[b-hebrew] Masoretic Text - scribes faithful to the text

Schmuel Schmuel at escape.com
Sun Jun 6 21:52:25 EDT 2004

Hi b-hebrew,

>Dear Joe,
>It is inconceivable, as you seem to imply, that Masorets introduced major additions to the Tanakh. 

On this one, I give a hearty amen.

And one of the strongest evidences of the fealty of the Masoretes is often overlooked.
(In addition to the arguments below).

If there is one book that would have likely been subject to tampering, it would be Isaiah, 
and most especially Isaiah 53.  And yet the comparison of the Great Isaiah Scroll and
the Masoretic Text shows an incredible textual agreement, with many of the non-dialect
differences simply being obvious errors in the Qumran scroll, and very few differences
of great significance.  (Main source -- Fred Miller web site).

Whether or not you accept the Great Isaiah Scroll and the Masoretic Text Isaiah as the Scriptures,
it is clear that no tampering was done, despite all the centuries of disputation with Christians.

Ironically, in fact, as the article by Daniel Sapp points out.
"The LXX, 1 QIsa, and Mt Versions of Isaiah 53 and the Christian Doctrine of Atonement" in
 "Jesus and the Suffering Servant - Isaiah 53 and Christian Origins" 

..... the Christians would have a great difficulty doctrinally with the Greek text !
And not the Masoretic Text or the DSS.

(Granted, Vadim may well disagree with the Masoretic Text aspect :-)

> Look at their commentaries to see how painstakingly these folks tried to understand every minute 
> detail. Not the kind of guys you can suspect of the inserts. Even the earliest known rabbis 
> addressed the issue of minor contradictions in the Tanakh. (snip)

Incidentally, one favorite proponent of the "Masoretes as tamperers" in the "Christian Identity"
anti-semites.... and for this reason, ironically, they often rail against the King James Bible.

Romans 3:1-2
What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? 
Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. 

> (although I argue elsewhere that LXX as a whole did not exist still in the 1st century CE) 

One vital point is that what is called the LXX is often diffuse and diverse and rather 
dubious manuscripts from 350 AD and later.  A text that could have been subject to
lots of corrupt alexandrian "Christian" scribe "smoothing" to match the NT, among other
problems.  And yet these texts are discussed as if it they were used, even in Israel, 
300 years earlier !   This I believe is a primary presumption blunder of much Scriptural
scholarship.  Floyd Nolan Jones discusses it some in a book on the web.

Vadim, I gather above that you are talking largely about the non-Penteteuch parts of the socalled
Septuagint.  If you could share your analysis, or point to it, it would be appreciated :-)

Steven Avery
Queens, NY

Schmuel at escape.com

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