Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3


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Pages: 20— Pages: 36— Pages: 45— Pages: 60— Pages: 82— Pages: 95— Pages: — Biographical Note Emanuel Tov , Ph. Magnes Professor of Bible emeritus at that University. He has published many monographs on the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible and Qumran, and was the editor-in-chief of the Dead Sea Scrolls publication project.

Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible 3rd ed. Tov with the collaboration of S. London: Roycroft, ; repr. Graz, Wellhausen, Bcher Samuelis J. In modern society, the Bible has many faces both in Hebrew and in translation, but they all present more or less the same content. Thus bereshit bara elohim et hashamayim we-et ha-aretz is represented exactly by In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth rsv as well as by Im Anfang schuf Gott Himmel und Erde.

More complicated verses likewise indicate that the Hebrew and European versions represent exactly the same text. The background of this identity lies in the fact that almost all modern translations were made from the very same Hebrew text, namely mt, the traditional text of the Bible as transmitted in Judaism. This text form is well documented, but, strange as it may sound, we still know nothing of its background nor the date of its creation, and it is difficult to define its essence.

Probably the most conspicuous feature of mt is its meticulous transmission over the course of a little more than two millennia. The precision with which the Masoretic manuscripts were copied is proverbial, since the copying included the smallest details in the manuscripts such as small dots above letters and the distinction between small and large letters. The rabbis did not allow a manuscript to be used for public reading if there were more than three corrections in one of its columns.

From the third century bce onwards, the period covered by the scrolls found at Qumran, mt was the most frequently used text in ancient Israel. This is visible from scrolls from Qumran and the other sites in the Judean Desert as. According to these opinions, scrolls containing a greater number of corrections in a single column could not be used by the public, but according to b. According to these criteria, many of the Qumran biblical scrolls would not have passed the scrutiny of the rabbis, as is evident from a comparison of the average number of corrections with the number of lines per column.

The 6, medieval manuscripts of mt differed only slightly in all these details. It is a miracle, albeit a man-made one, that the mt remained unchanged over the past years. This lack of textual intervention is visible when one compares the fragments found at Masada, Naal ever, and Naal Murabbaat with manuscripts from the Middle Ages. There are almost no differences in consonants between codex l or the Aleppo codex from the early Middle Ages and the texts from Masada, Naal ever, and Naal Murabbaat; the level of variation between them is no higher than that among the medieval texts themselves.

Rabbinic literature likewise only reflects mt. The reason for the preponderance of the precursors of mt in this period is evident. Since mt was the text form used by the Temple circles, the Pharisees, and rabbis, it is understandable that all ancient sources after 70ce reflect this form; many, possibly most, sources preceding the destruction of the Temple also used this text. Before the destruction of the Temple, however, many additional texts were used in Judaism, and they are the focus of our study.

We learn about them from the Qumran discoveries, lxx, and the Torah of the Samaritans, sp. The influence of these texts within Judaism is felt only until the middle of the first century ce. Various developments during that period changed the nature of the textual evidence. These changes were socio-religious and demographic in nature, but are sometimes incorrectly interpreted as relating to the texts themselves.

Before the destruction of the Temple, mt was one of the main texts used but not the only one, while after 70ce it was the only text used in Judaism. The reason for the change was that nascent rabbinic Judaism was the only surviving form of Judaism after that date. These scrolls were corrected on the basis of the Temple copies, while the Qumran texts are one stage removed from them.

Judaism remaining in existence that could have used a different form of the Hebrew Bible. How the pluriformity of the period preceding 70ce developed into the uniformity of the later period is a matter of debate among scholars. In the meantime, Christianity had been born, and early Christians used the Greek lxx, which was originally a Jewish translation but had subsequently been adopted by Christianity. Greek-speaking Jews no longer used the lxx, focusing instead on its more recent Jewish revisions.

The Samaritans, another group that had split off from Judaism probably in the third century bce, turned to their own Torah, which was based on a text that had been used previously in Judaism. The practical result of these developments was a division of texts among the religious communities after the destruction of the Temple. The central stream of Judaism held on to the Hebrew mt, most Christians to the Greek lxx, and the Samaritans to their own Hebrew Torah. Whatever texts were in use before that period, such as those known from Qumran, were no longer used since there were no religious groups who could have embraced them.

