Masoretic Text
   HOME

TheInfoList



The Masoretic Text (MT or 饾暩; he, 谞讜住讞 讛诪住讜专讛, Nusakh Ham'mas'sora) is the authoritative
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
and
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, 軤塬堍軔 埽軜塥軡軡軔 / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramai ...
text of the 24 books of the
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, ...

Tanakh
in
Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, 讬讛讚讜转 专讘谞讬转, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century Common era, CE, after the codification of th ...
. The Masoretic Text defines the Jewish canon and its precise letter-text, with its vocalization and accentuation known as the ''mas'sora''. Referring to the Masoretic Text, ''mesorah'' specifically means the diacritic markings of the text of the Hebrew
scripture Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of ...
s and the concise marginal notes in manuscripts (and later printings) of the Tanakh which note textual details, usually about the precise spelling of words. It was primarily copied, edited and distributed by a group of
Jews Jews ( he, 讬职讛讜旨讚执讬诐 ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), suc ...

Jews
known as the
Masoretes The Masoretes ( he, 讘注诇讬 讛诪住讜专讛, Ba'alei ha-Masora) were groups of Jewish Jews ( he, 讬职讛讜旨讚执讬诐 ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites I ...
between the 7th and 10th centuries of the
Common Era Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar (and its predecessor, the Julian calendar The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in , was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on , by edict. I ...
(CE). The oldest-known complete copy, the
Leningrad Codex The Leningrad Codex ( la, Codex Leningradensis, the "codex The codex (plural codices ()) was the historical ancestor of the modern book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution o ...
, dates from the early 11th century CE. The differences attested to in the
Dead Sea Scrolls The Dead Sea Scrolls (also the Qumran Caves Scrolls) are and religious first found in 1947 at the in what was then , near in the , on the northern shore of the . Dating back to between the and the , the Dead Sea Scrolls are considered ...

Dead Sea Scrolls
indicate that multiple versions of the Hebrew Bible already existed by the end of the
Second Temple period The Second Temple period in Jewish history Jewish history is the history of the Jews, and their nation, Judaism, religion and Jewish culture, culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Although Judaism as ...
. Which is closest to a theoretical
Urtext Urtext (, from ''ur-'' "primordial" and ''text'' "text", ) may refer to: * Urtext (biblical studies), the text that is believed to precede both the Septuagint and the Masoretic text * Urtext edition, in classical music, the version of the music as ...
is disputed, if such a singular text ever existed at all. The Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to as early as the 3rd century BCE, contained versions of the text that are radically different from today's Hebrew Bible. Manuscript fragments of an ancient manuscript of the
Book of Leviticus The Book of Leviticus () is the third book of the Torah Torah (; he, 转旨讜止专指讛, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") has a range of meanings. It can most specifically mean the first five books (Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses) of ...
found near an ancient synagogue's
Torah ark Torah ark (or Aron Kodesh) refers to an ornamental chamber in the synagogue A synagogue (; from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world ...

Torah ark
in
Ein Gedi Ein Gedi ( he, 注值讬谉 讙侄旨讚执讬), literally "spring of the kid (young goat)" is an oasis and a nature reserve A nature reserve (also known as a natural reserve, wildlife refuge, wildlife sanctuary, biosphere reserve or bioreserve, nat ...

Ein Gedi
have been found that have identical wording to the final Masoretic Text. The
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals, LXX), is the earliest extant Koine Greek translation of books from the Hebrew Bible and deuterocanonical books. The ...
(a Ptolemaic Greek translation made in the 2nd - 3rd century BCE) and the
Peshitta The Peshitta ( syc, 堞塬芎軡軟墁艹軔 ''or'' ') is the standard version of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hel ...

Peshitta
(a
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...

Syriac
translation made in the 2nd century CE) occasionally present notable differences from the Masoretic Text, as does the
Samaritan Pentateuch The Samaritan Pentateuch, also known as the Samaritan Torah ( he, 转讜专讛 砖讜诪专讜谞讬转 ''torah shomronit''), is a text of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, written in the Samaritan script and used as Religious text, sacred scriptur ...
, a version of the
Torah The Torah (; he, 转旨讜止专指讛, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are a ...

Torah
preserved by the
Samaritans Samaritans (; ; he, 砖讜诪专讜谞讬诐, translit=Shomronim; ar, 丕賱爻丕賲乇賷賵賳, translit=as-S膩miriyy奴n) or Samaritan people are members of an originating from the of historical . They are native to the and adhere to , an , and in t ...

Samaritans
in
Samaritan Hebrew Samaritan Hebrew () is a reading tradition used liturgically by the Samaritans The Samaritans (; Samaritan Hebrew: , ' (, 'Guardians/Keepers/Watchers (of the Torah)'); he, 砖讜诪专讜谞讬诐, ''Shomronim''; ar, 丕賱爻丕賲乇賷賵賳, ''al-S膩mir ...
. The Masoretic Text is used as the basis for most Protestant translations of the
Old Testament The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the , which is based primarily upon the 24 books of the or Tanakh, a collection of ancient religious Hebrew writings by the . The second division of Christian Bibles is the , w ...
such as the
King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translation English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and langu ...

King James Version
,
English Standard Version The English Standard Version (ESV) is an English translation of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek 蟿峤 尾喂尾位委伪, ''t脿 bibl铆a'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Sama ...
, New American Standard Version, and
New International Version The New International Version (NIV) is an Bible translations into English, English translation of the Bible first published in 1978 by Biblica (formerly the International Bible Society). The ''NIV'' was published to meet the need for a modern t ...
. After 1943, it is also used for some versions of
Catholic Bible A Catholic Bible is a Christian Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koin茅 lang ...
s, such as the
New American Bible The New American Bible (NAB) is an English translation of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek 蟿峤 尾喂尾位委伪, ''t脿 bibl铆a'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Samaritans, R ...
and the
New Jerusalem Bible New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Boyz or The Boyz may refer to: Music Bands *The Boyz (German band), a German boy band of t ...
. Some Christian denominations instead prefer translations of the Septuagint as it matches quotations in the
New Testament The New Testament grc, 峒 螝伪喂谓峤 螖喂伪胃萎魏畏, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as w ...

