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Text History Of The Books Of Samuel: An Assessment Of The Recent Research

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Chapter Summary

Do the Masoretic Text (MT), 4QSam and the putative Hebrew source of the Septuagint witness to distinct stages or editions in the literary development and transmission of the books of Samuel? In other words, apart from textual accidents, do the divergences or similarities between the three former witnesses of Samuel come from deliberate interventions of a literary nature? Is it possible to recognise the editorial, ideological or theological specificities of these editions and can a relative chronology be established between them and perhaps date them? This chapter discusses the formulation of this problem by synthesising-somewhat schematically-the knowledge gained so far in recent research, and by raising the questions posed to researchers today. The textual situation will for a long time remain more complex than any attempt at synthesis. The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls obviously renewed our understanding of the history of the text of the Books of Samuel.

Keywords: 4QSama; books of Samuel; dead sea scrolls; Hebrew Bible; Masoretic Text (MT); septuagint



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