[b-hebrew] Is the Massoretic text reliable?

Petr Tomasek tomasek at etf.cuni.cz
Thu Nov 19 17:42:59 EST 2009


On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 07:23:42AM -0800, K Randolph wrote:
> James:
> 
> I would like to see the details before making a decision. The first one
> sounds plausible. Is there any evidence from other MSS to back it up?
> Anything from the DSS?
> 
> As for the anthropomorphisms of God, I don’t know of anyone who considered
> them to be a description of physical attributes. Therefore they didn’t cause
> a problem.

You are very wrong! The anthropomorphisms posed a big problem for the translators
of the Septuagint and to yet larger extent to the translators of the Targum
Onkelos where such a biblical passages are transleted consistently in a way
to avoid them (e.g. replacing "God" with "God's glory", "God's presence", 
"God's word", etc.).

> Karl W. Randolph.
> 
> On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 2:07 AM, James Christian
> <jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com>wrote:
> 
> > 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.
> >>
> >
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-- 
Petr Tomasek <http://www.etf.cuni.cz/~tomasek>
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