New Testament
, especially by
Paul the Apostle Paul; el, 螤伪峥ξ晃肯, translit=Paulos; cop, 獠♀瞾獠┾矖獠熲播; he, 驻讗讜诇讜住 讛砖诇讬讞, name=, group= (born Saul of Tarsus;; ar, 亘賵賱爻 丕賱胤乇爻賵爻賷; el, 危伪峥ξ晃肯 韦伪蟻蟽蔚蠉蟼, Sa农los Tarse煤s; tr, Tarsuslu Pavlus AD ...
.


Origin and transmission

The oldest manuscript fragments of final Masoretic Text, including vocalications and the masorah, date from around the 9th century. The oldest-known complete copy, the
Leningrad Codex The Leningrad Codex ( la, Codex Leningradensis, the "codex The codex (plural codices ()) was the historical ancestor of the modern book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution o ...
, dates from the early 11th century. The ''
Aleppo Codex The Aleppo Codex ( he, 讻侄旨转侄专 讗植专指诐 爪讜止讘指讗, romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as we ...
'', once the oldest-known complete copy but missing large sections since the 1947 Civil war in Palestine, dates from the 10th century. However codification of the base consonants appears to have begun earlier, perhaps even in the
Second Temple period The Second Temple period in Jewish history Jewish history is the history of the Jews, and their nation, Judaism, religion and Jewish culture, culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Although Judaism as ...
. The
Talmud The Talmud (; he, 转址旨诇职诪讜旨讚 ''T谩lm奴岣'') is the central text of and the primary source of Jewish religious law (') and . Until the advent of , in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of and was foundation ...

Talmud
and Karaite manuscripts state that a standard copy of the Hebrew Bible was kept in the court of the
Temple in Jerusalem Two ancient Israelite The Israelites (; he, 讘谞讬 讬砖专讗诇 ''Bnei Yisra'el'') were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the ...
for the benefit of copyists; there were paid correctors of Biblical books among the officers of the Temple (Talmud, tractate Ketubot 106a). This copy is mentioned in the
Letter of Aristeas The Letter of Aristeas to Philocrates is a Hellenistic work of the 3rd or early 2nd century BC, assigned by some Biblical scholars to the Pseudepigrapha.Stephen L Harris, Harris, Stephen L., ''Understanding the Bible''. (Palo Alto: Mayfield) 1985 ...
(搂 30; comp. Blau, ''Studien zum Althebr. Buchwesen'', p. 100), in the statements of
Philo Philo of Alexandria (; grc, 桅委位蠅谓, Ph铆l艒n; he, , Yedidia (Jedediah) HaCohen; ), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from ...

Philo
(preamble to his "Analysis of the Political Constitution of the Jews"), and in
Josephus Titus Flavius Josephus (; ; 37 鈥 100), born Yosef ben Matityahu ( he, 讬讜住祝 讘谉 诪转转讬讛讜 ''Y艒sef ben Mati峁痽膩hu''; grc-gre, 峒赶幭兾废慰蟼 螠伪蟿胃委慰蠀 蟺伪峥栂 ''I峁搒膿pos Matth铆ou pa卯s''), was a first-century Romano-Jewish ...

Josephus
(''Contra Ap.'' i. 8). A Talmudic story, perhaps referring to an earlier time, relates that three Torah scrolls were found in the Temple court but were at variance with each other. The differences were then resolved by majority decision among the three.


Second Temple period

The discovery of the
Dead Sea Scrolls The Dead Sea Scrolls (also the Qumran Caves Scrolls) are and religious first found in 1947 at the in what was then , near in the , on the northern shore of the . Dating back to between the and the , the Dead Sea Scrolls are considered ...

Dead Sea Scrolls
at
Qumran Qumran ( he, 拽讜诪专讗谉; ar, 禺乇亘丞 賯賲乇丕賳 ') is an archaeological site in the managed by 's Qumran National Park. It is located on a dry about from the northwestern shore of the , near the and of . The settlement was construc ...
, dating from , shows that in this period there was not the scrupulous uniformity of text that was so stressed in later centuries. According to Menachem Cohen, the Dead Sea scrolls decided these issues "by showing that there was indeed a Hebrew text-type on which the Septuagint-translation was based and which differed substantially from the received MT." The scrolls show numerous small variations in
orthography An orthography is a set of for a , including norms of , ation, , , , and . Most transnational languages in the modern period have a system of , and for most such languages a standard orthography has been developed, often based on a of the la ...
, both as against the later Masoretic Text, and between each other. It is also evident from the notings of corrections and of variant alternatives that scribes felt free to choose according to their personal taste and discretion between different readings. The text of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Peshitta read somewhat in-between the Masoretic Text and the old Greek. However, despite these variations, most of the Qumran fragments can be classified as being closer to the Masoretic Text than to any other text group that has survived. According to
Lawrence Schiffman Lawrence Harvey Schiffman (born 1948) is a professor at New York University New York University (NYU) is a private research university in New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States c ...

Lawrence Schiffman
, 60% can be classed as being of proto-Masoretic type, and a further 20% Qumran style with a basis in proto-Masoretic texts, compared to 5% proto-
Samaritan Samaritans (; ; he, 砖讜诪专讜谞讬诐, translit=Shomronim; ar, 丕賱爻丕賲乇賷賵賳, translit=as-S膩miriyy奴n) or Samaritan people are members of an originating from the of historical . They are native to the and adhere to , an , and in t ...
type, 5%
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals, LXX), is the earliest extant Koine Greek translation of books from the Hebrew Bible and deuterocanonical books. The ...
al type, and 10% non-aligned.
Joseph Fitzmyer Joseph Augustine Fitzmyer (November 4, 1920 鈥 December 24, 2016) was an American Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christi ...
noted the following regarding the findings at Qumran Cave 4 in particular: "Such ancient recensional forms of Old Testament books bear witness to an unsuspected textual diversity that once existed; these texts merit far greater study and attention than they have been accorded till now. Thus, the differences in the Septuagint are no longer considered the result of a poor or tendentious attempt to translate the Hebrew into the Greek; rather they testify to a different pre-Christian form of the Hebrew text". On the other hand, some of the fragments conforming most accurately to the Masoretic Text were found in Cave 4.


