Aleppo vs. Leningrad Codex vs. BHS

Maurice A. O'Sullivan mauros at
Sat Jun 22 10:38:05 EDT 2002


This is primarily a text-critical question, and on the TC mailing list only 
a week ago, James Adair posted the following notice:

 >>>>  Richard Weis has written an article entitled "Biblia Hebraica Quinta 
and the Making of Critical Editions of the Hebrew Bible," now published in 
TC volume 7. He compares BHQ (he's a member of the editorial committee) 
with earlier publications in the BH series and with other Hebrew Bible 
projects currently underway.<<<

The URL for TC is:

You will also find answers to some of your queries in reviews of:
Dotan, Aron, ed. Biblia Hebraica Leningradensia. Prepared according to the 
Vocalization, Accents, and Masora of Aaron ben Moses ben Asher in the 
Leningrad Codex. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson, 2001.   [ and, of course, in 
the introduction and various appendices of this fine book ]

One is on pp.716-8 of the current issue ( vol. 63 #4 ) October 2001 of the 
Catholic Biblical Quarterly -- this paragraph is typical of the review:

 >>>The text differs from other European editions in many respects. As is 
well know, BH3 and BHS contain typographical and substantive errors in the 
consonants and the vowels. There are substantially fewer such errors in the 
Dotan text. D. also presents a superior text for the accentual markings. D. 
refers to BH3 's " numerous errors and corruptions, particularly in 
vocalization and accents, , but also in _plene_ and defective spelling, 
some of them printing errors and others due to faulty reading of the 
manuscript " In BHS he alleges that the printing errors are fewer " but the 
corruptions from mistaken readings of of the manuscript are even more 
numerous ". Despite its common use ( e.g in the Claremont-Michagan 
electronic text and the NJPSV bilingual ( 1999 ) and even with many small 
improvements the BHS text is problematic >>>

There are on-line reviews which will be of help, e.g one in the 2001 volume 
of TC (just click on the link on the TC home page ).
Another one, by Kevin Woodruff, is to be found in vol. 1 #2 April/June 2001 
of the Journal of Biblical Studies at:

At 14:22 22/06/02, Ewan MacLeod wrote:

>In the intro to the Biblia Hebraica Leningradensia, it said that there 
>were known errors in the BHS. Apart from differences in the nikud, does 
>anyone know if there any mistakes/differences in the consonants (letters) 
>of the BHS, compared with the Leningrad Codex? Has a list ever been 
>published? The BHS would have been done before the recent facsimile 
>edition of the Leningrad Codex, so the new photos may have made the text 
>easier to read.
>Similarly, are there any differences between the consonants (letters) of 
>the Leningrad Codex and the Aleppo Codex? When Shmuel ben Yakov corrected 
>the Leningrad Codex, would it have been corrected to the
>Aleppo Codex or another Masoretic manuscript?

Maurice A. O'Sullivan
[Bray, Ireland]

" To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not observe them in the 
making "  -- Otto von Bismarck

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