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At a Glance
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Estimated Range of Dating: 280-300 A.D.

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Information on Hesychius

Aziz S. Atiya writes, "Hesychian Bible, the text of the Septuagint revised by Hesychius, Egyptian bishop of an unspecified diocese in the third century. He was a native of Alexandria, often wrongly identified with his namesake the lexicographer of the second century, who was a pagan. Hesychius the bishop is credited with the revision not only of the Septuagint but also of the New Testament or at least the four Gospels in circulation in Egypt. This recension is mentioned by Jerome as the work of Hesychius with the collaboration of Lucian of Antioch. According to Eusebius, Hesychius was martyred under Diocletian with three contemporaries: Pachomius, Phileas, and Theodorus. The four martyrs had written a letter dated A.D. 296, now available in a Latin version, to the schismatic Melitius, Bishop of Lycopolis in Upper Egypt, reprimanding him for irregular ordinations." (CE:1226a)

Quasten writes, "It is interesting to know that during the fourth century the Churches of Egypt and Alexandria did not use Origen's redaction of the Septuagint but that of Hesychius (Jerome, Praef. in Paral.; Adv. Ruf. 2,27). Jerome criticizes the latter severely and accuses him of interpolation in the Book of Isaias (Comm. in Is. ad. 58, 11) and, on another occasion (Praef. in Evang.), he speaks of his false additions to the biblical text. The Decretum Gelasianum speaks of 'the gospels which Hesychius forged' and calls them 'apocryphal.'" (Patrology, vol. 2, p. 118)

And Quasten continues, "Thus he must have made a revision of both the Septuagint and the Gospels, most probably about the year 300. From the fact that his edition was uesd at Alexandria and in Egypt it would appear that he was of Alexandrian origin. Whether he is the same Hesychius who with three other Egyptian bishops addressed a letter to Meletius and died as a martyr in the persecution of Diocletian (cf. above, p. 117), remains doubtful." (Patrology, vol. 2, p. 118)

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Kirby, Peter. "Hesychius." Early Christian Writings. <>.