Rabbinic period

An emphasis on minute details of words and spellings, already used among the
Pharisees The Pharisees (; Hebrew: ''P蓹r奴拧墨m'') were a social movement and a school of thought in the Levant during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the Siege of Jerusalem (AD 70), destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Pharisaic belief ...
as basis for argumentation, reached its height with the example of
Rabbi Akiva Akiva ben Yosef (Mishnaic Hebrew Mishnaic Hebrew is a form of the Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded a ...
(died 135 CE). The idea of a perfect text sanctified in its consonantal base quickly spread throughout the Jewish communities via supportive statements in
Halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, 讛植诇指讻指讛, ), also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus '' trans-'' + '' liter-'') in predictable ways, such as Greek 鈫 ...
,
Aggadah Aggadah ( he, 讗址讙指旨讚指讛 or ; Jewish Babylonian Aramaic 讗址讙指旨讚职转指讗; "tales, fairytale, lore") is the non-legalistic pardes (Jewish exegesis), exegesis which appears in the classical rabbinic literature of Judaism, particularly the ...
, and Jewish thought; and with it increasingly forceful strictures that a deviation in even a single letter would make a Torah scroll invalid. Very few manuscripts are said to have survived the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. This both drastically reduced the number of variants in circulation, and gave a new urgency that the text must be preserved. Few manuscripts survive from this era, but a short Leviticus fragment recovered from the ancient
En-Gedi Scroll The En-Gedi Scroll is an ancient Hebrew parchment found in 1970 at Ein Gedi, Israel. Radiocarbon testing dates the scroll to the third or fourth century CE (210鈥390 CE), although paleographical considerations suggest that the scrolls may date b ...
, carbon-dated to the 3rd or 4th century CE, is completely identical to the consonantal Masoretic Text preserved today. New Greek translations were also made. Unlike the Septuagint, large-scale deviations in sense between the Greek of
Aquila of Sinope Aquila (Hebrew language, Hebrew: 注植拽执讬诇址住 ''鈥樏墨las'', Floruit, fl. 130 Anno Domini, AD) of Sinope (modern-day Sinop, Turkey; la, Aquila Ponticus) was a translator of the Hebrew Bible into Greek language, Greek, a proselyte, and discipl ...
and
Theodotion Theodotion (; grc-gre, 螛蔚慰未慰蟿委蠅谓, ''gen''.: 螛蔚慰未慰蟿委蠅谓慰蟼; died c. 200) was a Hellenistic Jewish scholar, perhaps working in Ephesus, who in c. 150 CE translated the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ...
and what we now know as the Masoretic Text are minimal. Relatively small variations between different Hebrew texts in use still clearly existed though, as witnessed by differences between the present-day Masoretic Text and versions mentioned in the
Gemara The Gemara (also transliterated Gemarah, or in Ashkenazi pronunciation Gemore; from Aramaic , from the Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic langua ...
, and often even
halachic ''Halakha'' (; he, 讛植诇指讻指讛, ; also transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', ''halachah'', or ''halocho''; ) is the collective body of Jewish Jews ( he, 讬职讛讜旨讚执讬诐 ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people ...
midrash ''Midrash'' (;"midrash"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''.
he, 诪执讚职专指砖讈; p ...

midrash
im based on spelling versions which do not exist in the current Masoretic Text.


The Age of the Masoretes

The current received text finally achieved predominance through the reputation of the
Masoretes The Masoretes ( he, 讘注诇讬 讛诪住讜专讛, Ba'alei ha-Masora) were groups of Jewish Jews ( he, 讬职讛讜旨讚执讬诐 ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites I ...
, schools of scribes and Torah scholars working between the 7th and 11th centuries, based primarily in the cities of
Tiberias Tiberias ( ; he, 讟职讘侄专职讬指讛, ; ar, 胤亘乇賷丕, 峁琣bariyy膩) is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee The Sea of Galilee ( he, 讬指诐 讻执旨谞侄旨专侄转, Judeo-Aramaic: 讬址诪旨讗 讚讟讘专讬讗, 讙执旨谞值旨讬住址 ...

Tiberias
,
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, 讬职专讜旨砖指讈诇址讬执诐 ; ar, 丕賱賯購丿爻, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, 峒刮迪佄肯呄兾蔽晃/峒肝迪佄肯兿屛幌呂嘉, Hierousal岣梞/Hieros贸luma; hy, 缘謤崭謧战铡詹榨沾, Erusa艂膿 ...

Jerusalem
, and in
Babylonia Babylonia () was an and based in central-southern which was part of Ancient Persia (present-day and ). A small -ruled state emerged in 1894 BCE, which contained the minor administrative town of . It was merely a small provincial town dur ...
under the
Rashidun , image = 鬲禺胤賷胤 賰賱賲丞 丕賱禺賱賮丕亍 丕賱乇丕卮丿賵賳.png , caption = Calligraphic Calligraphy (from Greek language, Greek: 魏伪位位喂纬蟻伪蠁委伪) is a Visual arts, visual art related to writing. It is the design and executi ...
,
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661鈥750 CE; , ; ar, 俦賱賿禺賽賱賻丕賮賻丞 俦賱賿兀購賲賻賵賽賷賻賾丞, al-Khil膩fah al-示Umaw墨yah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the U ...
, and
Abbasid Caliphate The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, 丕賻賱賿禺賽賱賻丕賮賻丞購 俦賱賿毓賻亘賻賾丕爻賽賷賻賾丞購, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, 禺賽賱賻丕賮賻丞, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There a ...

