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B. ALBREKTSON, Reflections on the emergence of a standard text of the Hebrew Bible

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Chapter Summary

One of the most important and interesting features in the history of the Hebrew Bible is the emergence of a standard consonantal text. The author first attempts a brief discussion of the validity of the evidence commonly adduced in favour of the current view; He then indicates certain difficulties which this view seems to involve; and finally tries to sketch-very tentatively- a possible alternative. In the Hebrew material the striking and important thing is the emergence of a standard text, whereas questions of textual criticism with scholarly discussions of variant readings and proposals of conjectural emendations are conspicuously absent from the rabbinical literature. Superficially it may seem reasonable to maintain that Aqiba's and his followers' interpretation of minor formal peculiarities of the Bible text "presumes", to quote G. F. Moore, "a standard text, copies of which consistently agreed in the peculiarities".

Keywords: Aqiba; Hebrew bible; rabbinical literature; standard consonantal text; textual criticism



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