As a result, archeology and the preservation of ancient religions come to our aid in understanding the textual situation in ancient times. Without the purely coincidental finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran and other sites in the Judean Desert, we would not have known so much about the early text of the Hebrew Bible. Religions come to our aid, too, since Christianity preserved the lxx and the Vulgate, the Samaritan community preserved their own Pentateuch, and traditional Judaism held on to mt. We mentioned the existence of a pluriform textual tradition before the destruction of the Second Temple.

Vestiges of such textual variety are visible. Bremmer and F. Garca Martnez; Kampen: Kok Pharos, , Van der Woude believes, as does the present author, that in different circles in Second Temple Judaism, there must have been different approaches towards the text. Most circles did not insist upon a single textual tradition, as is visible in the collection of the Qumran texts.

At the same time, a single textual tradition, mt, was held in esteem by the temple circles, and later, the Pharisees. For my own ideas, see tchb, Thus, against all other translations, the nrsv and one of the French African translations include a long section from the Qumran scroll 4QSama at the end of 1Samuel This added section explains the background of the siege of Jabesh Gilead by Nahash the Ammonite,7 and thus provides a new context. In this very important detail, the readers of the nrsv use a different Bible, one based on novel material from Qumran. Not all scholars agree to this procedure, since some claim that the Qumran paragraph is not original but represents a late Midrash.

The Bible as represented by the nrsv is still the same Bible as in all other translations, in spite of these borrowings from sources other than mt. Even though modern translations usually reflect mt, in several details they represent the lxx, a Qumran scroll, or another ancient source, and through them we get a glimpse of the textual variety in antiquity. In some books, mt differs much from the lxx and the sp. These two sources are ancient and modern at the same time.

They were created in antiquity, but are still authoritative in modern times. The sp is the Holy Writ of the Samaritan community. The lxx remains the Holy Writ of the Eastern Orthodox Church; while it was authoritative for the whole of Christianity for a long period, it was replaced in the Western Church by the Vulgate. The so-called Apocrypha of the lxx, including such books as Baruch and 12Maccabees, are still part of the Holy Scriptures of the Roman Catholics today, though named deutero-canonical see further chapter 30 in the present volume.

He would gouge out the right eye of each of them and would not grant Israel a deliverer. No one was left of the Israelites across the Jordan whose right eye Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had not gouged out. But there were seven thousand men who had escaped from the Ammonites and had entered Jabesh-gilead.

McDonald and J. Sanders; Peabody, Mass. We are paying attention to the contents of the lxx because of its acceptance in Second Temple Judaism. For this purpose, we need to understand the nature of the differences between mt and the lxx especially when they pertain to major issues. We exclude from the discussion those lxx books that in our view reflect the translators own major changes, such as the book of Job, while realizing that this is a subjective decision. Our analysis is thus based on presuppositions that reflect one of several views. If one of these alternative views is more convincing than the one presented here, my own analysis may well be irrelevant.

If, for example, someone believes that it was the translator of 3 Kingdoms who created the greatly differing version and not an earlier Hebrew reviser, as I do, the view presented here with regard to that book may be irrelevant. At the end of our analysis, we will turn to matters of text and canon, in an attempt to understand which text forms were authoritative for which communities and why.

We start with a discussion of books in the lxx that differed much from mt. We will not focus on books that presumably contained an edition preceding mt, such as Jeremiah or 1Samuel , but rather on three books that show signs of literary editions produced after the edition of mtin our view: 1 Kings, or as it is named in the lxx, 3Kingdoms, Esther, and Daniel.

An additional case may be 1 Esdras. However, that book is not a rewritten book like the other compositions discussed in this study, but a new creation based on three different sources, 2 Chronicles , Ezra and Neh , and also contains an additional source in the Contest between the Three Courtiers in For a penetrating analysis of the nature of the book, see S. For a detailed commentary and discussion of the various aspects of 1 Esdras, see Z.