Abbasid Caliphate
s. According to Menachem Cohen, these schools developed such prestige for the accuracy and error-control of their copying techniques that their texts established an authority beyond all others. Differences remained, sometimes bolstered by systematic local differences in pronunciation and
cantillation Cantillation is the ritual chanting of prayers and responses. It often specifically refers to Jewish Hebrew cantillation. Cantillation sometimes refers to diacritics used in texts that are to be chanted in liturgy. Cantillation includes: * Chant ...
. Every locality, following the tradition of its school, had a standard codex embodying its readings. In Babylonia, the school of
Sura A ''surah'' (; ar, 爻賵乇丞, s奴rah) is the equivalent of "chapter" in the Quran, Qur'an. There are 114 ''surahs'' in the Quran, each divided into ''ayah, ayats'' (verses). The chapters or ''surahs'' are of unequal length; the shortest surah (' ...
differed from that of
Nehardea Nehardea or Nehardeah ( arc, 谞讛专讚注讗, ''n蓹hard蓹士膩'' "river of knowledge") was a city from the area called by ancient Jewish sources Talmudic Academies in Babylonia#Geographic area, Babylonia, situated at or near the junction of the Euphra ...
; and similar differences existed in the schools of the Land of Israel as against that at Tiberias, which in later times increasingly became the chief seat of learning. In this period living tradition ceased, and the Masoretes in preparing their codices usually followed the one school or the other, examining, however, standard codices of other schools and noting their differences.


Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali

The Masorah was, for the most part, brought to a close in the 10th century with
Aaron ben Moses ben Asher Aaron ben Moses ben Asher (Hebrew language, Hebrew: ; Tiberian Hebrew: 示Ah膬r么n ben M艒拧eh ben示膧拧膿r; 10th century, died c.960) was a Judaism, Jewish sofer, scribe who lived in Tiberias in northern Israel and refined the Tiberian vocalizati ...
and Ben Naphtali who were the leading Masoretes of the time. Ben Asher wrote a standard codex (the ''
Aleppo Codex The Aleppo Codex ( he, 讻侄旨转侄专 讗植专指诐 爪讜止讘指讗, romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as we ...
'') embodying his opinions. Ben Naphtali likely did as well, though it has not survived. However, the differences between the two are found in more or less complete Masoretic lists and in quotations in David 岣瞚m岣, Norzi, and other medieval writers. The differences between Ben Naphtali and Ben Asher number about 875, nine-tenths of which refer to the placing of the accents, while the rest relate to vowels and consonantal spelling. The differences between the two Masoretes do not represent solely personal opinions; the two rivals represent different schools. Like the Ben Ashers there seem to have been several Ben Naftalis. The Masoretic lists often do not agree on the precise nature of the differences between the two rival authorities; it is, therefore, impossible to define with exactness their differences in every case; and it is probably due to this fact that the received text does not follow uniformly the system of either Ben Asher or Ben Naphtali. Ben Asher was the last of a distinguished family of Masoretes extending back to the latter half of the 8th century. Despite the rivalry of ben Naphtali and the opposition of Saadia Gaon, the most eminent representative of the Babylonian school of criticism, ben Asher's codex became recognized as the standard text of the Bible. Notwithstanding all this, for reasons unknown neither the printed text nor any manuscript which has been preserved is based entirely on Ben Asher: they are all eclectic. Aside from Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali, the names of several other Masorites have come down; but, perhaps with the exception of one鈥擯hinehas, the head of the academy, who is supposed by modern scholars to have lived about 750鈥攏either their time, their place, nor their connection with the various schools is known. Most secular scholars conclude that Aaron ben Asher was a Karaite, though there is evidence against this view.


The Middle Ages

The two rival authorities, ben Asher and ben Naphtali, practically brought the Masorah to a close. Very few additions were made by the later Masoretes, styled in the 13th and 14th centuries Na岣砫anim, who revised the works of the copyists, added the vowels and accents (generally in fainter ink and with a finer pen) and frequently the Masorah. Considerable influence in the development and spread of Masoretic literature was exercised during the eleventh, twelfth, and 13th centuries by the Franco-German school of Tosafot, Tosafists. Rabbi Gershom ben Judah, his brother Machir ben Judah, Joseph ben Samuel Bonfils (Tob 'Elem) of Limoges, Rabbeinu Tam (Jacob ben Me茂r), Menahem ben Perez of Joigny, Perez ben Elijah of Corbeil, Marne, Judah ben Isaac Messer Leon, Me茂r Spira, and Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg made Masoretic compilations, or additions to the subject, which are all more or less frequently referred to in the marginal glosses of Biblical codices and in the works of Hebrew grammarians.


Masorah

By long tradition, a ritual Sefer Torah (Torah scroll) could contain only the Hebrew Abjad, consonantal text 鈥 nothing added, nothing taken away. The Masoretic codex, codices however, provide extensive additional material, called ''masorah'', to show correct pronunciation and
cantillation Cantillation is the ritual chanting of prayers and responses. It often specifically refers to Jewish Hebrew cantillation. Cantillation sometimes refers to diacritics used in texts that are to be chanted in liturgy. Cantillation includes: * Chant ...
, protect against scribal errors, and annotate possible variants. The manuscripts thus include niqqud, vowel points, dagesh, pronunciation marks and Hebrew cantillation, stress accents in the text, short annotations in the side margins, and longer more extensive notes in the upper and lower margins and collected at the end of each book. These notes were added because the Masoretes recognized the possibility of human error in copying the Hebrew Bible. The Masoretes were not working with the original Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible and corruptions had already crept into the versions they copied.


