[b-hebrew] Primary and Secondary Old Testament Witnesses

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Aug 25 19:52:12 EDT 2004


Dear Philip,

>Are the following statements true?
>
>
>1. The primary Old Testament witnesses are the Masoretic Text and the
>Septuagint.
>
>2. The secondary Old Testament witnesses include:
>
>    i.   The Dead Sea Scrolls,
>    ii.  The Samaritan Pentateuch,
>    iii. The Wadi Murabbaat Manuscripts,
>    iv.  The Masada Manuscripts,
>    v.   The Geniza Fragments.
>
>If the above statements are true, what is the justification for selecting
>some witnesses as primary witnesses and other witnesses as secondary
>witnesses?

HH: I would call them all primary witnesses with the possible 
exception of the Septuagint, which is a translation into another 
language. All the other materials are ancient or very old records of 
the Scriptures in the original languages. But in another sense even 
translations are primary witnesses, since they are ancient copies of 
the Scriptures. I would consider as secondary witnesses the quotation 
of Scripture in other writings.

				Yours,
				Harold Holmyard




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