[b-hebrew] OT Translations

FPutnam at biblical.edu FPutnam at biblical.edu
Thu Jun 10 08:40:18 EDT 2004


'Lectio difficilior' is a widely accepted rule, but (like 'lectio 
brevior') is only a guideline, not a rule. The only true *rule* is "That 
reading is to be preferred which can best be explained as the source of 
the other readings" (Emanuel Tov, although this may be only a paraphrase, 
not a direct quote).

Privileging a[ny] textual tradition is inherently misleading, since 
concluding that, e.g., MT is correct 90% of the time does not [ought not] 
prejudice us to favour MT at 9:1 odds for any particular reading. The 90% 
preferral rate is a result, not a working principle or assumption. [And I 
am of course making up the number!]

I'd love to chat more, but I'm off to teach ... Hebrew discourse!



Kyrie eleison.
Frederic Clarke Putnam, Ph.D.
Professor of Old Testament
Biblical Theological Seminary
Hatfield, Pennsylvania

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