Emendations in BHS (was RE: Zech 8:14-15 (was Judges 13:5 and 13:7))

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at sil.org
Tue Mar 12 16:16:14 EST 2002

Rolf appears to claim that the text of BHS has been emended from that of
the Leningrad Codex on the basis of grammatical theory. Is this actually
true? If so it is in direct contradiction to what the editors write, on
p.XII in the prolegomena: "2. TEXT. We have thought it best to reproduce
the text of the latest hand if L with close fidelity. We have
accordingly refrained from <<removing obvious scribal errors;>>" The
only admitted exception is that "Raphe has been almost consistently
omitted". Rolf, are you claiming that the editors did not do what they
said they did?


I agree that emendations are suggested in the footnotes, and these are
often highly conjectural (and I usually ignore them). But these
emendations are not incorporated in the main text.


Peter Kirk


-----Original Message-----
From: Rolf Furuli [mailto:furuli at online.no] 
Sent: 08 March 2002 12:51
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Re: Zech 8:14-15 (was Judges 13:5 and 13:7)




"In the light of Kittel's remarks ..there can be no doubt at all as to
the meaning of the implied words "obvious mistakes and errors". They
refer to any diviation from the rules and laws of Hebrew grammar. and it
is just this attitude towards the Hebrew Bible, to give the right
priority to The Grammar and to make the Scriptures conform to it, which
I refuted by saying: "Whether he admits it or not, the exegete assumes
that the laws of the Hebrew language, as laid down in the Hebrew
grammar, are binding for the Bible. Whenever a discrepancy is discovered
between the Bible and these "established" grammatical laws, the Bible is
the loser: the text is "emended" so as to conform with the grammar... It
is high time that bible scholars... approach the Bible not as
schoolmasters teaching the prophets how Hebrew sentences should be
formed and Hebrew words spelled, but as humble students of thses masters
of Hebrew."


Exactly the same editorial attitude is seen in the BHS, particularly in
the notes at the bottom of the pages where emendations often are
suggested on the basis of grammatical theory rather than textual
evidence. And not only that, but modern translators have exactly the
same attitude: grammatical theory is given priority over the context.




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