Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
Major Critical Texts and Manuscript Abbreviations of the Old Testament
AC: Aleppo Codex
AT: Aramaic Targum(s), paraphrases
ATJ Jerusalem Targum I (Pseudo-Jonathan) and Jerusalem Targum II (Fragmentary Targum).
ATO Targum of Onkelos (Babylonian Targum), Pentateuch.
ATP Palestinian Targum, Vatican City, Rome, Pentateuch.
B.C.E.: Before Common Era
BHS: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Edited by Karl Elliger and Wilhelm Rudolph. Stuttgart, 1984.
B 19A: Codex Leningrad
c.: Circa, about, approximately
DSS: The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible; The Lexham Dead Sea Scrolls Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible
LXX: The Greek Septuagint (Greek Jewish OT Scriptures in general and specifically used during of Jesus and the apostles)
LXXא Codex Sinaiticus, Gr., c. 330–360 C.E.,
LXXA Codex Alexandrinus, Gr., c. 400-440 C.E.
LXXB Codex Vaticanus 1209, Gr., c. 300–325 C.E.
LXXL The Lexham English Septuagint, Second Edition
LXXN A New English Translation of the Septuagint, NETS
LXXBr Septuagint (with an English translation by Sir Lancelot Brenton, 1851)
OG: Original Greek (Oldest recoverable form of the Greek OT (280-150 B.C.E.)
SOPHERIM: Copyists of the Hebrew OT text from the time of Era to the time of Jesus.
CT: Consonantal Text is the OT Hebrew manuscripts that became fixed in form between the first and second centuries C.E., even though manuscripts with variant readings continued to circulate for some time. Alterations of the previous period by the Sopherim were no longer made. Very similar to the MT.
MT: The Masoretic Text encompasses the Hebrew OT manuscripts from the second half of the first millennium C.E.
QT: Qumran Texts (Dead Sea Scrolls)
SP: Samaritan Pentateuch
SYR: Syriac Peshitta
TH: Greek translation of Hebrew Scriptures by Theodotion, second cent. C.E.
VG: Latin Vulgate by Jerome, c. 400 C.E.
VGc Latin Vulgate, Clementine recension (S. Bagster & Sons, London, 1977).
VGs Latin Vulgate, Sixtine recension, 1590.
Ruth 3:15 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
15 And he said, “Bring the mantle you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and laid it upon her; then she went into the city.
Ruth 3:15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
15 Then he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley, and put it on her back; then he went into the city.
Ruth 3:15 Then he [Boaz] went into the city
Young’s Literal Translation, English Revised Version, American Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, Updated American Standard Version, Complete Jewish Bible, NET Bible, New American Bible, New International Version, New Living Translation, and others.
Ruth 3:15 Then she [Ruth] went into the city.
Revised Standard Version, English Standard Version, Complete Jewish Bible, Douay-Rheims, Christian Standard Bible, King James Version, New American Standard Bible, New Jerusalem Bible, New King James Version, and others.
Ruth 3:15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 And he said, “Bring the cloak you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and put it on her. Then he went into the city.
The MT and most of the Hebrew manuscripts have “he [Boaz] went into the city.” Some Hebrew manuscripts and the Syriac and the Vulgate have “she [Ruth] went into the city.” The LXX is usually not mentioned because some LXX manuscripts have “he” and some have “she.” However, more recent discoveries of Septuagint manuscripts have made the rendering “he” weightier and the preferred choice.
Arthur E. Cundall and Leon Morris write,
The context makes it clear that it is Ruth’s going into the city that is meant. Boaz went later (4:1), unless we are to think that he now went into the city to his house and later to the gate. It is objected that this seems ruled out by the fact that the very reason for Boaz’ presence would have been to guard the threshing floor. He would surely not leave before daylight. The objection may be countered by drawing attention to the fact that a man who has just become engaged to a pretty girl is unlikely to display such a preference for a heap of wheat! But the argument from context still stands and it seems that the verse means that Ruth went into the city. 