King Solomon is portrayed as a wise man in mt, but in the first ten chapters of the lxx his wisdom is emphasized more strongly. The lxx reinterprets several of the chapters dealing with Solomon and rearranges various sections, paying special attention to their chronological sequence. Gooding presents the simplest analysis by describing the first ten chapters as being rewritten to emphasize Solomons wisdom, including the whitewashing of his sins, chapters as presenting a more favorable account of Jeroboam, and chapters as whitewashing Ahab.

The lxx adds two long theme summaries in chapter 2 repeating various verses in 1Kings around the theme of Solomons wisdom, altogether 24 verses vv. These extensive summaries, repeating verses occurring elsewhere in 1Kings are out of chronological order in chapter 2, since the Solomonic history only starts with chapter 3. These added summaries describe Solomons marriage to Pharaohs daughter, his building activities, administration, and offerings, all of them described as exponents of his wisdom. The closest parallel to this technique is the added summary before the lxx of Daniel 5 see below , although that summary is not a theme summary.

Duplication of sections. Beyond the passages mentioned in section a, the rewritten text of 3Kingdoms repeated 1Kgs description of Jehoshaphats activities in 3Kgdms ah, and 1 Kgs in v. To the best of my knowledge, the device of repeating sections is not used elsewhere in the Greek Bible or mt. Inclusion of an alternative version. An alternative history of Jeroboam extant only in the lxx 3Kgdms az presents a rival story juxtaposed with.

See E. Hilhorst, E. Puech, and E.

Collected Essays, Volume 3

For details, see the paper mentioned in note In vv. The technique of juxtaposing two versions of the same story was used from ancient times onwards in the composition of Hebrew Scripture. However, with one exception 1Samuel ,15 there is no parallel for the juxtaposition of two alternative versions appearing in one textual witness but not in the other ones.

The transposition of verses to other environments in accord with the revisers tendencies, especially his chronological rearrangements: For example, 1 Kgs and are repositioned as 3Kgdms a; 1 Kgs is repositioned as 3Kgdms ; 1Kgs and are moved to 3 Kgdms ad; 1 Kgs is placed in 3Kgdms a; verses from are placed in ac; etc. This technique is also evidenced elsewhere in the lxx and mt.

Textual Criticism - The Masoretic Text, Part 3

The new elements of the lxx are based on a Hebrew text,16 and this Hebrew text is secondary in relation to mt. It rewrites mt in a way similar to the rewriting in the sp and some Qumran rewritten Bible compositions see below. However, the use of the term Additions gives a false impression of their nature and may lead to wrong conclusions. In these chapters the originally short story of the encounter of David and Goliath as narrated in the lxx was joined by an alternative story in mt.

See further D. Barthlemy et al. See the study quoted in note Houtman, A. Due to the uncertainty pertaining to the Vorlage of the lxx, a comparison of the length of the lxx and mt is little more than an exercise. According to the calculations of C. In as far as a consensus exists regarding the textual value of the Greek version of Esther, it is negative19 because of its free and sometimes paraphrastic translation technique.

It should however be recognized that the lxx reflects some Hebrew variants in small details and that the original language of large Expansions a, c, d, and f in the lxx was Hebrew. Further, the Greek translations of the canonical sections and of the Expansions were produced by the same person. There is no reason to distrust the ancient evidence of all manuscripts according to which all the elements of Esth-lxx represent one integral unit that formed the basis for Josephus, Ant. We should not be influenced by Jeromes removal of Expansions af from their context, thereby mutilating the translation.

Furthermore, the canonical segments and the Expansions are intertwined in an organic way in chapters 4 and 5, making it impossible to mark an uninterrupted group of verses as constituting Expansion D. This judgment was probably best formulated by D. A similar view had been expressed earlier by T. Nldeke, Esther, in Encyclopaedia Biblica ed. Cheyne and J. Black; London: A. Black, , The tendency, so common at the present day, to overestimate the importance of the lxx for purposes of textual criticism is nowhere more to be deprecated than in the Book of Esther.

