Aims of OT Textual Criticism

Bruce K. Waltke


Westminster Theological Journal 51.1 (Spring 1989): 93-108.
[Reproduced by permission]

Textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible is living through a period of reconceiving its discipline. Historically text critics, whether they worked on Homer, Moses, Isaiah, Paul, or Shakespeare, tried to produce a text as close as possible to the text that left the author's hand. They agreed that to reconstruct such a text the critic must assess the history of the text's transmission in light of available MSS, expose additions, omissions, and other corruptions, and eliminate them. Today, however, not all text critics of the Hebrew Scriptures aim to establish a text that most nearly represents the author's original intentions. This essay identifies five aims of contemporary textual critics of the Hebrew Bible, critically appraises the views, and. draws a conclusion.

I. Restore the Original Composition

Before the advent of modern biblical criticism, OT text critics conceived their task in terms of intentions of inspired charismatic figures such as Moses, David, Solomon, and Isaiah. They aimed to rid the text of the historical clutter that came to be attached to these writings, and by eliminating the contaminations of other authorial interventions they hoped to recover as much as possible the ipsissima verba of the inspired person. Their aim is like that of Tanselle in modern text criticism: "to establish the text as the author wished to have it presented to the public."[1]

This goal has the advantage of being in accord with the nature of great literature; viz., it is the product of a literary genius. It has the disadvantage of not recognizing editorial additions to the text.[2]


II. Restore the Final Text

With the advent of historical and source criticism the text critic of the Hebrew Bible conceptualized his task differently, though the practice remained essentially the same. More and more scholars came to regard the received text not as the ipsissima verba of one particular charismatic figure, but as the final redaction of earlier oral and written sources, the ipsissima verba of a final redactor.[3] They distinguished between the oral and written processes that went into making the final text of a biblical book and the processes by which the final text, once established, was handed down or transmitted. Higher critics aimed to recover the genetic processes by which the final version of a text came into existence, and text critics aimed to recover the processes of its written transmission so as to restore it to its final, and in that sense original, pristine purity. "The final text," says F. E. Deist, "is the end product of the genetic processes and, at the same time, the starting point of the processes of written transmission."[4] Even though rhetorical criticism, the most recent trend in biblical criticism, puts an emphasis on what the text says instead of on what happened behind the text,[5] it still mostly views the text critic as one who works out textual errors from the text's final intentions by revealing the history of their emergence. Though the text critic who seeks to restore a final text is not as innocent as one who seeks to restore an original composition, yet he accepts the notion of one authentic text to which the extant MSS bear witness.

Text critics of this persuasion think of the scribes as contaminators of an authoritative text through the intentional and unintentional changes they introduced into it. Furthermore, since no MS preserves the original final text, these critics restore an eclectic, archetypical text by scientifically classifying the MSS into recensions, spotting errors, and artfully removing them.

Unquestionably this has been the prevailing aim of the modern critics of the Hebrew Bible. It may be thought that the editors of the


Hebrew Bible do not have this aim in view because they do not publish an eclectic text but a specific Masoretic MS. Formerly such editors used the basic single text of Jacob ben Hayyim,[6] presently they use the Leningrad Codex B 19[A] (L),[7] or the Aleppo Codex.[8] Here one must distinguish the editor's goal in textual criticism from his necessity to prepare copy-text. For practical and traditional reasons the editors of BHK and BHS chose a specific Masoretic MS that they judged to be the "best" as a copy-text, but they nevertheless have in mind restoring an original text as can be seen in their considering and evaluating deviant readings in their apparatus. In BHK there are two apparatuses, the first with variants not considered superior to L and the second with variants considered more or less preferable to L. BHS combined these two into one apparatus, but there is no difference in purpose and no great degree of difference in judgment, though it contains fewer conjectures. The Hebrew University Bible Project (HUBP), however, differs significantly from these editions because it disallows conjectural emendation altogether (see below).

