Awareness of textual variants in literature goes back at least a few hundred years before Jesus was born, and scholars have constantly been trying to find the original readings. In the series I've been writing, I've been focused on textual variants in the New Testament, but they also exist in the Old Testament and in secular literature.
The city of Alexandria, Egypt, was founded by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C., and...
Last week I posted the article Did Moses Write the Torah? Part 1, and I showed other Biblical authors clearly attributed the first five books of the Bible to Moses, in both the Old and New Testaments. In this article I want to make the case that the books we have in our Bibles may not be exactly what Moses wrote, but they are accurate representations of what Moses, and God, were communicating to the Israelites, and to us.
The research I did
for the article What is a Sefer Torah? shows there are
304,805 letters in a Sefer Torah. A common question asked on the websites I
looked at is: What is the middle of a Sefer Torah? The word Sofer
is the Hebrew word for counter (not scribe, writer, author, copier, etc.), and Soferim count the letters in a Sefer Torah to
ensure it was copied accurately. Since the letters have been counted so many
times over a few...
My last article was What is a Torah?, and now I want to discuss a particular type of Torah. A Sefer Torah is a handwritten copy of the Torah on a scroll, rather than in a book, and is still used for ceremonial purposes in Synagogues. On Mondays and Thursdays short sections of the Torah are read, and a longer sections are read on Saturday (Sabbath, Shabbat) and during festivals; over the course of a year, the entire scroll will be read....
This is the last article in a short series that started with the question Who were the Masoretes? and then followed up with Why is the Masoretic Text Important?. This list contains some of the oldest Masoretic Texts and copies which still exist. All of these are more than 1,000 years, and some of them have been in almost continuous use since they were written.
My last post, Who were the Masoretes?, described the
work of the Masoretes. Now I want to focus on why their work is important to
The great, indeed all-important, question which now meets us is this—Does this Hebrew text, which we call Masoretic, and which we have shown to descend from a text drawn up about AD 100, faithfully represent the Hebrew text...
The Masoretes were
Jewish scribes and scholars who made it their life's work to accurately copy
the Hebrew Bible. They worked approximately from the A.D. 600's to A.D. 950,
primarily in the areas of Jerusalem, Tiberius and Babylonia. The name Masoretes
comes from the Hebrew word masorah,
which means "tradition" or "to hand down".
During the first century A.D. Rome ruled over Israel. In A.D. 66, the first...