It may be doubted whether even in a single passage of the book the Greek manuscripts enable us to emend the Hebrew text. See the paper quoted in note Brownlee, Le livre grec d Esther et la royaut divine: Corrections orthodoxes au livre d Esther, rb 73 : uses this term. For details, see Tov, The lxx Translation of Esther. See Tov, The lxx Translation of Esther. For a different case, see the translation of.

The addition of large narrative expansions at key points in the story: a and f before the beginning and after the end Mordecais Dream and its Interpretation , and c Prayers of Mordecai and Esther and d Esthers Audience with the King after chapter 4. Probably the most characteristic feature of the lxx is the addition of a religious background to the earlier mt version that lacks the mentioning of Gods name.

These details are added not only in the large expansions but also in small pluses such as ; ; Likewise, Gods involvement is mentioned everywhere in the Midrash and Targum. The addition of new ideas in small details. For example, the identification of Ahashuerus as Artaxerxes; the description of the first banquet as a wedding feast for Vashti , 11 ; the length of the second banquet ; the description of the opulence at the banquet ; the identification of Mehuman as Haman ; the kings active participation in the hanging of the two eunuchs and of Haman ; the kings placing the ring on Hamans hand ; the naming of Haman as a Macedonian E 10; ; Esthers concern for her own safety In light of the preceding analysis, we suggest that the Vorlage of Esth-lxx included the so-called Expansions a, c, d, and f.

The royal edicts in Expansions b and e were probably added by the translator himself. Daniel that includes several long additions now considered apocryphal. However, those additions do not form an integral part of the story, as in Esther. Furthermore it is unclear whether there ever existed an expanded Semitic book of Daniel on which the Greek translation would have been based. By the same token, there never existed an expanded Semitic book of Jeremiah that included Baruch even though one translator rendered both Jeremiah and Baruch.

See Tov, JeremiahBaruch. Thus Esthers concern for dietary laws in c should be compared with b.

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See B. For a different view on the relation between the lxx and the Midrash, see M. For details in this analysis, see Tov, Three Strange Books. Some scholars go as far as to argue that the lxx of Daniel as a whole preceded mt. A composition very similar to the mt of chapter 4 has been reworked in the lxx.

The lxx changed, added, and omitted many details. Among other things, the Greek text places the opening verses of chapter 4 in mt later in the chapter, in a greatly expanded form, as v. Thus R. Thus, according to Ulrich, the parallel editions of both mt and the lxx og expanded an earlier text form in different ways: E. This view was developed on the basis of the Notre Dame dissertations by D.

Wenthe and S. Jeansonne mentioned there. The revisional character of the lxx is described in detail by R. Grelot, La Septante de Daniel iv et son substrat smitique, rb 81 : ; idem, La chapitre v de Daniel dans la Septante, Sem 24 : Collins, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress, , , , illustrates the relation between the two texts. According to Ulrich, dss, 43, the Greek translation was a consistent, unified document with a consistent translation technique. Therefore, the significant variation between the og and the mt in 46 seems to indicate that the og is a faithful translation of a different literary edition of these chapters.

If this judgment is correct, we have good insights into the Aramaic parent text of the lxx. Even if this judgment about the translation technique is only partially correct, at least major aspects of the Aramaic text underlying the lxx can be reconstructed. The position of these verses at the end of the Greek chapter is secondary as they refer to the future, although the events themselves have already been described in the preceding verses: And now, I will show to you the deeds that the great God has done with me v. In mt this verse correctly appears before the events.

The lxx goes one step further by reporting the fulfillment of Gods command to the king within the dream itself, in the added verse 14a 17a.

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This long verse, which repeats the wording of the earlier verses, reports the cutting down of the tree and its metamorphosis, now symbolizing the king, into a beast: He ate grass with the animals of the earth for the wording, cf. Preceding the beginning of chapter 5 King Belshazzars banquet and the writing on the wall , the lxx adds a summary of the chapter that is neither matched by mt nor Theodotions version. This summary includes a new element, namely the transliterated inscription written on the wall v. The summary partially duplicates the content of the chapter; thus it begins with the same words as v.