That the reconstruction of an eclectic original (or final) text has been the prevailing view can be seen in the English versions (EW). Translators of the EW offer an eclectic text as the copy-text and indicate in their margins their sources other than the Masoretic text (MT) and important differences from it. Although the EW mostly render the MT, all offer an eclectic text, sometimes preferring one textual tradition, sometimes another, and sometimes opting for a conjectured emendation.[9]

This approach has the disadvantage of minimizing the contribution of the original religious, literary "genius," but it does handle more adequately editorial additions. A text critic of the Hebrew Bible does not need necessarily to distinguish between original compositions and


final texts. It seems more prudent for him to interpret his rationale not in terms of the more subjective original authorial intentions but in terms of the more objective final text.

The attempt to reconstruct a nonextant final text has sometimes been ridiculed as a will-o'-the-wisp enterprise. Critics reconstructing an archetypical text have rightly defended themselves by noting that the attempt has the heuristic value of removing many and possibly most intentions of later contributors who have bedeviled the intentions of the final text.

As will be shown, however, several learned voices are arguing that serious problems underlie the theory of final intentions when it is applied to some of the literature of the Hebrew Scriptures.

III. Restore the Earliest Attested Text

Textual criticism classically operates in two areas: finding and removing errors from extant MSS and conjecturally emending the text where the extant evidence defies reasonable exegetical expectations. Scholars, however, associated with HUBP and the United Bible Societies Hebrew Old Testament Text Critical Project do not aim to reconstruct the final text but a secondary stage, the earliest attested form of the text (ca. second century BC). Limiting their work to textual options actually extant in ancient texts and versions, they concomitantly eliminate scholarly conjectures from consideration in text criticism.[10]

To be sure there has been a healthy and growing caution on the part of commentators away from the extremes of Duhm and the "eccentricity in the later work of Cheyne"[11] in having recourse to emendation.[12] Wurthwein's first rule for making a decision about the original text is: when MT and all other witnesses offer a text which


is unobjectionable, which makes sense, and has been preserved without a variant, "we may naturally assume that the original text has been preserved by the tradition, and that it should be accepted implicitly. It may seem strange that this point requires statement here, because it seems so obvious. But anyone acquainted with the history of Old Testament scholarship will not consider it unnecessary."[13] Is With good reasons the church has confessed that "by His singular care and providence," the text has been "kept pure in all ages."[14]

Nevertheless, the posture of these two committees against subjectivism is too radical. Sanders defended the stance of the UBS project not by disallowing conjectures but by taking them away from text critics. "Conjectures about a non-extant Urtext of any biblical passage," he wrote, "have their place elsewhere in biblical study…but not in text criticism in sensu stricto."[15] To be sure, conjectural criticism is rooted in exegetical expectations and therefore is only secondarily connected with textual criteria,[16] but the emendations themselves need to be acceptable from a textual point of view. For that reason, conjectural criticism has classically been the purview of competent text critics.

Implicit and explicit evidence establish the need and validity of judicious conjectural emendations. Centuries separate the earliest attested MSS and the final text. The Greek translations of Hebrew Scriptures were made mostly in the century between 250 BC and AD 150. The bulk of Qumran Scrolls belong to the first centuries BC and AD, though F. M. Cross dated one poorly preserved Qumran MS to the mid-third century BC. Judging by extant evidence a few readings were added, lost, or corrupted over this extended period of time. J. M. Sprinkle rightly complained against the UBS project: "What we as students of the Hebrew Bible actually want…is not a later stage of the text but the original."[17]

The Qumran MSS validate conjectural emendations by containing original readings not found in the traditional MSS. For example,


4QSam[a] contains about three lines introducing chap. 11 of 1 Samuel heretofore known only partially in Josephus.[18] Furthermore, these MSS, which were discovered relatively recently, occasionally confirm judicious conjectures by earlier scholars. Cross wrote: "No headier feeling can be experienced by a humanistic scholar, perhaps, than that which comes when an original reading, won by his brilliant emendation, is subsequently confirmed in a newly-found MS.[19]

