[b-hebrew] 5 scrolls or 1
peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Aug 22 06:47:19 EDT 2005
On 21/08/2005 12:13, Read, James C wrote:
>It's just that I have often heard claimed as fact that the torah was always on one scroll (or considered
>as one book) and that the seperations are a direct result of the influence of the LXX. Yet BHS has
>seperations in exactly the same places. ...
The divisions in BHS are based on divisions in the Leningrad Codex on
which it was based. This codex (not a scroll but bound in book form) is
continuous and includes the whole Tanakh, but each of the books of the
Torah is indicated separately, with Masoretic notes between the books.
So the division was well established by c. 1000 CE. This dating makes it
rather unlikely that the division was borrowed from LXX and Christian
The division into five books is also clearly a logical one according to
the subject matter. There is a significant historical break and new
start between Genesis and Exodus, and Deuteronomy is clearly also a new
beginning and a different style of composition. Leviticus is a separate
block of non-narrative material, although set within a narrative
framework i.e. the repeated "YHWH said to Moses" etc, between the
largely narrative texts of Exodus and Numbers. As such it seems clear to
me that these divisions were intended by the final editor (and I don't
intend here to rule out the possibility that this person was also the
author) of the whole Torah. In other words, I am seeing the divisions as
intentional markings by the editor of the whole, and not suggesting that
these are originally separate books which have been put together.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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