There are also differences in details between the summary on the one hand and mt and the lxx on the other. Therefore, this addition must have summarized a slightly different form of the chapter. The underlying text of the summary was probably Aramaic. The summary may be compared to the theme summaries in the lxx of 3 Kingdoms 2 see above, 2. The summary in Daniel recaps the events told in the chapter, while the lxx of 3Kingdoms 2 duplicates verses around a common theme. The essence of the examples given from 3Kingdoms, Esther, and Daniel is that these Greek books reflect Hebrew compositions that were very different from the ones included in mt.

All three rewrote compositions like the ones included in mt, as suggested in greater detail in another study. If our analysis so far is correct, the collection of Greek Scripture contained some works that rewrote compositions included in the Hebrew canon as well as compositions that preceded mt, like in Jeremiah and Ezekiel. We now expand our observations on the lxx to other rewritten Bible compositions, in Hebrew, as found among the Qumran scrolls and in the sp group.

The sp group pre-Samaritan Qumran texts33 and sp rewrote a composition like mt. However, the sp goes its own way by adding a very small number of Samaritan sectarian readings. In addition, some of the Hebrew Qumran compositions likewise resemble the rewriting in the lxx books, even more so than the sp group. The best preserved rewritten Bible texts34 from Qumran are 11qta cols. The main feature these compositions and the sp group have in common with the reconstructed sources of the lxx translations relates to the interaction between the presumably original Scripture text and exegetical additions.

All the Qumran compositions and the sp group present long stretches of Scripture text, interspersed with short or long exegetical additions. In the past, the aforementioned three lxx translations have not been associated with the Qumran rewritten Bible texts. When making this link, we recognize the similarity in the rewriting style of Scripture books. More specifi For the evidence and an analysis, see G. Ulrich and J. Kraft and G. Nickelsburg; Atlanta, ga: Scholars Press, , Pseudo-Philos Biblical Antiquities and Josephus, Jewish Antiquities also provide valuable parallels, but they are less relevant since they make no claim to sacred status.

Central to the literary principles of the sp group is the wish to rewrite Hebrew Scripture based on its editorial tendencies without adding new text pericopes. The addition of new passages would have harmed the authenticity of the rewritten Bible compositions, and therefore the sp group limited itself to copying. For this purpose they duplicated, for example, all the segments of Moses first speech in Deuteronomy 13 in Exodus and Numbers as foreshadowers of Deuteronomy.

In the Greek 3 Kingdoms 2, they serve an exegetical or chronological purpose, while in the sp group the duplication of segments from Deuteronomy in Exodus and Numbers is meant to make the earlier books comply with Moses speech in Deuteronomy Theme summaries. The two collections of verses in 3 Kingdoms 2 summarize in the beginning of the Greek book verses relating to the central theme of chapters , namely Solomons wisdom. By the same token, the added39 tenth commandment of sp not found in the pre-Samaritan texts is a theme summary of verses describing the sanctity of Mt.

The tenth commandment of sp in both versions of the Decalogue describing and prescribing the sanctity of Mount Gerizim is made up of verses occurring elsewhere in Deuteronomy. Segal, Between Bible and Rewritten Bible, For a detailed analysis, see Tov, Rewritten Bible Compositions. A similar duplication is found in 4QDeutn v 57 where the motive clause for the Sabbath commandment in Exod has been added after the motive clause of Deuteronomy. See J. The Samaritans consider the first commandment of the Jewish tradition as a preamble to the Decalogue, so that in their tradition there is room for an additional commandment.

Deut a, b3a, a, , in that sequence. The most salient technique used in the course of the rewriting is the addition of the large narrative Expansions a, c, d, and f. These expansions expand the story in a meaningful way. The interaction of the previous Bible text and the long expansions may be compared with the relation between the Qumran rewritten Scripture compositions and their presumed sources. All these rewritten compositions exercise freedom towards their underlying texts by adding large expansions wherever their authors wished.

Command and execution. The technique used in the lxx addition in a 17a , which relates the execution of Gods command of vv. The closest parallel is the story of the Ten Plagues in Exodus in the sp group. In this story, the sp group expanded the description of Gods commands to Moses and Aaron to warn Pharaoh before each plague by adding a detailed account of their execution. The summary description of the events of Daniel 5 that is placed at its beginning reminds us of the theme summaries in 3 Kingdoms 2 and in the sp.

