OTA BHS Conversion

Kirk Lowery kelowery at cs.com
Fri Oct 20 12:52:48 EDT 2000

On 20 Oct 2000, at 11:14, Peter Kirk wrote:

> Following, for everyone's information, is an explanation of the ] marks
> in the text. This is taken from one of the WTS documents. It doesn't
> refer to exactly the same version, but gives the general idea. I can
> send the whole document on request - this is a supplement to the one
> which I earlier sent to John Richards, which does not mention the ]
> codes. Maybe Kirk Lowery can confirm whether this is still the latest
> version. 

Yes, this file, "supplmnt.wts" describes the 1987 (final) version of eBHS, 
and is relevant to the OTA download, which modifies and overrides the 
original "michigan.man" document describing the transliteration system 
used, known as the "Michigan encoding." Westminster was heavily involved 
in the final stages of the production of eBHS.

BTW, those of you who have the Groves-Wheeler Hebrew Morphology (MORPH) 
have a Hebrew text which is substantially improved on the 1987 version 
(over 600 changes) which have came to our attention as MORPH was being 
produced. These are mostly in the area of the morphological "/" used in 
the encoding, as well as the ketiv/qere'. However, there are consonantal 
and vocalic changes as well.

In fact, just yesterday we were debating whether there is a second K/Q in 
Dan 2:39 regarding ):ARA() and the marginal note at that point. Presently 
it is marked with "]1", but the latest BHS critical apparatus interprets 
the margin as a qere'. (Matthew Anstey was the one who raised the question 
with us...sharp eyes, Matthew!)

The Leningrad Codex facsimile marginal note shows a dotted qof beneath a 
dotted lamed beneath a dotted alef, all arranged in one vertical column. 
Yet the word in the text has no massoretic circle above it indicating a 

It just goes to show that even with the greatest of "accuracy", there are 
always questions of interpretation. Fortunately, I think the state of the 
electronic text is such that -- apart from a careful check of the 
cantillation -- we have only the really difficult questions of 
interpreting the MS left...


Kirk E. Lowery, Ph.D.             Email: KELowery at cs.com
Associate Director                Phone: 215-572-3854
The Westminster Hebrew Institute    Fax: 215-887-5404
Westminster Theological Seminary
General Editor, Project "eL", The XML Leningrad Codex
P.O. Box 27,009
Philadelphia, PA 19118

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