BR)$YT, vorlage

Charles David Isbell cisbell at
Tue Apr 2 10:34:30 EST 2002

Glenn Blank asks: "Please help someone with absolutely no background in
source criticism:  what
is the definition of "vorlage."  I only know the term in the context of
skiing, and can't cipher how the metaphor might apply to textual

"Vorlage" is a German word that means something like a model, or a prototype
["lying in front of"].  In textual criticism, it helps to remember that
copies of the biblical text were being made by hand.  So when we read a
document, we can often tell by certain choices of form or vocabulary, or
even of structure and content, which earlier version of a text the copyist
had before him.
In general terms, we can tell whether the Vorlage of a textual copy was the
Massoretic Text, the Samaritan text, the Hebrew text on which the LXX seems
to have been based, etc.
Hope this helps,
Charles David Isbell

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