[b-hebrew] Is the Massoretic text reliable?

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Thu Nov 19 05:07:09 EST 2009


In such cases of this type I would be suspicious of the change. The basis of
the change is that it conflicts with their theology and should probably be
better viewed as a corruption rather than a correction. If some were to get
their way they would alter verses referring to God's 'hands', 'feet' etc as
it conflicts with their idea of God. Obviously, God doesn't have physical
hands and feet as we think of them and it is unlikely that the original
authors believed he did but yet didn't have a theological problem with
referring to them.

James Christian

2009/11/17 K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>

> Thanks, Petr:
>
> It is my understanding that these are textual witnesses.
>
> I did see a discussion of the first one, Genesis 18:22, where the change
> was
> noted and why: the original had the Lord standing before Abraham. But the
> Masoretes concluded that the inferior stands before the superior, that it’s
> not merely a spacial statement, therefore they changed the verse to say
> that
> Abraham stood before the Lord. But I don’t have any information about the
> other passages.
>
> Karl W. Randolph.
>
> On Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 7:54 AM, Petr Tomasek <tomasek at etf.cuni.cz> wrote:
>
> > On Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 05:23:39PM -0800, K Randolph wrote:
> > > Petr:
> > >
> > > On Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 1:57 PM, Petr Tomasek <tomasek at etf.cuni.cz>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 10:14:30AM -0800, K Randolph wrote:
> > > > >. I also have a list of 17
> > > > > verses where the Masoretes admit to changing the verses, …
> > > >
> > > > which list exactly do you mean?
> > > >
> > > >
> > > Gen 18:22
> > …
> >
> > OK, so you mean the "Tiqqunei sopherim" which are mentioned not only by
> > massoretes,
> > but in the rabbinic litterature as well (there do exist several versions
> > with
> > different number of biblical passages).
> >
> > They are mentioned in (according to E. Tov):
> >  1) Sifre 84 (Num 10:35) - 8 passages
> >  2) Mekhilta d' r. Jishmael 6 (Ex 15:7) - 11 passages
> >  3) Tanhuma Beshallakh 16 (Ex 15:7) - 18 passages
> >  4) Okhla we-Okhla nr. 168 - 18 passages
> >
> > It is however questionable if those lists are real "textual witnesses" or
> > whether
> > they are rather of midrashic nature...
> >
> >
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