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The Textual Character Of The Unique Readings Of 4qsama (4q51)

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Chapter Summary

A recent statistical count of the textual variants of 4QSama, as compared with the Masoretic Text (MT) and Septuagint (LXX), reveals that there are 1,117 variants. Of these variants, 429 are extant (they exist on the leather fragments) and about 688 are reconstructed (based on the evidence of space requirements and/or support from other ancient versions). This chapter examines the textual character of the unique readings of 4QSama. It examines only extant variants readings. The unique readings may be divided into four categories: (i) accidental errors that have occurred during transmission of the text, (ii) intentional changes of the text on the part of the scribes and copyists of MT or 4QSama, (iii) synonymous readings, and (iv) scribes' stylistic approaches and conventions to the text. Not all unique readings, of course, fit neatly into one of these four categories; some readings are indeterminate.

Keywords: 4QSama; Masoretic Text (MT); Septuagint (LXX); textual character; unique readings



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