For example, after Exod , 4QpaleoExodm and sp, following the formulation of vv. For if you do not let my people go, I will let loose Similar additions are found in 4QpaleoExodm and sp after , 29; , The nature of the rewriting has been described in the studies listed in n. Attention also needs to be given to the question of whether or not the rewritten editions were intended to replace the older ones. We believe that this was the intention of the three mentioned rewritten books. The rewritten ed.

The rewritten compositions within the lxx canon and the Hebrew texts from Qumran resemble each other with regard to their rewriting procedures and probably also with regard to their canonical position. The Greek versions of 3Kingdoms, Esther, and Daniel had an authoritative status following their completion, since all the books of the lxx, including the so-called Apocrypha, probably enjoyed such a status, at first within Judaism43 and subsequently within Christianity.

This process probably took place when the lxx books as a whole had been rejected by Judaism, among other things because they had been accepted by Christianity. In the Christian communities, all the books of the lxx, together with the Apocrypha, were accepted as Scripture although not all the details are clear and there are differences between the various traditions. Only much later, with the Reformation, were the Apocrypha relegated to a secondary status. This pertains also to the so-called Additions of Esther and Daniel even though these Expansions never had a separate existence.

While the erstwhile authoritative status of all of the Greek books of the lxx is a fact, the authoritative status of these books in their original languages Hebrew and Aramaic is less certain. However, it stands to reason that the Semitic Vorlagen of all the books of the lxx, including those of the Apocrypha, once enjoyed authoritative status. The Greek translator of Esther would not have translated the now-apocryphal sections had they not been considered authoritative by him and by the community in whose midst he lived.

By the same token, the short book of Baruch was considered authoritative by the translator of Jeremiah, who included it in his translation, and by the Greek reviser who revised the two books. In actual fact, we have no direct reference in Jewish sources to the Jewish communitys acceptance of individual books of Greek Scripture, but I see no reason to distrust the early Church lists such as recorded by Swete, Introduction, as Jewish Scripture. It is possible that Jewish Greek Scripture encompassed more books such as, for example, Enoch, but the collection probably did not contain fewer books than those included in the lists.

In my view, the A-Text of Esther reflects a similar rewritten composition of a text like the mt of that book, but it did not enjoy any authoritative status. This translator, working in the first century bce, must have considered these books authoritative. The hypothesis about the authoritative status of some or all Semitic books, including the Apocrypha, rendered by the lxx translators may also be applied to the Hebrew rewritten Bible compositions from Qumran.

Text criticism of the OT / Hebrew Bible

We noted above that some of the Qumran rewritten Bible compositions share characteristics with the lxx rewritten books. We may now apply this observation to their canonical status. The rewritten forms of 1Kings, Esther, and Daniel with all their expansions and changes from mt were authoritative in their Greek shape and probably also in their original Semitic forms.

Since they share characteristic features with Qumran rewritten Bible compositions, some of the latter also may have enjoyed authoritative status. However, such a status can only be assumed if there was a community that accepted these compositions, and in the case of the Qumran scrolls this assumption is unclear. The fact that several manuscripts of the same composition were found at Qumran does not necessarily imply that they were accepted as being authoritative by that community or any other group. Thus, we do not know of a religious group that accepted the QTemple, 4qrp, or Jubilees as binding.

There is circumstantial evidence for Jubilees as a relatively large number of copies of that book were found at Qumran, and for QTemple due to the existence of a luxury copy of QTemple, namely 11qta. Because of the lack of convincing evidence relating to all the rewritten compositions, we turn to one group of manuscripts that from the content point of view so closely resembles the rewritten works within Greek Scripture that it probably enjoyed the same authoritative status as the books translated in Greek Scripture.

I refer to the manuscripts of 4QReworked Pentateuch, which typologically very much resemble the Semitic source of the lxx books of 1Kings, Esther, and Daniel, since they contain long stretches of unaltered Scripture text as well as small and large exegetical additions and changes. The manuscripts of this group should therefore be considered Scripture to the same extent as the mentioned Greek texts and their Vorlagen were considered Scripture.

