The earliest MS evidence available for the OT text is also the most recently discovered. Since 1947 thousands of fragments of MSS, both biblical and nonbiblical, have come to light in the Dead Sea region.
The Masoretes were groups of Jewish scribe-scholars who worked between the 6th and 10th centuries CE, based primarily in early medieval Palestine in the cities of Tiberias and Jerusalem, as well as in Iraq. The Masoretic Text[a] (MT or 𝕸) is the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic text of the 24 books of Tanakh for Rabbinic Judaism. It was primarily copied, edited and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes between the 7th and 10th centuries of the Common Era (CE). It is the text behind all of our Bible translations.
The first list of the Old Testament manuscripts in Hebrew, made by Benjamin Kennicott (1776–1780) and published by Oxford, listed 615 manuscripts from libraries in England and on the Continent. Giovanni de Rossi (1784–1788) published a list of 731 manuscripts. The main manuscript discoveries in modern times are those of the Cairo Geniza (c. 1890)... Continue Reading →
We begin by offering you what textual criticism is. It is the study of all the manuscript evidence and internal evidence (e.g., style of the author) in an attempt to ascertain the original wording of the original text. As Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Isaiah, Daniel, Micah, Ezra, Malachi or Nehemiah handed their authorized text off to be... Continue Reading →
First, a quick reminder about textual issues. Simply put, having no perfect solution does not mean that there is no perfect solution, it merely eludes us at this time. For this textual difficulty, many have offered different explanations.
The Leningrad Codex is the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, using the Masoretic Text and Tiberian vocalization. It is dated 1008 CE (or possibly 1009).
The first rabbinic Bible—i.e., the Hebrew text furnished with full vowel points and accents, accompanied by the Aramaic Targums and the major medieval Jewish commentaries—was edited by Felix Pratensis and published by Daniel Bomberg (Venice, 1516/17). The second edition, edited by Jacob ben Hayyim ibn Adonijah and issued by Bomberg in four volumes (Venice, 1524/25), became the prototype of future... Continue Reading →
The MT has the reading “bulls” (פָרִים; farim) in verse 2 of chapter 14. On the other hand, the LXX: Greek Septuagint reads “fruit” (καρπὸν; fruit) in verse 2 of chapter 14. 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. ...
The BHS/MT has the reading “to all the beasts of the earth” in verse 10 of chapter 9. On the other hand, the Greek Septuagint (LXX) does not include “to all the beasts of the earth” in verse 10 of chapter 9. The verbal repetition in the Hebrew test is obviously for emphasis. The Septuagint continues to be very much important today and is used by textual scholars to help uncover copyists’ errors ...