Re: Is 1:25
- Sorry for the delay in responding. I only read my mail once a day.
Kevin Woodruff's original post concerned conjectural emendation, but his
statements alluded to an attitude toward MT, to which I drew attention.
Again in his clarification, Kevin states:
"Although it [MT] is a late tradition, it displays a high degree of
accuracy and we should give it the benefit of doubt before pronouncing it
"corrupt" or "non-sensical."
My questions emerge due to phrases like "we should give it the benefit of
doubt" and "extreme conservatism toward the consonantal text." Although the
subject was emendation, the statements certainly alluded to a more general
attitude toward MT. And, our attitude toward MT has a great deal of
influence on our text-critical decisions. Many scholars believe that MT
does deserve the benefit of the doubt as a general rule. Does it? or is it
a witness like any other? Perhaps, I am reading too much into Kevin's
statements (if so I apologize), but the issue is relevant nonetheless.
So, I agree that there is much in Qumran, LXX, etc. that agrees with MT, but
there are also significant differences and many minor ones. With respect to
major differences, they are hardly confined to Samuel and Jeremiah. There
is Job, Ex. 35-40, Daniel 4-6 + the additions, the chronological system in
Kings, key transitions in Josh-Judges, Prov. and the AT of Esther. Small
textual differences abound. Which brings up my initial question, what place
does MT hold when doing textual criticism? Further methodological questions
arise when dealing with books where there are major differences.
Furthermore, the analogy of the MT tradition to the Byzantine text in the NT
does hold. If the committee working on BHQ holds to its original intention,
there will be one textual apparatus devoted to variants in the Hebrew mss.
of the Masoretic tradition. This apparatus will be beneficial for showing
the small differences that exist among the Masoretic witnesses (since BHQ
will use the Leningrad codex as its base), because the text of MT became so
standardized. This is independant from the SP, LXX, etc. That is a
majority text and is so defined in text books on textual criticism of the
Tim McLay tmclay@...
Halifax, Nova Scotia
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