[b-hebrew] Range of OT TC Methodologies?

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Tue Jul 12 13:46:52 EDT 2011

Dear Philip,

Sorry for the late reply. Due to other research projects, e.g. the use of EGW
EIMI of John 8:58 as to the OT references (MT and LXX), I may be able to give
you some hints.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

1. The following quote is from the Introduction, p. xxiv, New Testament Use of
the Old Testament, G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, editors. Grand Rapids: Baker
Academics, 2007.

    "The editors have encouraged each contributor to keep in mind six separate
questions where the NT cites or clearly alludes to the OT (though they have not
insisted on this organization)."

    "3.    How is the OT quotation or source handled in the literature of Second
Temple Judaism or (more broadly yet) of early Judaism? The reasons for asking
this question and the possible answers that might be advanced are many. It is
not that either Jewish or Christian authorities judge, say, Jubilees or 4 Ezra
to be as authoritative as Genesis or Isaiah. But attentiveness to these and many
other important Jewish sources may provide several different kinds of help.
(1) They may show us how the OT texts were understood by sources roughly
contemporaneous with the NT. In a few cases, a trajectory of understanding can
be traced out, whether the NT documents belong to that trajectory or not. (2)
The sometimes show that Jewish authorities were themselves divided as to how
certain OT passages should be interpreted. Sometimes the difference is
determined in part by literary genre: Wisdom literature does not handles some
themes the way apocalyptic sources do, for instance. Wherever it is possible to
trace out the reasoning, that reasoning reveals important insights into how the
Scriptures were being read.
(3) In some instances, the readings of early Judaism provide a foil for early
Christian readings. The differences then demand hermeneutical and exegetical
explanations; for instance, if two groups understand the same texts in decidedly
different ways, what account for the differences in interpretation? Exegetical
technique? Hermeneutical assumptions? Literary genres? Different opponents?
Differing pastoral responsibilities? (4) Even when there is no direct literary
dependence, sometimes the language of early Judaism provides close parallels to
the language of the NT writers simply because of the chronological and cultural
proximity. (5) In a handful of cases, NT writers apparently display direct
dependence on sources belonging to early Judaism and their handling of the OT
(e.g. Jude). What is to be inferred from such dependence?"

    "4.    What textual factors must be borne in mind as one seeks to understand
a particular use of the OT? Is the NT citing the MT or the LXX or a Targum? Or
is there mixed citation, or perhaps dependence on memory or on some form of text
that has not come down to us? Is there significance in tiny changes? Are there
textual variants with the Hebrew tradition, within the tradition of the Greek
OT, or within the Greek NT textual tradition? Do such variants have any direct
bearing on our understanding of how the NT is citing or alluding to the OT?"

2.    John R. Kohnlenberger III, The NIV Polyglot Old Testament, Grand Rapids:
The Zondervan Corporation, 1981. The Introduction, pp. v-xvii, and The Annotated
Bibliography, pp. xviii-xxi, are invaluable as to the Textual Transmission of
the Hebrew text and the LXX. The bibliography would be invaluable for you to
check out especially on sources of Textual Criticism.

3.    Albert Pietersma, E-mail Address(es):  albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca.
Department Head of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Faculty of Arts and
Science at the University of Toronto, http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~pietersm/.
He is a joint editor (Ben Wright is the other editor)for the NETS (A New English
Translation of the Septuagint), http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/. This website is
excellent. I highly recommend that you check it out.

4.    Ken Penner, E-mail Address(es):  ken.penner at acadiau.ca. Professor at
Acadia University, Ken is responsible for OCP: Online Critical Pseudepigrapha, h
ttp://www.purl.org/net/ocp. Ken also responded to a question found on
that is very helpful. Also the following website
http://www.mystfx.ca/academic/religious-studies/ocp/ has Ken along with David
Miller and Ian Scott as joint editors. True, some of this will relate to the NT,
but you should be able to mine some sources, e.g. online, from this:

"I'll take your question in two directions:
First, how would I rank the importance for NT background?

1. Josephus
2. Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
2. Old Testament Apocrypha
2. Dead Sea Scrolls
5. Mishnah
6. Philo

Where should coding humanists be concentrating their efforts? I'll evaluate
by availability in the following criteria: print translation, print original
language, electronic translation, electronic original language, morphology,
textual apparatus.

