Modern scholarship is unanimously with Hody. Victor Tcherikover (Hebrew University) summed up the scholarly consensus in 1958: “Modern scholars commonly regard the “Letter of Aristeas” as a work typical of Jewish apologetics, aiming at self-defense and propaganda, and directed to the Greeks. Here are some instances illustrating this general view. In 1903 Friedlander wrote that the glorification of Judaism in the letter was no more than self-defense, though “the book does not mention the antagonists of Judaism by name, nor does it admit that its intention is to refute direct attacks.” Stein sees in the letter “a special kind of defense, which practices diplomatic tactics,” and Tramontano also speaks of “an apologetic and propagandist tendency.”

Vincent characterizes it as “a small unapologetic novel written for the Egyptians” (i.e. the Greeks in Egypt). Pheiffer says: “This fanciful story of the origin of the Septuagint is merely a pretext for defending Judaism against its heathen denigrators, for extolling its nobility and reasonableness, and first striving to convert Greek speaking Gentiles to it.” Schürer classes the letter with a special kind of literature, “Jewish propaganda in Pagan disguise,” whose works are “directed to the pagan reader, in order to make propaganda for Judaism among the Gentiles.”

Andrews, too, believes that the role of a Greek was assumed by Aristeas in order “to strengthen the force of the argument and commend it to non-Jewish readers. Even Gutman, who rightly recognizes that the Letter sprang ‘from an inner need of the educated Jew,’ sees in it ‘a strong means for making Jewish propaganda in the Greek world.’ ” But Tcherikover continues, “In this article an attempt will be made to prove that the Letter of Aristeas was not written with the aim of self-defense or propaganda, and was addressed not to Greek, but to Jewish readers.”