This author would disagree with Gundall and Morris. The context can be just as easy as they suggested, Boaz is highly unlikely to leave a beautiful young woman of about 25 years of age to walk back to the city while it is still dark. The context is that there are thieves, robbers, and bandits, which is why Boaz, probably about 55 years old was staying the night to protect the threshing floor. Boaz is a man of honor and it would seem that he would never put the protection of the threshing floor before Ruth. Then, we must consider our primary textual criticism rule, “the more difficult reading is preferred.” One can see why the versions and some Hebrew manuscripts might change it from reading of Boaz going into the city to the reading of Ruth going into the city for the very same reasons modern translators have chosen to do so: because it is the easier reading.
Daniel Isaac Block: School of Archaeology and Oriental Studies, University of Liverpool) is a Canadian/American Old Testament scholar. He is Gunther H. Knoedler Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Wheaton College. On this dilemma, he writes,
This scene closes on a confusing note. According to the Masoretic text, the last sentence in v. 15 has Boaz going back to the town. This is unexpected, not only because Ruth is the one who has just been preparing to leave the threshing floor, but also because Boaz has more work to do there. Recognizing this problem, the Syriac and Vulgate versions have changed the masculine verb form (wayyābōʾ) into a feminine form (wattābōʾ), a reading followed by most modern translations. The NIV (also NRSV) is surely right in preserving the masculine, however, not only on the principle of lectio difficilior (the more difficult reading is preferred), but also as the narrator’s way of highlighting Boaz’s eagerness to resolve the issue that has been raised overnight. The narrator assumes the audience/reader knows that Ruth will have left after Boaz had poured the grain on the cape and placed it on her shoulder. But without a statement concerning Boaz, there is no transition from his location at the field in chap. 3 to his presence in town in chap. 4.
The primary weight of external evidence generally goes to the original language manuscripts. The Codex Leningrad B 19A and the Aleppo Codex are almost always preferred. In Old Testament Textual Criticism, the Masoretic text is our starting point and should only be abandoned as a last resort. While it is true that the Masoretic Text is not perfect, there needs to be a heavy burden of proof in we are to go with an alternative reading. All of the evidence needs to be examined before we conclude that a reading in the Masoretic Text is a corruption.
The Septuagint continues to be very much important today and is used by textual scholars to help uncover copyists’ errors that might have crept into the Hebrew manuscripts either intentionally or unintentionally. However, it cannot do it alone without the support of other sources. While the Septuagint is the second most important tool after the original language texts for ascertaining the original words of the original Hebrew text, it is also true that the LXX translators took liberties at times, embellishing the text, deliberate changes, harmonizations, and completing of details. Even so, it should be noted that the Septuagint manuscript of Aquila (Codex X), Symmachus (also Codex X), and Theodotion also read “according to the number of the sons of Israel.” Here, at Ruth 3:15, the LXX is usually not mentioned by commentators or even textual scholars because some LXX manuscripts have “he” and some have “she.” However, more recent discoveries of Septuagint manuscripts have made the rendering “he” weightier and the preferred choice. So, here again, the LXX has given us the support for the original reading, “then he went into the city.”
 Possibly six seah measures, or about 44 L (40 dry qt), a weight of about sixty or one hundred pounds of grain that Ruth would have to carry on her head.
 MT and most Heb. MSS LXX (based on more recent discoveries of Septuagint manuscripts) “he” SYR VG and some Heb. MSS “she”
 Arthur E. Cundall and Leon Morris, Judges and Ruth: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 7, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1968), 286.
 Daniel Isaac Block, Judges, Ruth, vol. 6, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 698.
SCROLL THROUGH DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BELOW
BIBLE TRANSLATION AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM
BIBLICAL STUDIES / INTERPRETATION
CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM
CHURCH ISSUES, GROWTH, AND HISTORY
Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All