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Re: [textualcriticism] Why the difference between Biblia Hebraica Quinta and BHS in Zechariah 9:1?

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  • Rob Kashow
    Dear Chris, As you are likely aware, textual criticism of the HB/OT is different in many ways from NTTC. Since there are very few witnesses (in comparison to
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 16, 2012
      Dear Chris, 

      As you are likely aware, textual criticism of the HB/OT is different in many ways from NTTC. Since there are very few witnesses (in comparison to the NT) and since those witnesses are late, internal evidence almost always trumps the external. For a variant to be attested in a manuscript is certainly a good thing, supporting the viability of the variant, but that is about all it does. 

      Also in light of the scarcity of evidence, scholars are more willing to conjecture. This is what you have in Zech 9:1 in the BHS. Note that no manuscript evidence is given, the editors only suggest "probably [prb] 'the burden of the word of the Lord coming to the land ... ' or [vel] 'coming to Tyre.'" Your revocalization of the BHS suggestion is not reflecting what they are suggesting, but is interesting. If you think it should be pointed as a 2ms imperative, you'd have to wrestle with who the command is directed to. Is this only directed to the prophet?

      Nevertheless, the BHQ editors have decided the conjecture of the BHS editors is unwarranted. Thus, this particular information is omitted from their volume. I suspect this is why they opted to include the positive evidence for the reading of the text (see BHQ apparatus which gives supporting evidence for b'eretz).

      BHS should not be regarded more highly than BHQ. BHQ is much more updated in its external evidence and has a commentary giving an explanation of the editors decisions at the front of each volume. Yet, since conjectural emendations and revocalizations are much more valid in TC of the HB/OT, it cannot hurt to also consult with the BHS, since BHQ may not always include their conjectures.

      All the Best, 

      Robert C. Kashow
      Dallas Theological Seminary 

      On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 11:30 PM, Danger <sigebryht@...> wrote:

      Dear Colleagues,

      I notice that the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia/BHS critical apparatus for Zechariah 9:1 proposes an emendation, but that the newer critical edition (Biblia Hebraica Quinta/BHQ) does not include it. Does anyone know why?

      Specifically, I refer to note 9:1a, which suggests that BA'RTs (B + ERETs "in/against the land" [of Hadrach-Damascus]) be changed to BA' A'RTs (enter the land [I'm assuming defective vocalization: that is, BA' is imperative rather than perfective]).

      In other words, the BHS editor(s) note the possibility that an ALEPH may have been omitted through haplography, such that what should have been spelled BA ARTs ended up as BARTs.

      While I'm not sure that the proposed emendation is correct, I still think it is best to see all the variants so that we can assess them.

      And BHQ, after all, has added a LOT of data to the apparatus, particularly from Syriac witnesses, the Judean desert texts, and other manuscripts. It's quite amazing. That's why it is surprising to see a note from BHS not be included in BHQ.

      The editor gives notes on many of his decisions, but he is silent on this omission from the apparatus.

      Does any one know why? Was the BHS note purely speculative on the part of the editors at the time? (In which case the BHQ editor may have deemed it lacking in sufficient textual support to be included... I have noted many occasions - and seen commentaries note the same - where the BHS editors seem overly ready at times to suggest emendations when they are not warranted.)

      My reason for asking is that it may shed light on the editorial process for BHQ. I'm wondering if I should be reading BHQ with the BHS apparatus open to it side-by-side.


      Chris Lovelace

      PS - (I apologize for the transliteration conventions here. It wasn't clear how I might hope to type Hebrew script without having it jumbled in the process. Hopefully, the way I have done it will not be overly confusing.)

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