The Hebrew Old Testament Texts and Versions

Texts and versions provide the raw materials for the discipline known as textual criticism. The ultimate aim is to provide a text in the form intended by its author. Generally speaking, the greater the age of a document, the greater is its authority.

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS: The Oldest Known Bible

Surveys the biblical manuscripts found in the caves around Qumran. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Judaean Desert has in many ways revolutionized the study of the Hebrew Scriptures as well as recent understanding of the Bible and canon.

ORIGEN’S HEXAPLA: A Sixfold Text in Parallel Columns of the Old Testament

At the end of the second century, there were (at least) four competing Greek versions of the OT. Origen, one of the most important theologians in the Eastern church, was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and was active in the middle of the third century CE. Aware of differences between the Greek and Hebrew texts, he set out to bring order and understanding to the confusing array of competing textual witnesses and to produce an edition that would account for those variations.

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