IV. Restore Accepted Texts

Canonical critics do not aim to restore an archetypical text; they stress instead the social relations which exist in literary production. A dialectic, they note, always exists between the text and the community as each shapes and reshapes the other. These text critics do not necessarily deny the existence of a final text, but for them it is a chimera because between its creation and the time the text was stabilized in the proto-rabbinic period (ca. AD 70) it existed in many accepted texts. John Sanders noted: "There is no early biblical manuscript of which I am aware no matter how 'accurate' we may conjecture it to be, or faithful to its Vorlage, that does not have some trace in it of its having been adapted to the needs of the community from which we, by archaeology or happenstance, receive it."[20]

No scholar familiar with the data disagrees with Sanders' observation. For example, in the rabbinic tradition behind MT one finds the tiqqune sopherim (that is, scribal notations that the text had been changed for theological reasons); in the Greek tradition the text was altered to protect the sanctity of God and to accommodate it to Greek philosophy:[21] and in the Samaritan recension Deut 27:4 with the reading "Mount Gerizim" (contra "Mount Ebal" in the received text) was interpolated along with other passages after Exod 20:17 so that its


tenth commandment calls for worship on Mt. Gerizim (cf. John 4:19-22).

The welter of conflicting readings in the Qumran scrolls prior to the fixing of the text sometime between 70 BC and AD 100 also suggests to canonical critics that the text was fluid and flexible, capable of being moderately adjusted and made relevant to the times. According to them, restraints on the text, such as the canonical proscription against adding or taking away from the text (cf. Deut 4:2; 31:9ff; Josh 24:25-26; 1 Sam 10:25) were balanced with the need to shape it in accordance with what communities thought God was doing in their times. Canonical critics think it is wrong-headed to restore a nonexistent final text from a hodgepodge of secondarily shaped accepted texts; such a procedure would result in a ludicrous potpourri of reworked texts from widely differing eras and localities. P. R. Ackroyd seemingly defines text as the many levels of understanding with its rich and varied materials.[22]

In the view of these scholars, all the text critic can hope to do is to isolate a number of textual layers and/or traditions belonging to varying communities of faith. Brevard Childs said succinctly:

A basic characteristic of the canonical approach in regard to both its literary and textual level is its concern to describe the literature in terms of its relation to the historic Jewish community rather than seeing its goal to be the reconstruction of the most original literary form of the book, or the most pristine form of a textual tradition.[23]

Canonical critics vary, however, in their practice. The more liberal, such as Ackroyd and Sanders, celebrate the diversity of accepted texts and so do not prefer one accepted text over another. The more conservative, like Childs, argue for the priority of the rabbinic text stabilized at about AD 100. In Childs' view the text critic aims to restore from later corruptions in the rabbinic and Masoretic tradition the most pristine form of that text. He wrote:

The first task of the Old Testament text critic is to seek to recover the stabilized canonical text through the vehicle of the Masoretic traditions. This process involves critically establishing the best Masoretic text which is closest to the original text of the first century.[24]


Childs is interested in the text's recensional history in the prestabilization period not to recover the original text but to provide a perspective by which critically "to measure the range of mechanical errors" in MT, which is his canon. In short, Childs modifies the second approach: to restore the Masoretic final text.

Canonical critics help us to see the scribe not merely as a transmitter of the text but as a publishing editor, striving to keep the Scriptures clear and relevant to successive generations. Too long critics have seen scribes as culprits responsible for separating later audiences from the original text when in fact they should be seen as helpful publishers, making the text accessible, intelligible, and sometimes even freshly relevant to their immediate audiences. This understanding of early scribal practices ameliorates the unfortunate tendency to call all "secondary" readings "spurious." To the extent that these "improvements" communicate truth they are "genuine" readings. In fact, modernized readings may be even more "genuine" than an early one that no longer communicates the original meaning. Even as translations of the Hebrew Bible are the Word of God to the extent that they convey the message contained in the Hebrew expression of it, so also these modernizations should be recognized as Scripture.