Etymology

From the Hebrew word ''masorah'' "tradition"''.'' Originally ''masoret'', a word found in Book of Ezekiel 20:37 (there from 讗住专 "to bind" for "fetters"). According to the majority of scholars, including Wilhelm Bacher, the form of the Ezekiel word ''masoret'' "fetters" was applied by the
Masoretes The Masoretes ( he, 讘注诇讬 讛诪住讜专讛, Ba'alei ha-Masora) were groups of Jewish Jews ( he, 讬职讛讜旨讚执讬诐 ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites I ...
to the 诪住专 root meaning "to transmit", for ''masoret'' "tradition." (See also .) Later, the text was also called ''moseirah'', by a direct conjugation of 诪住专 "to transmit," and the synthesis of the two forms produced the modern word ''masorah.'' According to a minority of scholars, including Caspar Levias, the intent of the Masoretes was ''masoret'' "fetter [upon the hermeneutics, exposition of the text]", and the word was only later connected to 诪住专 and translated "tradition". Other specific explanations are provided: Samuel David Luzzatto argued that ''masoret'' was a synonym for ''siman'' by extended meaning ("transmission[ of the sign]" became "transmitted sign") and referred to the symbols used in vocalizing and punctuating the text."Masorah, Vol. XVI. ''Encyclopaedia Judaica'', Jerusalem, NY: MacMillan Co., 1971. Ze'ev Ben-Haim argued ''masoret'' meant "counting" and was later conjugated ''moseirah'' "thing which is counted", referring to the Masoretic counts of the letters, words, and verses in the Bible, discussed Kiddushin (Talmud), Qiddushin 30a.


Language and form

The language of the Masoretic notes is primarily Aramaic language, Aramaic but partly Hebrew. The Masoretic annotations are found in various forms: (a) in separate works, e.g., the ''Sefer Oklah we-Oklah, Oklah we-Oklah''; (b) in the form of notes written in the margins and at the end of codices. In rare cases, the notes are written between the lines. The first word of each Biblical book is also as a rule surrounded by notes. The latter are called the Initial Masorah; the notes on the side margins or between the columns are called the Small (''Masora parva'' or Mp) or Inner Masorah (Masora marginalis); and those on the lower and upper margins, the Large or Outer Masorah (''Masora magna'' or Mm[Mas.M]). The name "Large Masorah" is applied sometimes to the lexically arranged notes at the end of the printed Bible, usually called the Final Masorah, (''Masora finalis''), or the Masoretic Concordance. The Small Masorah consists of brief notes with reference to marginal readings, to statistics showing the number of times a particular form is found in Scripture, to full and defective spelling, and to abnormally written letters. The Large Masorah is more copious in its notes. The Final Masorah comprises all the longer rubrics for which space could not be found in the margin of the text, and is arranged alphabetically in the form of a concordance. The quantity of notes the marginal Masorah contains is conditioned by the amount of vacant space on each page. In the manuscripts it varies also with the rate at which the copyist was paid and the fanciful shape he gave to his gloss. In most manuscripts, there are some discrepancies between the text and the masorah, suggesting that they were copied from different sources or that one of them has copying errors. The lack of such discrepancies in the ''Aleppo Codex'' is one of the reasons for its importance; the scribe who copied the notes, presumably
Aaron ben Moses ben Asher Aaron ben Moses ben Asher (Hebrew language, Hebrew: ; Tiberian Hebrew: 示Ah膬r么n ben M艒拧eh ben示膧拧膿r; 10th century, died c.960) was a Judaism, Jewish sofer, scribe who lived in Tiberias in northern Israel and refined the Tiberian vocalizati ...
, probably wrote them originally.


Numerical Masorah

In classical antiquity, copyists were paid for their work according to the number of Wiktionary:stich, stichs (lines of verse). As the prose books of the Bible were hardly ever written in stichs, the copyists, in order to estimate the amount of work, had to count the letters. According to some this was (also) to ensure accuracy in the transmission of the text with the production of subsequent copies that were done by hand. Hence the Masoretes contributed the Numerical Masorah. These notes are traditionally categorized into two main groups, the marginal Masorah and the final Masorah. The category of marginal Masorah is further divided into the ''Masorah parva'' (small Masorah) in the outer side margins and the ''Masorah magna'' (large Masorah), traditionally located at the top and bottom margins of the text. The ''Masorah parva'' is a set of statistics in the outer side margins of the text. Beyond simply counting the letters, the ''Masorah parva'' consists of word-use statistics, similar documentation for expressions or certain phraseology, observations on full or defective writing, references to the Kethiv-Qere readings and more. These observations are also the result of a passionate zeal to safeguard the accurate transmission of the sacred text. Even though often cited as very exact, the Masoretic "frequency notes" in the margin of ''Codex Leningradiensis'' contain several errors. The ''Masorah magna'', in measure, is an expanded ''Masorah parva''. ''Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia'' (BHS) includes an apparatus referring the reader to the large Masorah, which is printed separately. The final Masorah is located at the end of biblical books or after certain sections of the text, such as at the end of the Torah. It contains information and statistics regarding the number of words in a book or section, etc. Thus,
Book of Leviticus The Book of Leviticus () is the third book of the Torah Torah (; he, 转旨讜止专指讛, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") has a range of meanings. It can most specifically mean the first five books (Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses) of ...
8:23 is the middle verse in the Pentateuch. The collation of manuscripts and the noting of their differences furnished material for the Text-Critical Masorah. The close relation which existed in earlier times (from the Soferim (Talmud), Soferim to the Amoraim inclusive) between the teacher of tradition and the Masorete, both frequently being united in one person, accounts for the Exegetical Masorah. Finally, the invention and introduction of a graphic system of vocalization and accentuation gave rise to the Grammatical Masorah. The most important of the Masoretic notes are those that detail the Qere and Ketiv that are located in the ''Masorah parva'' in the outside margins of BHS. Given that the Masoretes would not alter the sacred consonantal text, the Kethiv-Qere notes were a way of "correcting" or commenting on the text for any number of reasons (grammatical, theological, aesthetic, etc.) deemed important by the copyist.


Fixing of the text

The earliest labors of the Masoretes included standardizing division of the text into books, sections, paragraphs, verses, and clauses; the fixing of the orthography, pronunciation, and cantillation; the introduction or final adoption of the square characters with the five final letters; some textual changes to guard against blasphemy and the like (though these changes may pre-date the Masoretes 鈥 see ''Tikkune Soferim'' below); the enumeration of letters, words, verses, etc., and the substitution of some words for others in public reading. Since no additions were allowed to be made to the official text of the Bible, the early Masoretes adopted other expedients: e.g., they marked the various divisions by spacing, and gave indications of halakic and haggadic teachings by full or defective spelling, abnormal forms of letters, dots, and other signs. Marginal notes were permitted only in private copies, and the first mention of such notes is found in the case of R. Me茂r (c. 100鈥150 CE).


