[b-hebrew] Was the MT for public consumption?

George Athas George.Athas at moore.edu.au
Wed Dec 22 20:31:50 EST 2010

The question is: Was the Masoretic Text (MT), specifically the Leningrad Codex, produced for public consumption?

Answer: It was produced (1) in order to preserve the text received; and (2) for Jewish liturgical purposes.

Within the scope of those two points, I don't think there was a consideration about whether it was produced for public consumption. Insofar as 'for Jewish liturgical purposes' coincided with public consumption, then yes. But I don't think the Ben Asher family of Tiberias thought of themselves as a public publishing house. I think if you asked them, they would have said they were performing a religious duty motivated by piety, not a publishing or marketing campaign.

Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)

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