[b-hebrew] Tiberian Hebrew

joel at exc.com joel at exc.com
Sun Aug 19 13:46:14 EDT 2007

>> Tiberian Hebrew is a convenient standard for Biblical Hebrew.
>It is also the most authentic and complete reproduction.  Tiberian

In religious circles it is certainly the most authentic reproduction,
but let us not confuse authenticity with accuracy.  We know that some
of the features of Tiberian Hebrew do not reflect Biblical Hebrew at
all.  We know that the Tiberian Masoretes invtented some of what they
recorded.  And we simply have no solid evidence to (dis)confirm much
of the rest of their work. 

(Regarding authenticity and accuracy, the DSS, LXX, and common sense
show us that parts of the MT probably reflect scribal errors.  In
those cases, the MT remains the most authentic, but not the most
accurate.  One well-known example comes from Deuteronomy 31:1, where
the MT reads "Moses went and spoke" while the DSS and LXX give the
much more reasonable "Moses finished speaking."  The relevent texts
are available in a recent handout I prepared on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
You can find a link from:




Joel M. Hoffman, PhD

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