This socialization of the text also gives perspective on the use of the OT in the NT. As is also well known, the apostles were not hidebound to any one textual tradition; their writings preserve readings from the rabbinic tradition, the Septuagint,[25] and the proto-Samaritan texts.[26] Although the apostles were fully conscious of canonical Scripture, they also had a freedom in citing and interpreting it. (The so-called Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, which can also be dated to the period before the stabilization of the text, also show a similar mindset.) The Word of God came to them through divergent texts, just as the Word of God comes to the church today through varying translations. Between the original composition or final text and the stabilization of the text there is no evidence that a text that lacks editorial intervention was prima facie more sincere than one that does.

Textual critics are indebted to canonical critics for giving them a more generous attitude towards scribes, but they must resist the temp-


tation to lower their sights from the high ideal of recovering final text(s) that emerged in Israel before prophecy ceased in Israel.[27] Although the transmitters of the text at this early stage may have thought of themselves as editors, rather than as merely copyists, nonetheless their conception of their task ought not to dictate the text critic's conception of his task. Scribes seek in varying ways to transmit and disseminate the text; text critics seek to restore an original text.

The functions of scribes and text critics became confounded after the text became stabilized at the turn of the first century AD for after that time scribes no longer sought to modernize and relativize the text but only to preserve it. Thereafter scribes sought to restore the text by means of the ketiv-qere (i.e. alternative traditional readings), sebir (i.e. expected readings to be rejected), and tiqqune sopherim traditions.[28] Later on the Masoretes added the Masorah, the vowels, and the accents to preserve it.

There is always the need in humanities for critics to restore the original (or final) text. The original author's (or redactor's) wishes and intentions are obviously matters of importance. Although scribal editors played an important role in transmitting a living text, nevertheless, the original text demands to be heard in its own right. In spite of an editor's best intentions, his activity does separate later audiences from original authors. Literary critics make a sharp distinction between a scholarly or critical edition of a literary work on the one hand and a modernized or noncritical edition on the other. Each has its place.

The canonical approach to textual criticism not only lets down the humanities, it is also theologically unsound. During the creative period both "truth" and "falsehood" came into the text. Scribal changes during the time of the text's fluidity were sometimes more than incidental modernizations; they also contained substantive changes both in theology and history. Did the Ten Commandments contain the prescription to worship on Mt. Gerizim or not? Although some critics think the Jews changed the text in Deut 27:4 from Mt. Gerizim to Mt.


Ebal in order to embarrass the Samaritans,[29] few aside from the Samaritans accept it as the tenth commandment. A frivolous scholar says that this kind of question is neither possible nor proper, but a serious one aims to recover the original authorial intention. A serious historian wants to know whether the biblical historian recorded in Exod 12:40 that Israel spent 430 years before the exodus in just Egypt (so MT) or in Egypt and Canaan (so LXX and SP). These and many other issues cannot be obfuscated by celebrating the variants or by arbitrarily opting for a text that all agree has errors in it. Liberal canonical critics are in danger of relativizing truth and absolutizing conflicting faiths.

Finally, Sanders' verdict that no early biblical MS has no trace of having been socially adapted entails that he has in mind a purer original to which he is comparing the MS. Is it not better theory and more useful practice to reconstruct the purer original than to accept the contaminated text?

V. To Reconstruct Final Texts

According to other contemporary text critics of the Hebrew Scriptures the MSS and versions reflect varying stages or versions in the editing of the final text, the relative value of which the text critic is incompetent to judge. This approach differs from the aim to restore "accepted texts" by distinguishing creative, literary readings from "confessional" and "mechanical" readings. Whereas the former approach attenuates the line between canon and confessions, this approach attenuates the line between literary criticism and textual criticism and opens the door to the possibility that more than one form of a text may exist within the canon.