Scribal emendations 鈥 ''Tikkune Soferim''

Early rabbinic sources, from around 200 CE, mention several passages of Scripture in which the conclusion is inevitable that the ancient reading must have differed from that of the present text. The explanation of this phenomenon is given in the expression "Scripture has used euphemistic language" (), i.e. to avoid anthropomorphism and anthropopathism. Rabbi Simon ben Pazzi (3rd century) calls these readings "emendations of the Scribes" (''tikkune Soferim''; Midrash Genesis Rabbah xlix. 7), assuming that the Scribes actually made the changes. This view was adopted by the later Midrash and by the majority of Masoretes. In Masoretic works these changes are ascribed to Ezra; to Ezra and Nehemiah; to Ezra and the Soferim (Talmud), Soferim; or to Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah (Hebrew prophet), Zechariah, Haggai, and Book of Baruch, Baruch. All these ascriptions mean one and the same thing: that the changes were assumed to have been made by the Men of the Great Assembly, Great Synagogue. The term ''tikkun Soferim'' () has been understood by different scholars in various ways. Some regard it as a correction of Biblical language authorized by the Soferim for homiletical purposes. Others take it to mean a mental change made by the original writers or redactors of Scripture; i.e. the latter shrank from putting in writing a thought which some of the readers might expect them to express. The assumed emendations are of four general types: * Removal of unseemly expressions used in reference to God; e.g., the substitution of ("to bless") for ("to curse") in certain passages. * Safeguarding of the Tetragrammaton; e.g. substitution of "Elohim" or "Adonai" for "Yahweh, YHWH" in some passages. * Removal of application of the names of pagan gods, e.g. the change of the name "Ishbaal" to "Ish-bosheth." * Safeguarding the unity of divine worship at
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, 讬职专讜旨砖指讈诇址讬执诐 ; ar, 丕賱賯購丿爻, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, 峒刮迪佄肯呄兾蔽晃/峒肝迪佄肯兿屛幌呂嘉, Hierousal岣梞/Hieros贸luma; hy, 缘謤崭謧战铡詹榨沾, Erusa艂膿 ...

Jerusalem
.


Mikra and ittur

Among the earliest technical terms used in connection with activities of the Scribes are the ''mikra Soferim'' and ''ittur Soferim''. In the geonic schools, the first term was taken to signify certain vowel-changes which were made in words in pause or after the article; the second, the cancellation in a few passages of the "vav" conjunctive, where it had by some been wrongly read. The objection to such an explanation is that the first changes would fall under the general head of fixation of pronunciation, and the second under the head of Qere and Ketiv, ''Qere'' and ''Ketiv'' (i.e. "What is read" and "What is written"). Various explanations have, therefore, been offered by ancient as well as modern scholars without, however, succeeding in furnishing a completely satisfactory solution.


Suspended letters and dotted words

There are four words having one of their letters suspended above the line. One of them, 诪砖讛, is due to an alteration of the original 诪砖讛 out of reverence for Moses; rather than say that Moses' grandson became an idolatrous priest, a suspended letter nun ( 谞 ) was inserted to turn Mosheh into Menasheh (Manasseh (tribal patriarch), Manasseh). The origin of the other three is doubtful. According to some, they are due to mistaken majuscular letters; according to others, they are later insertions of originally omitted weak consonants. In fifteen passages within the Bible, some words are stigmatized; i.e., dots appear above the letters. The significance of the dots is disputed. Some hold them to be marks of erasure; others believe them to indicate that in some collated manuscripts the stigmatized words were missing, hence that the reading is doubtful; still others contend that they are merely a mnemonic device to indicate homiletic explanations which the ancients had connected with those words; finally, some maintain that the dots were designed to guard against the omission by copyists of text-elements which, at first glance or after comparison with parallel passages, seemed to be superfluous. Instead of dots some manuscripts exhibit strokes, vertical or else horizontal. The first two explanations are unacceptable for the reason that such faulty readings would belong to Qere and Ketiv, which, in case of doubt, the majority of manuscripts would decide. The last two theories have equal probability.


Inverted letters

In nine passages of the Masoretic Text are found signs usually called inverted nuns, because they resemble the Hebrew letter Nun (letter), nun ( 谞 ) written in some inverted fashion. The exact shape varies between different manuscripts and printed editions. In many manuscripts, a reversed nun is found referred to as a ''nun hafucha'' by the masoretes. In some earlier printed editions, they are shown as the standard nun upside down or rotated, because the printer did not want to bother to design a character to be used only nine times. The recent scholarly editions of the Masoretic Text show the reversed nun as described by the masoretes. In some manuscripts, however, other symbols are occasionally found instead. These are sometimes referred to in rabbinical literature as ''simaniyot'' (markers). The primary set of inverted nuns is found surrounding the text of Numbers 10:35鈥36. The Mishna notes that this text is 85 letters long and dotted. This demarcation of this text leads to the later use of the inverted nun markings. Saul Lieberman demonstrated that similar markings can be found in ancient Greek texts where they are also used to denote 'short texts'. During the Medieval period, the inverted nuns were actually inserted into the text of the early Rabbinic Bibles published by Bomberg in the early 16th century. The talmud records that the markings surrounding Numbers 20:35-36 were thought to denote that this 85 letter text was not in its proper place. Bar Kappara considered the Torah known to us as composed of seven volumes in the Gemara "The seven pillars with which Wisdom built her house (Prov. 9:1) are the seven Books of Moses". Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus and Deuteronomy as we know them but Numbers was really three separate volumes: Numbers 1:1鈥10:35 followed by Numbers 10:35鈥36 and the third text from there to the end of Numbers. The 85 letter text is also said to be denoted because it is the model for the fewest letters which constitute a 'text' which one would be required to save from fire due to its holiness.


