On Tue, 12 Mar 1996, Sigrid Peterson wrote:
> According to HuldrychZ@...:
> > Following up on my last question (about Is 7:14)- we know that the copyists
> > of the MT altered what they found when they considered it objectionable.
> > They marked them with the so called "tiqqune sopherim".
> How do we know this? It's something I haven't learned.
"Know" is probably too strong a word, and the tradition of only 18 tiqqune
sopherim suggests that the practice was only sporadic, but Jim's statement
does follow the common wisdom, as I understand it. Wuerthwein, _The Text
of the Old Testament_, says that the primary purpose of the tiqqune
sopherim "was to remove objectionable expressions referring to God" (p.
18). Yeivin, _Introduction to the Tiberian Masorah_, is somewhat more
curcumspect in his opinion: "Two similar opinions are held today. Some
argue that the original text showed the received readings, and the list of
_tiqqunim_ represents midrashic interpretation, not text history. Others
believe that these corrections were indeed made by the scribes, and they
ascribe the same origin to other corrections, not mentioned in the
Masorah, which were also intended to avoid profanation of the name of God,
such as the use of the root BRK with reference to God as a substitute for
some offensive term (e.g. in Job 2:9)" (pp. 50-51).
The first option mentioned by Yeivin seems to me to reflect an uncritical
(or perhaps, precritical) predeliction for the MT in which the consonantal
text is looked upon as immutable. The biblical manuscripts found among
the Dead Sea Scrolls would seem to mitigate against this view, as would
numerous other arguments that come to mind. I would, however, be
interested to hear if others had arguments that they could advance in
favor of this opinion.
Manager of Information Technology Services, Scholars Press
Managing Editor of TELA, the Scholars Press World Wide Web Site