Critics who recognize "original literary variants" in contrast to "secondary transmissional variants" give a more accurate insight into the nature of parallel passages in the OT. As is well known, parallel passages in the OT (cf. 2 Sam 22 = Ps 18; 2 Kgs 18:13-20:19 = Isa 36-39; 2 Kgs 24:18-25:30 = Jer 52; Isa 2:2-4 = Micah 4:1-3; Ps 14=53; 40:14-17 = 70; 57:8-11 = 16:34-35; and the parallels between Samuel-Kings and Chronicles and the Pentateuch and Chronicles) contain glaring differences.


It is well known that 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18, for instance, are the same psalm in slightly different forms. Adele Berlin latches on to S. Talmon's suggestion that "it is not a question of which is correct, but a matter of comparing alternate [sic!] forms which were equally acceptable to the ancient poet."[30] She compares these variants:

From the palm of all his enemies and from the palm [Hebrew, kap] of Saul. [2 Sam 22:1]

From the palm of all his enemies and from the hand [Hebrew, yad] of Saul. [Ps 18:1]

When I am in distress I call to YHWH; and to my God I call [Hebrew q""r""; 2 Sam 22:7].

When I am in distress I call to YHWH; and to my God I cry out [Hebrew s""w""; Ps 18:7].

For who is a god except YHWH? And who is a rock except [Hebrew mibbal "" our God? [2 Sam 22:32]

For who is god except YHWH? And who is a rock beside [Hebrew zûl""] our God? [Ps 18:32]

Just as scribes modernized and contemporized the text after the time when tradition held that the spirit of prophecy had ceased in Israel, sometime between Ezra and the Era of Contracts (that is, the time of the Seleucids),[31] so also during the time of the writing of the Hebrew Scriptures authors and/or later editors reworked texts. Sometimes they modernized it as in the case of the Chronicler in his use of Pentateuchal sources;[32] other times they gave it fresh meaning as can be seen in a comparison of Ps 40:14-18 with Ps 70. The variants in these psalms with reference to the divine name - the former reading "the LORD" in the "a" verset and "God" in the "b" verset, and vice-versa in Psalm 70 - are as Boling noted "genuine variants.[33] The synoptic variations between Isa 2:2-4 and Micah 4:1-5 may be com-


pared to a preacher who uses the same sermon or illustration more than once in varying social contexts. The Masoretes retained these early editings of the text, either by the authors themselves (see below) and/or by later editing scribes, and so should the text critic.

Although occasionally variants in synoptic passages may be due to scribal error that crept into one and/or the other parallel texts, the former attempt of text critics to assimilate the two and to get back of both to an Urtext was ill-conceived.[34]

The Book of Jeremiah confronts the text critic with a striking instance of two texts that circulated in different forms not within the Masoretic tradition but between the extant Masoretic and Greek witnesses to that text. Compare, for example, the MT of Jer 27:1-7 (the full passage below) with the LXX (not in italics):

Early in the reign of Jehoiakim[35] son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: This is what the LORD said to me: "Make a yoke out of straps and crossbars and put it upon your neck. Then send word to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre and Sidon through the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. Give them a message for their masters and say, 'This what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says, Tell this to your masters: With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on the face of the earth, and I give it to anyone I please. Now I will hand all these lands over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to serve him and even the beast of the field I will give to him to serve him. All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him.'"

This sample illustrates the well-known fact that the LXX of Jeremiah is one seventh shorter than the MT of that book.[36] Not only does the LXX of Jeremiah differ from the MT of that book with regard to length, it also locates Jeremiah's oracles against the foreign nations (chaps. 46-51 in MT) following Jer 25:13. Finally, and most instructively, the few and tiny fragments of the Qumran scroll, 4QJer, exhibit


the main characteristics of the LXX,[37] demonstrating that the varying versions to some extent existed in Hebrew texts.

