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Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible 1947-1997

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the second half of the century, not only because fifty years is an appropriate period for a survey, but also because in this case it is a natural point of division, the Qumran Scrolls being found exactly fifty years ago, in 1947. It discusses the age of specialization, textual theories, approach to the textual witnesses, the goals of textual criticism, new editions, the textual background of modern translations, new corpora of variants, emendations, textual and literary criticism, the decline of interest in the differences between the medieval masoretic manuscripts, orthographic studies, and textual commentaries. Textual criticism deals with readings found in textual witnesses, but it also has produced overall theories describing the relation between these witnesses. In 1997, it remains true that the great majority of scholars prefer diplomatic critical editions of the Hebrew Bible.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible; medieval masoretic manuscripts; orthographic studies; Qumran scrolls; textual commentaries; textual criticism; textual theories



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