Source Texts

Aleppo Codex
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The Aleppo Codex dates from around AD 925, and is older than the Codex Leningradensis. Codex is no Longer Complete The Aleppo Codex was the oldest preserved manuscript of the complete Hebrew Bible. But part of the codex was lost in the 20th century. In 1947 the synagogue of Aleppo was destroyed by ...
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Codex
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A codex is a book of bound sheets of parchment. It had pages, and was thus quite different from a scroll. The advantages of a codex were: a codex could contain far more text than a scroll; in a codex, it was much easier to look up a given passage, as you could turn the pages. The first codices ...
Codex Leningradensis
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Codex Leningradensis is the oldest available manuscript with the complete text of all 39 books of the Hebrew Bible. Codex Leningradensis dates from AD 1008 or 1009. Significance for the Text of the Old Testament The Old Testament came into being before the beginning of our era, but the Codex ...
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Dead Sea Scrolls
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The Dead Sea Scrolls — also called the Qumran scrolls — were found around 1947 in the caves of Qumran, in Israel. They are book scrolls and fragments of book scrolls, written in the last centuries before the beginning of our era. There are thousands of fragments of roughly a thousand different book ...
Masoretic Text
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The Masoretic text is the standard Hebrew text of the Old Testament. Originally, words in this text were written only in consonants. Later, in the early Middle Ages, vowels were added to the text. This addition of vowel signs is called “vocalisation”. The Masoretes The consonants-only Hebrew text ...
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Novum Testamentum Graece
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The Novum Testamentum Graece is the most commonly used text edition of the Greek New Testament. New editions have been appearing regularly since 1898. This series of editions is known as the Nestle-Aland, named after the famous Nestle and Aland who were responsible for the first editions. The ...
Samaritan Pentateuch
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The Samaritans, a group related to Judaism, used the Samaritan Pentateuch. That is their own Hebrew version of the books of the Torah. Differences with the Masoretic Text There is a number of differences between the Masoretic text of the Pentateuch and the Samaritan version. In these cases the ...
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Source texts
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Modern Bible translations, such as the Good News Bible and the New International Version, are based on the source texts in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. The source texts are available in modern editions. Source Texts of the Old Testament For the (Hebrew) Old Testament: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, ...
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Textual Criticism
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The aim of textual criticism is to reconstruct the original version of a text. There is a clear difference between the textual criticism of the Old Testament and the textual criticism of the New Testament.
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Textual Criticism of the New Testament
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We have many manuscripts and papyri of the New Testament texts. Some date from shortly after the books of the New Testament were written. The textual criticism of the New Testament makes use of all these texts. Critical Edition Modern editions of the Greek New Testament offer what is known as a ...
Textual Criticism of the New Testament: History
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Erasmus’ Edition Erasmus (1469-1536) was one of the first to research the Greek text of the New Testament and was the first to publish a Greek New Testament. He used the new Greek text to make a new version of the New Testament in Latin that would be better than the Vulgate. More Manuscripts ...
Textual Criticism of the Old Testament
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Modern editions of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible, are based on one manuscript. Usually that is the Codex Leningradensis, sometimes the Codex Aleppo. An edition that follows the text of one manuscript is called a diplomatic edition. Reasons for Textual Criticism Textual criticism of the ...
Textual Criticism of the Old Testament: Amendments
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Examples of Mistakes According to the Masoretic text, it says in 2 Samuel 6:4: “They brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which is on a hill.” These words also occur in verse 3, and therefore it is likely that the person who copied the text made a mistake. In the Good News Translation this ...
Textual Criticism of the Old Testament: Development
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Differences between Manuscripts When textual criticism as a discipline first began, research was mainly focused on the differences between Hebrew manuscripts and translations. If there was a discrepancy between two manuscripts, or between manuscripts and translations, research was done into which ...
Textual Criticism of the Old Testament: Jeremiah as Example
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In Qumran, six manuscripts of Jeremiah have been found. Two of these manuscripts (4QJerb and 4QJerd) deviate from the standard text. These versions of Jeremiah are shorter. However, there are also verses that appear in a different order. Interestingly, the text in these two manuscripts resembles ...
Textual Criticism of the Old Testament: Qumran
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In Qumran, sections of all the books of the Old Testament have been found, apart from Esther. Of some books only fragments have been found, but of others nearly the entire text has been found, such as Isaiah. The biblical manuscripts of Qumran are more than a thousand years older than the standard ...
The Original Text of the Old Testament
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It is a problem for text criticism of the Old Testament that the processes by which the scriptures came into being and were handed down cannot be distinguished in detail. What is the Original Text? In the ideal case, in relation to a scripture, there is a difference between a: period of emergence; ...