Jim West wrote:
> I think it fair to say that you will be very interested
> indeed in this review of BHQ
Thanks for that link, Jim. It was interesting, although I think the author
goes in the wrong direction with his criticism.
The heart of the article seems to be this satement:
"This, in my view, is the chief drawback of BHQ. It mutilates the field of
text criticism by eliminating from consideration an aspect of the discipline
as traditionally understood: to wit, that covered in chapter eight of
Emanuel Tov’s Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible under the rubric of
“conjectural emendation.” BHK, the predecessor of BHS, gave a bad name to
this text-critical endeavor. Tov defends the practice but not its misuse."
I had to smile when I realized that the author apparently thinks BHS is much
better than BHK in this regard. I've spent (unwisely) many days puzzling
over the conjectural emendations recommended in the BHS apparatus, most of
which seem rather arbitrary and capricious to me. Probably the BHQ editors
decided to leave them out because it's just impractical to try to include
all the "interesting" conjectural emendations recommended in the exegetical
literature of the past few decades. Imagine the MT of Psalms annotated with
all of Dahood's emendations. And everyone else's, too. It's a scholar's
nightmare. These conjectural emendations have their place in the
commentaries, where a scholar can explain why he thinks they are necessary;
but they usually require an explanation, and explanations like this cannot
be given in the margin of a manual edition of the text.
Actually, what we need is not another edition of the text with a condensed
apparatus, like BHQ, but a decent textual commentary series. I do wish that
someone would undertake that task.