These manuscripts, published as a nonbiblical composition, thus have to be reclassified as different Bible texts. On the surface, it is hard to imagine that QTemple was accepted as Scripture because its first-person account of the Torah renders it a very artificial work. However, the luxurious character of 11qta possibly indicated sacred status.

See Scribal Practices, The nature of 4qrp is described in chapter 4. In conclusion, if our analysis is correct, we are faced with many different Scripture texts all of which need to be taken into consideration in the exegetical and literary study of Hebrew Scripture. The meticulously transmitted mt is a given, but beyond that text there were many widely divergent texts within ancient Israel. Among them were several texts earlier than the ones included in mt as well as compositions rewriting a text like mt. In this study, I focused on the rewritten texts incorporated into the lxx 3Kingdoms, Esther, and Daniel.

An early rewritten Bible text, Chronicles, was included in the Hebrew and Greek canon. Thus, some of them made their way to the Jewish lxx translators, but not to the collection of mt. Other texts circulating in ancient Israel made their way to the Qumran community. Maybe it was considered to be authoritative Scripture by the Qumran community or another group.

If all these texts were considered authoritative, probably 4qrp enjoyed a similar status. All these texts need to be studied as Hebrew Scripture. Chronicles differs much from Samuel-Kings. Had we found this book at Qumran as an unknown composition, we may have classified it as a rewritten Bible composition. One is reminded of a scribal habit in 4q 4qrpb of writing a dicolon : before each occurrence of the divine name, followed by a space, serving as a Qere note. See djd xiii, The Coincidental Textual Nature of the Collections of Ancient Scriptures The theories that have been launched over the past two centuries depict the presumed development of various aspects of the textual transmission, but do not sufficiently clarify diversity of the Hebrew and translational collections.

It is probably fair to say that the background of this textual diversity of the authoritative collections included in the mt, lxx and Peshitta remains unknown. An analysis of these data is basic for our understanding of these collections and has implications for our perception of the books that are authoritative in Judaism and in several forms of Christianity. Our working hypothesis suggests that these collections, in Hebrew and translation, are often textually inconsistent, unplanned, and therefore haphazard.

This is more pronounced in the translations than in the Hebrew mt. We do not claim that the collections show no planning at all.

We merely suggest that, in addition to visible elements of planning, we should also recognize many unplanned elements. All these elements together shaped the present textual shape of the authoritative collections. We turn to the textual form of the books included in these canons, not to the selection of the books contained in them. See the edition by G. See chapter 27 in this volume. The study of the textual features of these compositions can be subdivided into historical and textual-transmissional aspects. Some sound suggestions may be offered, but other aspects remain hypothetical.

From among the many Hebrew texts available in the last centuries bce, the proto-Masoretic text was chosen as the central text by what may be considered the central stream in Judaism, defined as proto-Pharisees, Pharisees, proto-rabbinic or rabbinic Judaism. However, these historical assumptions do not bring us any closer to understanding the textual nature of mt.

Emanuel Tov

That text cannot be defined in textual terms, such as harmonizing, non-harmonizing, close to the original text or remote from it, expansionistic or minimalist, pure or corrupt. When turning to the ancient translations, we deal mainly with the shape of the lxx and Peshitta, incorporating the collections of sacred writings in Greek and Syriac.

Kee ed. Neusner; Philadelphia: Fortress, , It is possible that the text of the late mt books would be closer to the original form s of these books than the text of the early books, since in the latter case a longer time had passed between the last editorial stage and the text frozen in mt. However, that assumption is not necessarily correct.

The fact that the early books reflect earlier orthography systems than the late books shows that the spelling systems of the earlier books were updated to a smaller extent than may be expected. By the same token, exponents of late Biblical Hebrew are reflected especially in the late biblical books, while the language of the earlier books has not been updated. See A. A spectrum of new voices is heard in the subsequent study by I. Young and R. These texts provide us with many early precursors. Our study pertains to the background of the variety within each of these sources.

