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3119RE: [textualcriticism] RELIABLE TRANSMISSION HISTORY; LXX Versus MT

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  • Viktor Golinets
    May 9, 2007
      Dear Philip,
      to compare the transmission history of MT with the transmission history of LXX is not an easy venture.
      We don’t have factual evidence for scribal practice in Hebrew manuscripts during the transmission period of MT between first and 9th century CE. We know what Talmud says about how to copy the Bible but we can hardly compare these prescriptions with the manuscripts. The problem is that we have only few fragmentary manuscripts and apparently only from the end of the mentioned period. These are the Cairo genizah manuscripts which along with being fragmentary are hard to date and – even worse – are hard to access. But they should be studied anew on a big scale. (I would appreciate if somebody would do it. I want to do it one day.) Then apart from gaining other important insights we would have factual basis to compare the transmission history of MT with the transmission history of LXX.
      If one looks into works of Kennicott and De Rossi who have collected variants from the Hebrew MSS of the period 10th to14th centuries, one finds all types of clerical errors that one face in other textual traditions: spelling blunders, grammatical errors, ditto- and haplography, metathesis of words, omissions, harmonisations, conflation of similar texts to pseudo texts and so on. I guess that if you would compare the transmission history of these late manuscripts of MT with the transmission history of LXX you would find a lot of similarities.

      Viktor Golinets, M.A.

      Altorientalisches Institut
      Universität Leipzig

      Institut für Semitistik
      Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München

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