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tc-list Word division in Hebrew

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  • Dave Washburn
    I came across a word-division situation in Psalm 73:4 that brought some questions to mind. The Masoretic text (BHS) reads L:MOWTFM, in their deaths, while a
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 1999
      I came across a word-division situation in Psalm 73:4 that brought
      some questions to mind. The Masoretic text (BHS) reads
      L:MOWTFM, "in their deaths, while a footnote suggests a different
      word division (followed by the NIV) LFMOW TFM with atnach under
      LFMOW. Standard intros to HB textual criticism tell us this could
      occasionally be a problem because of running script.

      The question: what do we have in the way of examples of running
      script? I haven't seen any, either in square script (Dead Sea
      Scrolls, papyri etc.) or in paleo script (also Dead Sea Scrolls,
      inscriptions, ostraca). In fact, all the examples of paleo script that
      I've seen used a raised dot as a word-divider, which (to me) would
      seem to preclude the kind of problem this verse mentions. Given
      the material we have, going back to the first century BCE for
      square script and even earlier for paleo script, is this idea of
      erroneous word-division really a sound one? Is it possible that HB
      critics have been overly influenced by textual criticism of New
      Testament manuscripts?

      Thoughts are welcome.

      Dave Washburn
      http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
      Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
      give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.
      Psalm 86:11
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