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

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Thu Dec 23 09:19:30 EST 2010

Hello George;

You could be correct. I was not present at that time.

But .... when manufacture of a single book the size of the bible consumes
years of one scribe's full time effort, .... it seems improbable that the
masoretic text resulted for any, but a relatively few teachers; and surely
not the general population of millions of consumers.



fred burlingame
On Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 10:09 PM, George Athas <George.Athas at moore.edu.au>wrote:

> Fred,
> The intent to preserve 'orthodoxy' is within the scope of the religious and
> pietistic purpose of the Masoretes. However, your three points (a, b, c) do
> not necessarily lead to the conclusion you reach, namely that the MT was
> produced 'for exclusive consumption by teachers and rabbis'. There is no
> reason why it could not have a wider scope in mind. In fact, given the
> intent of preserving orthodoxy for a particular community, it seems logical
> to conclude that they would have liked a wider audience. While not all of
> the community would have been able to read it, this does not preclude them
> from being 'consumers' of the MT. Your conclusion appears to be narrower
> than your three points require.
> Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)
> www.moore.edu.au
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