[b-hebrew] Jacob ben Hayyim - Masoretic Text

Schmuel schmuel at nyc.rr.com
Wed Jul 27 22:02:58 EDT 2005

Hi Folks,

Subject was: Re: [b-hebrew]  Jacob ben Hayyim -was YHWH Pronunciation

Steven Miller,
> biographical info on Jacob  ben Hayyim? .. 
>"In 1524, Jacob ben Hayyim published a printed text of the Hebrew Old Testament, using a multitude of high quality manuscripts, including several lists of Masoretic notes. This became a standard for printed Jewish Bibles.

I believe this is 100% accurate, until the 20th century and the modern textcrit movement, ie. until  Gerhard Kittel's third edition.  Checking Kittel in the biography is also an interesting research endeavor, especially for those so worried about the spiritual purity of their Bible text laborers.

> Only in the last two hundred years has it been so accepted in the Christian world. "

This doesn't make sense, since it was used for the King James Bible.  Likely the Geneva also, although that should be checked.  And there really weren't other Christian Bibles of note till about
1880.  The movement away from the Ben Hayim text wouldn't catch on till after Kittel's
third edition in 1937, so I will conjecture that even the early Revised Version, American Standard Version, and such were using the Ben Hayim text, probably through the David Ginsburg edition.  Some how this fellow seems to have his information essentially in reverse.  

One guess is that he is thinking that-the Greek OT was in use, as in the Orthodox churches, or the Vulgate translation, as in the Catholics, but that would be a pretty elementary error. 

>Is this true? Was the ben Hayyim text the standard for printed Jewish Bibles. And was the ben Hayyim text not widely accepted in the Christian world until ~1800? What is the relation between KJV and ben Hayyim?

My understandings.

Yes, used for Jewish Bibles.
Wrong, also accepted in the Chrsitian world.

KJB used the ben Hayim text directly as its primary underlying text, augmented more with things like Kimchi's grammar than anything else.  It would be difficult to find any verses using the Vulgate or Greek OT over the Hebrew, although you might find the information in them used in helping determine some problematic Hebrew words (e.g. re'em --> unicorn). 

Steven Avery

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