135 CE). There is some overlap in the stories about him and those about Onkelos, the presumed author of Targum Onkelos: one theory is that the name "Onkelos" is simply a corruption of "Aquila", associated in error with the Aramaic instead of the Greek translation.

Epiphanius (De Pond. et Mens. c. 15) preserves a tradition that he was a kinsman of the emperor Hadrian, who employed him in rebuilding Jerusalem (Aelia Capitolina), and that he was converted to Christianity, but, on being reproved for practising pagan astrology, converted to Judaism. He seems to be referred to in Jewish writings as עקילס. Aquila's version is said to have been used in place of the Septuagint in the synagogues. The Christians generally disliked it, alleging without due grounds that it rendered the Messianic passages, such as 14, incorrectly, but Jerome and Origen speak in its praise. Origen incorporated it in his Hexapla.

It was thought that the Hexapla was the only copy of Aquila's translation extant, but in 1897 fragments of two codices were brought to the Cambridge University Library. These have been published—the fragments containing 1 Kings 20:7–17; 2 Kings...
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