Sven Soderlund[38] categorized earlier scholarly proposals to explain these variations, viz.: (1) "The abbreviation theory" (i.e. the Greek text is an abbreviated or mutilated version of the Hebrew; so K. H. Graf, C. F. Keil, and C. von Orelli); (2) "the editorial theory (i.e. the two texts derive from two different editions of the book produced by Jeremiah himself, the shorter version done in Alexandria, the longer taken to Babylon; so Eichhorn, cf. A. Van Selms, and T. W. Overholt); (3) "the expansion theory" (i.e. the LXX is the best witness to the text of Jeremiah, the MT having suffered greatly from expansion, conflation, and interpolation in the course of transmission; so F. C. Movers, A. W. Streane, and J. G. Janzen); and (4) "the mediating view" (i.e. it is impossible to generalize on the relative priority of the two texts, instead, each reading has to be evaluated on its own merits; so F. Hitzig, W. Rudolph, and J. Bright).

Janzen[39] made some progress toward eliminating the first and last options, and Sven Soderlund[40] effectively called into question Janzen's explanation, the third option. Emanuel Tov's solution is best: these versions of Jeremiah reflect not recensions (changes in the text after the establishment of a final canonical text) but early editions of the book.[41] He contends that the same is true of Joshua,[42] in a shorter version of the story of Goliath,[43] and in Ezekiel.[44] Soderlund makes the important point: "It is important not to lose one's perspective: whether in the longer or shorter version, the book of Jer still speaks to us with power and conviction which should not be obscured in the


course of an otherwise legitimate and necessary text critical enterprise."[45]

S. Talmon[46] earlier claimed that in the case of synonymous readings one should not be preferred to the other, and similarly, M. Goshen-Gottstein[47] held that any two or more readings which cannot be established as primary and secondary should be regarded as true alternatives, and M. Greenberg[48] reckoned with "irreducible variants going back to plural primary versions."

Though these critics have not sought to support their view from analogies in the Koran and in modern literature, it finds support in these quarters. Widengren contended that Muhammad not only contributed directly or indirectly to putting the Koran into writing but that he also made some interpolations in the text.[49] Regarding modern literature Hans Zeller[50] suggested that texts frequently exist in several versions, no one of which can be said to constitute itself the final one. Jerome J. McGann agrees: "Many works exist of which it can be said that their authors demonstrated a number of different wishes and intentions about what text they wanted to be presented to the public, and that these differences reflect accommodations to changed circumstances, and sometimes to changed publics."[51]

Varying final texts may be the product of an original author, a viewpoint similar to the first goal, or to editorial activity, a viewpoint similar to the second goal. From the text critic's view, the difference is immaterial. This goal attenuates the line between literary criticism and text criticism, for the text critic for the first time is now giving


the literary critic textual attestations of the editorial process with which the latter heretofore has worked only theoretically.

The theory should not be rejected out of hand on theological grounds. There is no reason why the Spirit may not have inspired men to write varying editions of the same book; in fact the parallel passages in the Bible suggest that he did. The theory does entail, however, modifying the notion of an "original autograph." On the other hand, the theory should not be latched onto too quickly, for parallels in ancient Near Eastern literature show that in the course of transmission texts were usually expanded and sometimes condensed.[52]

Tov thought that at "a certain point in time, the literary growth of the biblical books necessarily ended, at least for those who accepted the present canonical form of the books as final," after which point "the actual textual transmission began."[53] His goal, therefore, is ultimately to restore the Urtext. "At the beginning of the textual transmission, we thus posit one copy which incorporated the final literary product, and this text may, for the sake of convenience, be called the Urtext of the biblical books. The Urtext, then, is the ultimate goal of our text-critical analysis." In theory, however, there is no compelling reason why a text could not exist in more than one final canonical form.

