[b-hebrew] tiqqune sopherim

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed May 4 19:31:55 EDT 2005

On 04/05/2005 20:31, Schmuel wrote:

>Peter Kirk,
>>After writing most of the above, I read Schmuel's contribution which seems to confirm that the tradition of a correction here is unreliable. Schmuel suggests that the corrections may have dated back to the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. Well, I accept that the entire Hebrew Bible may have been subject to extensive redaction in that time (except perhaps for those parts which were only written at about that time) (snip)
>   Another reader privately asked me what were my views.  I just want to be clear that I was not suggesting earlier corrections.  My faith view is very simple, the Masoretic Text is a Received Text, and represents the scriptures, the Dvar Elohim.. ...

Just to clarify, I am close to agreeing with you. To me, the canonical 
form of the Hebrew scriptures, the Dvar Elohim, is in principle what 
emerged at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, at the time when authoritative 
prophecy ceased (at least until the New Testament period, but that's 
another matter). But in practice I understand that form as being very 
close to the Masoretic text, because it was carefully preserved right 
through the intervening period (as shown by the DSS Isaiah scroll). At 
least, the MT is the closest that we can get to that text, although I 
accept that in a few places we can get closer, mostly where there is 
agreement between LXX and other ancient versions against MT.

>... The Tiqqune Sopherim represents an important challenge to that view, making it a very significant question to anyone concerned with questions of inspiration and preservation of the scripture text.  

To me, if one of the Tiqqune Sopherim is a genuine change (and can be 
shown to be so), the authoritative canonical form of the text would I 
think be the original before this change. But I suspect you would differ 
from me on this one. On the other hand, I tend to agree that the Tiqqune 
Sopherim are unlikely to be genuine changes, at least in the absence of 
support from LXX or other ancient versions or MSS.

>   Overall,  accessible scholarship is very spotty, and even confusing at times, with the alternative paradigms not clearly laid out..  The Bullinger view gets the public limelight, and then gets picked up by a lot of non-scholars and plastered over the web :-)

This is what happens when modern scholars and authors (and their 
publishers) protect their copyright: their views may become well 
accepted in narrow scholarly circles, but they don't get on the Internet 
and so don't get the wide publicity. So, scholars, I challenge you to 
publish your work on the Internet, in places where it can be read by all 
free of charge.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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