[b-hebrew] Is the Massoretic text reliable?

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Nov 24 15:40:00 EST 2009


Thanks for the link to the OHB site. However, upon reading the method used
for the editor of Proverbs, I wonder how much of the text is truly critical
based on extant texts, and how much on conjecture?

When I think of an obvious error, I think of examples like Psalm 22 where
the Nahal Heber scrap has one word in one verse ending in a waw where the MT
has a yod, and in the next verse a word ending in a yod where the MT has a
waw. I had already anticipated that those were errors in the MT because of
context and grammatical rules, but I would not change it without an actual
text to back me up.

But when I read Michael V. Fox’s description on how he is editing Proverbs,
he is making changes for which he has no Hebrew texts to substantiate those
changes. For example, he makes the claim in Proverbs 5:22a that את הרשע is a
gloss based on a mistranslation on his part and in spite of that it fits the
cadence of the verse, so he removes it with no textual support to back
himself up. Another example is his treatment of Proverbs 21:20 where he
makes a change based on his presuppositions with no Hebrew text to back
himself up. With such changes, how can I trust that text?

I want a critical text that fixes obvious errors like Psalm 22 above, but a
good critical text needs to have Hebrew examples to back up any corrections,
not be based on presuppositions.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 12:07 AM, Petr Tomasek <tomasek at etf.cuni.cz> wrote:

> >
> > I wish there were a critical edition that corrects some of the obvious
> > errors of the MT instead of mechanically following the MT exactly.
> > Corrections recognized by DSS and other MSS findings, backed up by
> > translations found in LXX, NT, Vulgate and others.
> There are such attempts, see http://ohb.berkeley.edu/
> However I would argue that it is hard to tell what an "obvious error"
> is. Many times they prove to be not the case...
> P.T.
> --
> Petr Tomasek <http://www.etf.cuni.cz/~tomasek>
> Jabber: butrus at jabbim.cz
> SIP: butrus at ekiga.net

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