Josephus is freely available in electronic translation, electronic Greek
(perseus), morphology (perseus), cheaply available in print translation,
reasonably priced in print original language (Loeb) and expensive with
thorough textual apparatus (Niese).

The OTP is freely available in electronic translation (Charles), reasonably
priced in print translation (Charles, Charlesworth), electronic
morphologically tagged Greek (Accordance). Non-Greek original texts are
expensive and most are not available electronically. The textual apparati
and electronic texts are coming available via the OCP.

The OTA is freely available in electronic translation (Brenton), electronic
Greek (LXX) & Latin (Vulgate), morphology (LXX only), and reasonably priced
in print original language (UBS) and textual apparatus.

The DSS are freely available in Aramaic (CAL), cheap in print translation
(Vermes, Garcia-Martinez), reasonably priced in print original language
(DSSSE), electronic translation and morphologically tagged electronic
original (Accordance, Logos), and costly for textual notes (questionable
readings noted: Brill-BYU; commented: DJD). This is changing, via the

The Mishnah is free in Hebrew (mechon-mamre), reasonably priced in print
translation (Danby) and morphologically tagged electronic Hebrew
(Accordance), electronic translation (Accordance, Logos), and expensive in
print Hebrew and textual apparatus.

Philo is free in electronic translation, cheap in print translation (Yonge),
reasonably priced in original language (Loeb), expensive in electronic Greek
(TLG) and textual apparatus (Cohn-Wendland), and not available at all tagged
for morphology (to my knowledge).

It is the unavailable and expensive areas we need to address first:
electronic translation of the Mishnah; electronic original language texts of
non-Greek OTP and Philo; morphological tagging of Philo; textual apparati
for OTP, DSS, Mishnah, and Philo.

Of these, priority should be given to the more significant texts, as ranked
1. OTP in original languages with textual apparatus (Online Critical
Pseudepigrapha should supplement Accordance by adding non-Greek texts,
morphology, and apparati).
2. DSS with textual notes (openscrolls.org should supplement the
Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon by adding non-Aramaic texts with uncertain
readings marked).
3. The Mishnah with textual apparatus.
4. Philo in Greek, morphologically tagged, with textual apparatus.

The OTP and Philo need the most work."

5.    TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism,
http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/TC.html#page=home. This journal is edited by Jan
Krans (General Editor), Tommy Wasserman (Asst. Editor). TC: A Journal of
Biblical Textual Criticism (ISSN 1089-7747) is a peer-reviewed electronic
journal dedicated to the study of the Jewish and Christian biblical texts. TC is
an online publication of the SBL and is listed in the Directory of Open Access
Journals. Users are permitted to download, copy, distribute, print, search, or
link to the full texts of all TC articles. Articles may not be reproduced
without permission.

TC publishes full-length scholarly articles, shorter notes, project reports, and
reviews of works in the field of biblical textual criticism. Articles on any
aspect of the textual criticism of the Jewish and Christian scriptures
(including extracanonical and related literature) are welcome, and contributions
that transcend the traditional boundary between Hebrew Bible and New Testament
textual criticism are especially encouraged. We also invite articles discussing
the relationship between textual criticism and other disciplines.

TC uses a Permanent URL so that readers will always be able to find it
regardless of which server is the current host. Please use the following PURL
when linking to TC and its contents:


6.    Westminster Leningrad Codex, http://www.tanach.us/Tanach.xml#Home

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Philip" <philipengmann at yahoo.com>
To: "Biblical Hebrew list" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 10, 2011 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Range of OT TC Methodologies?

> Dear Listees,
> I don't seem to have received any responses at all to my query below?
> ________________________________
> From: Philip <philipengmann at yahoo.com>
> To: Biblical Hebrew list <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Fri, July 1, 2011 1:06:36 AM
> Subject: Range of OT TC Methodologies?
> Dear Listees,
> I am trying to do a PhD Thesis in OT (Old Testament) TC (Textual Criticism),
> specifically on the differences between selected texts of the LXX & MT.
> Ideally, I would like to have a range of methodologies, select one, and then
> justify the selection of the methodology I have chosen.
> Unfortunately, it appears to me that there are not many types of OT TC, since
> the basic concept is to collate the LXX/MT differences and then to evaluate
> using the 'canons' of OT TC as a guideline and the theory of Paul de Lagarde
> a part of the theoretical framework.
> I really would value your thoughts on the matter please.
> Many thanks,
> Philip Engmann,
> PhD cand.
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3:19 PM

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