emandations of the sopherim

Moshe Shulman mshulman at ix.netcom.com
Mon Sep 2 18:18:27 EDT 2002

At 11:12 AM 9/2/02 -0400, you wrote:
>>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" <>
>><snip> 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.
>This is a critical claim... that Ginzburg is being misunderstood by Bullinger,
>..... and then everyone else is piggy-backing on Bullinger..
>This makes a lot of sense, and we know that Lawrence Schiffman is a 
>world-class scholar,
>it would be nice to have additional verification that Ginzburg was 
>misunderstood, is that
>an indisputable fact ? or an interpretation ?

Just take out your BHS and see if any of those variants exist. You will see 
that they do not. You will not find them in any Rabbinic source either.

>Shiffman quote ...
>>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.
>This is hard to understand, is Lawrence saying that it would have no 
>significance if the "text"
>is actually changed from tetragrammaton to adonai, or if adonai is added ?
>Or is Lawrence simply referencing the spoken word... ?

I think he is refering to saying 'ad' as opposed to the name itself. As 
some here know, the vowels that appear in Jewish religious books when the 
tetragrammaton appears are for the alternate name to be used.

>>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.
>Perhaps someone can share give exact examples of what Ginzburg actually 
>write's in his Massorah, to help confirm that he is just offering a view 
>of "equivalency of meanings" rather than indicating a
>substitution or emandation having been made historically ?

Gen 18:3 is one of them, but variant is listed in BHS to support it.

Moshe Shulman   outreach at messiahtruth.com 718-436-7705
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