[b-hebrew] Isaiah 55:5

Albert & Julia Haig albert_and_julia at yahoo.com.au
Wed Apr 5 21:11:27 EDT 2006

> [PK] Yes, the text is fully marked with accents, as in most printed Hebrew 
Bibles. But there is very little explanation of the accents. And that 
was what Herman seemed to be promising to Steve when he wrote:

OK, my misunderstanding! For most practical purposes, it is important to know the major accents that affect the pointing, but the more subtle accents you can just ignore, unless you want to be able to recite it all perfectly accurately. Maybe others will disagree, but in any case my pronounciation is no doubt shocking anyway, so I don't see the point in trying to get the finer points of recitation sorted out. I just don't see it as having a sufficiently high reward for effort ratio. I'd rather spend my time learning another ancient language.

> Why do you consider BHS rather than any other good edition essential? 
Is it the apparatus, full of conjectural emendations? Is it the Masora? Is it the small textual differences from editions based on the Rabbinic Bible? In what other ways is BHS different from other editions?

I was assuming the choice was between BHS and a basic edition without all the textual footnotes, such as the one which I was given by the Bible Society when I first started studying Hebrew at Theological College. Once I got beyond my first year of Hebrew and started doing serious exegesis, that edition became fairly useless and I had to buy BHS. But as for BHS versus another good edition which provides sufficient information on textual variants, I don't have any strong preference. The important thing is not the speculations in the footnotes - which sometimes are frankly far-fetched, although sometimes are helpful - the main thing, which is very important, is being able to know what manuscripts support what readings. BHS is not perfect in this regard, especially as regards the more recent information rom the Dead Sea Scrolls. I really, truly wish that we had an edition of the Hebrew Old Testament that came somewhere close to what the UBS Greek NT does with its footnotes.
 Maybe one day ...

All the best,

Albert Haig.

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