[b-hebrew] Jacob ben Hayyim - Masoretic Text

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Thu Jul 28 10:51:21 EDT 2005


On 28/07/2005 14:33, Schmuel wrote:

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>Schmuel
>Gordon Laird has a wonderful site.  His discussion of Psalm 110, and the David Kimchi (Radaq) view is very interesting. I trust his scholarship as much as just about anybody, although of course his specialty is not necessarily NT editions. 
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Well, he certainly has some interesting things to say.

>Peter Kirk
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>>By the way, I also found a link (untested) to a free downloadable Ben Hayyim Bible at http://www.christianhospitality.org/benchayyim.htm. But this is apparently incomplete. This page confuses the issue by calling this Second Rabbinic Bible the Bomberg Bible - although Bomberg was perhaps the printed of both.
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>Schmuel
>There are multiple corn-fusions on that site in regard to the Ben Hayim Masoretic Text, I emailed the site author and basically decided that he does not seem to grasp the issues and definitions. If you like I will go into this more.
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>The site recommended earlier (I think by you Peter :-)
>http://www.bibles.org.uk/ looks far more reliable.
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This is I think basically a facsimile, which is not so useful e.g. for 
searching. The other site sounds a promising approach, but a lot of 
work, and obviously hasn't been implemented well. But then it is not a 
lot of work if there really are only eight differences between the texts.

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>...  You can get a statistic for just about anything, the insight is in the details. 
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True enough!

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>>But did Tyndale use Ben Hayyim's text? It would have been very newly published when Tyndale started work on translating the Hebrew in the late 1520's. I can't find any clear statement of which text Tyndale used, but at http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3271 it is suggested that at least one of his sources was Ximenez' 1517 Complutensian Polyglot.
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>Right.  And I don't think he personally finished the Tanach, and his sources may have been mixed.  
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Indeed. Basically Tyndale got as far as 2 Chronicles, in the English 
order of books I suppose, plus Jonah. John Rogers and/or Miles Coverdale 
finished off the translation - sources are mixed.

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>>Tyndale also worked with Luther and from his translation. Now Luther cannot have used the Ben Hayyim text because he was working before Ben Hayyim (his Pentateuch was published in 1523); in fact it seems he used Gerson's 1494 Brescia edition (see The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1908-1912) as quoted at http://www.bible-researcher.com/hebrewtext1.html).
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>That's quite interesting :-)  What do we know of the Gerson edition ?  Is it a similar Masoretic Text work as Ben Hayim ?  Perhaps a precursor to the 2nd Rabbinic Bible?  I wonder if Max Gerson, famous cancer doctor, is a descendent. 
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I don't know anything more, sorry.

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>>But does this actually make any difference? According to one site I found, there are a total of just EIGHT differences between the Ben Hayyim and Ben Asher (Aleppo/Leningrad) texts, none of which affect the meaning. (I accept that this count of eight does not include the different pointings of YHWH.) So, are the differences really enough to make a fuss about?
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>That is the big issue.  I will fly it by some folks. I have seen claims that the difference is much greater. Perhaps there are some notes in Kittel's 3rd edition.
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My guess would be that the eight differences are in the consonantal 
text, and there may be more vocalisation differences. Or they are the 
eight which affect the meaning enough for NKJV to note them.

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>>>KJB used the ben Hayim text directly as its primary underlying text, augmented more with things like Kimchi's grammar than anything else. ...
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>>It seems that the KJV translators in fact followed Tyndale and Rogers as much as any Hebrew text. 
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>Well I don't think that is fair :-)   They were updating what they viewed as the best English Bibles available, but they had about a dozen semitic-language scholars, and went over every single verse in committee.  The 83% figure can mean just about anything, and might not apply to the Tanach.  It is easy enough to compare Tyndale and KJB to see differences, if we want to get more involved.
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OK. Well, the process of revising an existing translation is a complex 
one, and may even allow for complete change from one textual basis to 
another.


-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/



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