History of the Masorah

The history of the Masorah may be divided into three periods: (1) creative period, from its beginning to the introduction of vowel-signs; (2) reproductive period, from the introduction of vowel-signs to the printing of the Masorah (1525); (3) critical period, from 1525 to the present time. The materials for the history of the first period are scattered remarks in Talmudic and Midrashic literature, in the post-Talmudical treatises ''Masseket Sefer Torah'' and ''Masseket Soferim'', and in a Masoretic chain of tradition found in ben Asher's ''Di岣砫u岣砮 ha-峁琫'amim,'' 搂 69 and elsewhere.


Critical study

Jacob ben Hayyim ibn Adonijah, having collated a vast number of manuscripts, systematized his material and arranged the Masorah in the second Daniel Bomberg, Bomberg edition of the Bible (Venice, 1524鈥1525). Besides introducing the Masorah into the margin, he compiled at the close of his Bible a concordance of the Masoretic glosses for which he could not find room in a marginal form, and added an elaborate introduction 鈥 the first treatise on the Masorah ever produced. Due to its wide distribution, and in spite of its many errors, this work is frequently considered as the ''Textus Receptus#Other uses, textus receptus'' of the Masorah. It was also used for the English translation of the
Old Testament The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the , which is based primarily upon the 24 books of the or Tanakh, a collection of ancient religious Hebrew writings by the . The second division of Christian Bibles is the , w ...
for the
King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translation English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and langu ...

King James Version
(though not always followed). Next to Ibn Adoniyah, the critical study of the Masorah has been most advanced by Elia Levita, who published his famous "Massoret ha-Massoret" in 1538. The ''Tiberias'' of the elder Johannes Buxtorf (1620) made Levita's researches more accessible to a Christian audience. The eighth Introduction (writing), introduction to Walton's Polyglot (book), Polyglot Bible is largely a reworking of the ''Tiberias''. Levita compiled likewise a vast Masoretic concordance, ''Sefer ha-Zikronot'', which still lies in the National Library at Paris unpublished. The study is indebted also to R. Me茂r b. Todros ha-Levi (RaMaH), who, as early as the 13th century, wrote his ''Sefer Massoret Seyag la-Torah'' (correct ed. Florence, 1750); to Menahem Lonzano, who composed a treatise on the Masorah of the Pentateuch entitled "Or Torah"; and in particular to Jedidiah Norzi, whose "Min岣t Shai" contains valuable Masoretic notes based on a careful study of manuscripts. The Dead Sea Scrolls have shed new light on the history of the Masoretic Text. Many texts found there, especially those from Masada, are quite similar to the Masoretic Text, suggesting that an ancestor of the Masoretic Text was indeed extant as early as the 2nd century BCE. However, other texts, including many of those from
Qumran Qumran ( he, 拽讜诪专讗谉; ar, 禺乇亘丞 賯賲乇丕賳 ') is an archaeological site in the managed by 's Qumran National Park. It is located on a dry about from the northwestern shore of the , near the and of . The settlement was construc ...
, differ substantially, indicating that the Masoretic Text was but one of a diverse set of Biblical writings (Lane Fox 1991:99鈥106; Tov 1992:115). Among the rejected books by both the Judaic and Catholic canons was found the Book of Enoch, the Community Rule (1QS), and War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness (1QM). In a recent finding, a scroll fragment was found to be identical to the Masoretic Text. The approximately 1,700-year-old
En-Gedi Scroll The En-Gedi Scroll is an ancient Hebrew parchment found in 1970 at Ein Gedi, Israel. Radiocarbon testing dates the scroll to the third or fourth century CE (210鈥390 CE), although paleographical considerations suggest that the scrolls may date b ...
was found in 1970 but had not had its contents reconstructed until 2016. Researchers were able to recover 35 complete and partial lines of text from the
Book of Leviticus The Book of Leviticus () is the third book of the Torah Torah (; he, 转旨讜止专指讛, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") has a range of meanings. It can most specifically mean the first five books (Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses) of ...
and the text they deciphered is completely identical with the consonantal framework of the Masoretic Text. The En-Gedi scroll is the first biblical scroll to have been discovered in the holy ark of an ancient synagogue, where it would have been stored for prayers, and not in desert caves like the Dead Sea Scrolls.


Some important editions

There have been very many published editions of the Masoretic Text, some of the most important being: * Daniel Bomberg, ed. Jacob ben Hayyim ibn Adonijah, 1524鈥1525, Venice :The second Mikraot Gedolot, Rabbinic Bible served as the base for all future editions. This was the source text used by the translators of the
King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translation English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and langu ...