VI. Conclusion

Theology and the humanities depend on text critics, who scientifically collect and compare variants, then select the "best" readings or even conjecture emendations where all texts prove exegetically senseless and/or nonsensical in order to artfully reconstruct final texts. Conjectured readings, however, lack the authority of an assured Hebrew reading: "Est conjectura, non vero scriptura." This task of the text critic must be kept distinct from scribes and publishers who modernize and interpret old texts.

The text critic's aim will vary according to the nature of the book. If a book had but one author, then the critic will aim to restore his original composition; if it be an edited text then he will seek to recover the final, canonical text. If he turns up more than one final text, he will turn his data over to the literary and canonical critic to determine


whether the text is in process of developing into a final canonical text or whether it existed in more than one canonical form. Before reaching this conclusion however, the text critic must make every effort to distinguish between "literary" versus "transmissiona1," or "creative" versus "mechanical," or "redactional" versus "scribal" additions. Judith Sanderson, following Gesenius and this writer, established some criteria for detecting editorial and scribal additions in the late second temple period as exhibited in the text of 4QpaleoExodM.[54] Text critics will need to continue their historic practice of identifying later haggadic and confessional additions and glosses brought into recensions. Some problems will remain beyond solution (crux interpretum), and the verdict non liquet ("unsolved") must be accepted.

Although these conclusions are unremarkable, until the writer drew them he was even more perplexed by the data and the debate.


[1] C. Thomas Tanselle, "The Editorial Problem of Final Authorial Intentions" ( 1976), reprinted in Tanselle's Selected Studies in Bibliography (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1979) 314.

[2] For scribal practices in editing the text see M. Fishbane, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (Oxford: Clarendon, 1985) 44-88.

[3] For an attempt to debunk the prevailing view that the text passed through a long and often complicated oral prehistory before arriving at the final text see Bruce K. Waltke, "Oral Tradition," in Inerrancy and Hermeneutic (ed. Harvie Conn; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988) 117-36.

[4] F. E. Deist, Toward the Text of the Old Testament (Pretoria: D. R. Church Booksellers, 1978) 24.

[5] See the excellent article by Tremper Longman III, "The Literary Approach to the Study of the Old Testament: Promise and Pitfalls," JETS 28 (1985) 385-98.

[6] Ernst Würthwein, The Text of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979) 37f.

[7] Cf. Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS), edited by K. Elliger and W. Rudolph (1967-77).

[8] M. H. Goshen-Gottstein (ed.), The Book of Isaiah (The Hebrew University Bible; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1975-).

[9] See L. H. Brockington, The Hebrew Text of the Old Testament: The Readings Adopted by the Translators of the New English Bible (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973); cf. the NAB appendix offering textual notes on the OT. For the NT see R. V. G. Tasker, The Greek New Testament (London: Oxford University Press, 1964), and B. M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (London and New York: United Bible Societies, 1971) . For a critique of Brockington's work see D. F. Payne, "Old Testament Textual Criticism: Its Principles and Practice," TynBul 25 (1974) 99-112.

[10] See vols. 1-3 of the Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 197-377). The first of five projected volumes was published in 1982: Dominique Barthelemy, Critique textuelle de l'Ancien Testament (OBO 50/1; Fribourg: Editions Universitaires, and Cottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprehct, 1982). For critiques of this work see Albert Frey, RTP 117 (1985) 197-207.

[11] See Sidney Jellicoe, The Septuagint and Modern Study (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968) 320.

[12] Cf. W. F. Albright in The Old Testament and Modern Studies (ed. H. H. Rowley; London: Oxford University Press, 1952) 25: "We may rest assured that the consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible, though not infallible, has been preserved with an accuracy perhaps unparalleled in any other Near-Eastern literature."

[13] Würthwein, Text, 116.

[14] Westminster Confession of Faith 1.8.

[15] John Sanders, "Text and Canon: Concepts and Method," JBL 98 (1979) 529, p. 12.