We suggest that this variety was created at an early stage, in the archetypes of the Hebrew and translational texts. Our working hypothesis is that much coincidence was involved in the inclusion of individual scrolls in these archetypes. In some cases, the lack of planning is visible even in differences between parts of the same book in mt or the lxx, implying that at an earlier stage compositions included in the archetype could have consisted of a number of small or large scrolls, sometimes of a different nature. We start with the ancient versions. With the exception of Jeromes Vulgate and Saadya Gaons much later Arabic version, in antiquity all translation projects of Hebrew Scripture were undertaken over the course of several generations.

There were no planning committees for the Greek, Syriac, and Aramaic versions. These enterprises simply grew stage by stage. In the case of the Greek Torah, the translation may have started as an official project, but the subsequent Greek translation enterprises were executed by individuals, and this pertains also to the Aramaic and Syriac versions.

Some time after the completion of these translations, the archetypes of the present collections of translated Scriptures were composed, again without a master plan. As a result, these collections contained translations of various types, both because there was no quality control and because no other scrolls were available. The group of Greek Scripture texts contained in the collection of the lxx, such as represented, for example in the critical editions,7 represents a heterogeneous group of texts, not only regarding their translation character, but also with regard to their date and status official as opposed to private.

Some of the books included in the lxx were added to the Greek corpus only at a late date, usually replacing earlier, freer renderings. For details, see chapter 29 in this volume. At the same time, the Dead Sea Scrolls also provide us with a variety of Hebrew texts for the analysis. For several biblical books the Qumran manuscripts present us with three, four, five, or more different textual forms, differing in small or large details. The books of the lxx contain an amalgam of several different translations.

The clearest case is that of Samuel-Kings.


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Within these books, 2 Sam [? A similar revision is contained in the lxx of Ruth, Lamentations,8 and Qohelet, the latter ascribed to Aquila. Four different aspects of this variety are involved: 1 Why do the various translation units display different translation styles? For example, the translation of Joshua is often free, while that of its neighbor Judges in both the a and b texts is rather faithful to their underlying Hebrew texts.

The same pertains to other historical books, EzraNehemiah and Chronicles, which are slavishly literal. Similarly, the Greek versions of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Minor Prophets are rather literal, while the translation of Isaiah is free and in places very free.


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  8. Similarly, the book of Psalms is presented in a very literal Greek version, while the now adjacent translations of Job and Proverbs are very free and paraphrastic. In an earlier study I suggested that the discrepancies between these versions reflect the diverse personal approaches of the translators. The apparent heterogeneity of these translations or, in modern terms, the lack of guidelines caused Greek Scripture to be a very uneven collection. The alternation of different text types in the Greek manuscripts of 1 4 Kingdoms underscores the impression that the present collection of lxx books is an amalgam of different text types, late and early, original and revised.

    Possibly other sections of the lxx collection also contained such a late revision, see Barthlemy, Devanciers, See Barthlemy, Devanciers, In the case of Samuel, that Vorlage was often identical to 4QSama. The exegetical sections in that translation were probably translated from a Hebrew text deviating from mt. The attention of scholars has been directed to the question of why our manuscripts display a mixed text, at times original and at times revised. Thus section of Kingdoms starting in the middle of a book at 2 Sam according to Thackeray [n.

    Section starting at 1Kings 22 contains a revision as well. As for the incipit of section , Thackeray asserted that the og translation had been purposely omitted by the first translator due to its content the story of Davids sin and the subsequent disasters of his reign and filled in by a later translator. Thackeray again ascribed the change of translation type to theological factors, while Barthlemy, followed by Shenkel, suggested that section started at 1Kings 22 because the lxx inverted the order of the preceding two chapters 20 and More options.

    Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and indexes. Summary Thirty-three revised and updated essays on the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran and the Septuagint, originally published between and are presented in this volume, the third volume of the author's collected writings. Subject Bible. Dead Sea scrolls. Old Testament. Altes Testament. Masoretischer Text. Bibliographic information. Publication date Copyright date Series Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, ; volume Collected essays ; volume 3 Note Includes index.

    Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3 Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3
    Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3 Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3
    Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3 Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3
    Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3 Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3
    Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3 Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3
    Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3 Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3
    Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3 Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3
    Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3 Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3
    Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint: Collected Essays, Volume 3

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