King James Version
in 1611, the New King James Version in 1982, and the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible in 2005. * Everard van der Hooght, 1705, Amsterdam and Utrecht (city), Utrecht :This was practically a reprint of the Joseph Athias, Athias-Jean de Leusden, Leusden edition of 1667; but at the end it has variants taken from a number of printed editions. It has been much prized because of its excellent and clear type; but no manuscripts were used in its preparation. Nearly all 18th and 19th century Hebrew Bibles were almost exact reprints of this edition. * Benjamin Kennicott, 1776, Oxford :As well as the van der Hooght text, this included the
Samaritan Pentateuch The Samaritan Pentateuch, also known as the Samaritan Torah ( he, 转讜专讛 砖讜诪专讜谞讬转 ''torah shomronit''), is a text of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, written in the Samaritan script and used as Religious text, sacred scriptur ...
and a huge collection of variants from manuscripts and early printed editions; while this collection has many errors, it is still of some value. The collection of variants was corrected and extended by Giovanni Bernardo De Rossi (1784鈥1788), but his publications gave only the variants without a complete text. * Wolf Heidenheim, 1818, Frankfurt-am-Main :This edition (called ''Me'or Enayim'') included the Five Books of Moses, Haftarot, and Megillot. It had many differences from earlier editions in vowels, notes and lay-out, based on a comparison with old manuscripts and a correction of misprints based on analysis of grammatical principles. There were extensive textual notes justifying all these alterations. Heidenheim also divided each weekly Sabbath reading into seven sections (seven people should be called up each Sabbath), as there had been considerable variation in practice about where to make the divisions, and his divisions are now accepted by nearly all Ashkenazi communities. Samson Raphael Hirsch used this text (omitting the textual notes) in his own commentary, and it became the standard text in Germany. It was frequently reprinted there, again without the textual notes, up to , and the edition of Jack Mazin (London, 1950) is an exact copy. * ''Max Letteris'', 1852; 2nd edition, 1866 (published British and Foreign Bible Society) :The 1852 edition was yet another copy of . The 1866 edition, however, was carefully checked against old manuscripts and early printed editions, and has a very legible typeface. It is probably the most widely reproduced text of the Hebrew Bible in history, with many dozens of authorised reprints and many more pirated and unacknowledged ones. * Seligman Baer and Franz Delitzsch, 1869鈥1895 :Incomplete publication: Exodus to Deuteronomy never appeared. * Christian David Ginsburg, 1894; 2nd edition, 1908鈥1926 :The editio princeps, first edition was very close to the second Bomberg edition, but with variants added from a number of manuscripts and all of the earliest printed editions, collated with far more care than the work of Kennicott; he did all the work himself. The second edition diverged slightly more from Bomberg, and collated more manuscripts; he did most of the work himself, but failing health forced him to rely partly on his wife and other assistants. * Biblia Hebraica (Kittel), ''Biblia Hebraica'', first two editions, 1906, 1912 :Virtually identical to the second Bomberg edition, but with variants from Hebrew sources and early translations in the footnotes * Biblia Hebraica (Kittel), ''Biblia Hebraica'' :Third edition based on the ''
Leningrad Codex The Leningrad Codex ( la, Codex Leningradensis, the "codex The codex (plural codices ()) was the historical ancestor of the modern book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution o ...
'', 1937; later reprints listed some variant readings from the Dead Sea Scrolls. * Umberto Cassuto, 1953 :Based on Ginsburg 2nd edition, but revised based on the ''
Aleppo Codex The Aleppo Codex ( he, 讻侄旨转侄专 讗植专指诐 爪讜止讘指讗, romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as we ...
'', ''
Leningrad Codex The Leningrad Codex ( la, Codex Leningradensis, the "codex The codex (plural codices ()) was the historical ancestor of the modern book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution o ...
'', and other early manuscripts. * Norman Snaith, 1958 (published British and Foreign Bible Society) :Snaith based it on Sephardi manuscripts such as British Museum Or. 2626-2628, and said that he had not relied on ''Letteris''. However, it has been shown that he must have prepared his copy by amending a copy of ''Letteris'', because while there are many differences, it has many of the same typographical errors as ''Letteris''. Snaith's printer even went so far as to break printed vowels to match some accidentally broken characters in ''Letteris''. Snaith combined the accent system of ''Letteris'' with the system found in Sephardi manuscripts, thereby creating accentuation patterns found nowhere else in any manuscript or printed edition. * Hebrew University Bible Project, 1965鈥 :Started by Moshe Goshen-Gottstein, this follows the text of the ''
Aleppo Codex The Aleppo Codex ( he, 讻侄旨转侄专 讗植专指诐 爪讜止讘指讗, romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as we ...
'' where extant and otherwise the ''
Leningrad Codex The Leningrad Codex ( la, Codex Leningradensis, the "codex The codex (plural codices ()) was the historical ancestor of the modern book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution o ...
''. It includes a wide variety of variants from the Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, early Rabbinic literature and selected early medieval manuscripts. So far, only Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel have been published. * ''The Koren Bible'' by Koren Publishers Jerusalem, 1962 :The text was derived by comparing a number of printed Bibles, and following the majority when there were discrepancies. It was criticised by Moshe Goshen-Gottstein: "the publisher of the Koren Bible 鈥 who laid no claim to expertise in masoretic issues ... sought the help of three scholars, all of whom suffered from the same lack of Masoretic expertise ... Basically, the Koren edition is hardly an edition like that of Dotan, but another rehash of the material prepared by ben Hayim." * Aron Dotan, based on the ''
Leningrad Codex The Leningrad Codex ( la, Codex Leningradensis, the "codex The codex (plural codices ()) was the historical ancestor of the modern book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution o ...
'' but correcting obvious errors, 1976 * ''Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia'' :Revision of Biblia Hebraica (Kittel), ''Biblia Hebraica'' (third edition), 1977. The second edition of ''Stuttgartensia'' (published 1983) was the source text for the Old Testament portion of the
English Standard Version The English Standard Version (ESV) is an English translation of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek 蟿峤 尾喂尾位委伪, ''t脿 bibl铆a'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Sama ...
, published in 2001. * Mordechai Breuer :Based on the ''
Aleppo Codex The Aleppo Codex ( he, 讻侄旨转侄专 讗植专指诐 爪讜止讘指讗, romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as we ...
'', 1977鈥1982 * ''The Jerusalem Crown'', 2001 :This is a revised version of Breuer, and is the official version used in inaugurating the President of Israel. * ''Biblia Hebraica Quinta'' :Revision of ''Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia''; fascicles published as of 2016 are: Five Megilloth, Ezra and Nehemiah, Deuteronomy, Proverbs, Twelve Minor Prophets, Judges, Genesis.


See also

* Masorah (disambiguation), Masorah * Micrography * Parashah


Footnotes


References


Citations


Sources

; Works cited * * *


External links


''Jewish Encyclopedia'':
Masorah
Dr. Christian David Ginsburg's 1880 edition of the Massorah
(PDF)
The Masoretic Critical Edition of 1894
– Ginsburg's full edition of over 1,800 pages (scanned PDF)
Masoretic Text (Hebrew-English)
online full edition of the bilingual JPS Tanakh (1985) on Sefaria *Nahum M. Sarna and S. David Sperling (2006)
Text
in Bible, ''Encyclopaedia Judaica'' 2nd ed.; via Jewish Virtual Library
Searching for the Better Text: How errors crept into the Bible and what can be done to correct them
Biblical Archaeology Review
Hebrew Bible
and the Masora Magna from around 1300 CE * * {{Authority control 9th-century biblical manuscripts Hebrew Bible versions and translations Jewish texts in Aramaic Torah Karaite Judaism