[b-hebrew] Ginsburg emendations of YHWH

David Roth daroth at jtsa.edu
Sun Aug 28 23:35:30 EDT 2005


Responding to my post: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2005-August/025598.html

James Read writes in: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2005-August/025647.html:

> Do you mean to say that the verses I cited are not among the 134 emmendations that 
> Ginsburg was referring to? If so which are the real 134 emmendations and more 
> specifically which ones are in the torah?

There is no such list of 134 emendations, and therefore, the verses you cited cannot be said to be on such a list.

Ginsburg does not refer to 134 emendations.  As I quoted (emphasis added this time):
> In Volume 4, however, Ginsburg writes:
> "We have seen that in *many* of the one hundred and thirty-four instances in
> which the present received text reads Adonai in accordance with this
> Massorah, *some* of the best MSS. and early editions read the Tetragrammaton
> ..."

Note the words "many" and "some."

The actual massoretic list which is brought in Volume 1 contains 134 verses where "Adonay" rather than "Adonay" + Tetragrammaton (which appears 304 times according to Ginsburg in this note - my cursory computer search gave a slightly different number).  As a *side point*, towards then end of his commentary on this list, Ginsburg makes the comment I quote in this message about manuscripts which have the tetragrammaton instead of "Adonay."  The Massoretic list under discussion is not related to, and makes no claim about any emendations.

I then pointed out that:
> Ginsburg (Volume 4) gives no indication whatsoever that he refers
> specifically to the passages from the Torah which James Read cited (as
> opposed to the majority of the list, which is from the rest of Tanakh).  In
> entry #113 Ginsburg cites seven examples from Psalms, and in note #1 to
> entry #115, he cites Isaiah, Malakhi, and Eikhah (Lamentations).

By Torah, I refer to the Five Books of Moses.  None of the examples that I could find in Ginsburg (which are listed in the quotation above) were from the Torah, but rather from the rest of Tanakh.  I believe that these are the "many" verses which Ginsburg intended (and to argue that there are others, one must prove it).

I would not be terribly surprised if there were some manuscripts which did have the tetragrammaton instead of "Adonay" in the Torah, but no evidence of such has been presented from Ginsburg or elsewhere.

If anyone would care to look at the pages in Ginsburg, they are available at:

[Please note that this electronic version seems to be divided in six, rather than four.  The files are large, so you may want to download all the files at once. Naturally, volumes 2-5 are also available on this site.]

http://www.seforimonline.org/seforim/the_massorah_1.pdf (what I refer to as vol 1, p. 28-30 of the pdf file)
http://www.seforimonline.org/seforim/the_massorah_6.pdf (what I refer to as vol 4, p. 31-32 of the pdf file)

If you're interested in Ginsburg's side point about manuscripts with the tetragrammaton, I can only suggest that you seek out some manuscripts.  If you start with the paragraphs and notes from Ginsburg that I reference, you'll know where to begin.

Best Regards,
David Roth

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