emandations of the sopherim

Moshe Shulman mshulman at ix.netcom.com
Mon Sep 2 10:55:03 EDT 2002


At 06:11 PM 9/1/02 -0400, you wrote:
>Shalom b-hebrew,
>There is a basic issue here as to the significance of this Massorah, and 
>whether it
>should be considered important in discussing and translating the Masoretic 
>Text..
>What thinketh our scholars, experts, and thinking lay-folk ?
>==============================================================
>http://www.therain.org/appendixes/app32.html
>The 134 Passages Where The Sopherim Altered "Jehovah" to  "Adonai".
>Appendix 32 From The Companion Bible, by Bullinger

Bullinger cites Gunzburg as his source.  Number  of years ago this was 
mentioned to me, and since I had seen no sources that there ever existed 
such manuscript variants, and no source in Rabbinic literature for it, I 
was very curious. I did not have the Gunzburg book (it is quite expensive) 
so I wrote to Prof Schiffman, who is very familiar with these issues. Here 
is what he wrote back to me about that:

-------------------------------------------------
To: mshulman at ix.netcom.com(Moshe Shulman )
Subject: Re: On the Plains of Mamre
From:  "Lawrence H. Schiffman" <>

Your man loses.  You don't need the British Library.  I own the Ktav
reprint, which includes vol.  IV.  He never looked at the book
himself since the numbers he gave are not for pp. but are the numbers
of the lists (his is in vol. 1).  In vol.4 Ginzberg correctly
translated the heading of the first list, for the Pentateuch, as
"Lord occurs twelve tines in the Pentateuch.  In other words, as he
explains there, this is not a list of textual variants but rather a
list of the times ad-onai is used when it is clearly an equivalent
(in meaning) to the shem ha-meforash.  We know in any case, that
ad-onai was secondarily introduced in the Second Temple period often
to indicate that the tetragrammaton should be pronounced in this
manner (not as written).  This is not textual variation at all, and
has no relevance to what he is claiming.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So essentially the facts are that these are not changes, or variants, but 
places where using the tetragrammaton appears to Gunzburg as being a valid 
substitution for one of the other names being used. I am sure that most of 
the time it is correct, and a substitution could be made, and likewise we 
could find others where we would disagree.


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