[16] See M. Margolis, "The Scope and Methodology of Biblical Philology," JQR ns 1 (1910-1911) 19, cited by E. Tov, The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (Jerusalem: Simor, 1981) 33.

[17] J. M. Sprinkle, JETS 28 (1985) 469.

[18] Frank Moore Cross, "The Ammonite Oppression of the Tribes of Gad and Reuben: Missing Verses from 1 Samuel 11 found in 4QSamuel," in The Hebrew and Greek Texts of Samuel (Jerusalem: Academon, 1980) 105-20. Note also Terry L. Eves, "One Ammonite Invasion or Two? 1 Sam 10:2711:2 in the Light of 4QSam[a]," WTJ 44 (1982) 308-26.

[19] Frank Moore Cross, "Problems of Method in the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible," in The Critical Study of Sacred Texts (ed. W. D. O'Flaherty; Berkeley Religious Studies Series, Graduate Theological Union, 1979) 37.

[20] Sanders, "Text and Canon," 5-29.

[21] For example, see Gillis Gerleman, "The Septuagint Proverbs as a Hellenistic Document," OTS 8 (1950) 15-27.

[22] P. R. Ackroyd, "An Authoritative Version of the Bible?" ExpTim 85 (1973-74) 376.

[23] Brevard S. Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979) 96f.

[24] Ibid., 101.

[25] Cf. the high respect for the text of the LXX in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

[26] Bruce K. Waltke, "Prolegomena to the Samaritan Pentateuch" (Ph.D. diss.; Harvard University, 1965) 20-59.

[27] Cf. A. J. Petrotta, "Old Testament Textual Criticism: Some Recent Proposals," The Theological Student Fellowship Bulletin (April 1981) 9.

[28] See D. Barthélemy, "Les Tiqqune soperim et la critique textuelle de l'Ancien Testament," International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament: Congress Volume (VTSup 9; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1963) 285-304; S. Talmon, Qumran and the History of the Biblical Text (ed. F. M. Cross and S. Talmon; Cambridge: Harvard University, 1975) 321-400.

[29] For a defense of the SP see R. H. Pfeiffer, Introduction to the Old Testament (New York: Harper 8: Brothers, 1941) 102; for a defense of MT see James Alan Montgomery, The Samaritans: The Earliest Jewish Sect (Philadelphia: J. C. Winston, 1907) 35.

[30] Adele Berlin, The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985) 69. For Talmon's bibliography see footnote no. 45.

[31] Cf. J. Weingreen, Introduction to the Critical Study of the Text of the Hebrew Bible (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982) 73-75.

[32] M. Cross and D. N. Freedman, Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry (SBLDS 21; Missoula: Scholars Press, 1975); Cf. G. Weil, "La nouvelle édition de la massorah gedolah selon le manuscript B 19a de Leningrad," Note e Testi (Firenze: Olschki, 1972) 329. Note the comment from about 100 BC in 1 Macc 9:27: "There had not been such great distress in Israel since the time prophets ceased to appear among the people."

[33] Robert G. Boling, "Synonymous Parallelism in the Psalms," JSS 5 (1960) 250.

[34] Gillis Gerleman, "Synoptic Studies in the Old Testament," Lunds Universitets Årsskrift (N. F. Avd. 1) 44 (1948) 34, 69f.

[35] Read "Zedekiah" with a few Hebrew MSS and Syriac.

[36] For other examples of additions and slight differences between the two versions of Jeremiah see E. Tov, Text-Critical Use, 190-92, 297-98; id., "L'incidence de la critique textuelle sur la critique littéraire dans le livre de Jérémie," RB 79 (1972) 189-99; and id., "Exegetical Notes on the Hebrew Vorlage of the LXX of Jeremiah 27 (34)," ZAW 91 (1979) 73-93.

[37] J. Gerald Janzen, Studies in the Text of Jeremiah (HSM 6; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973) 173-84.

[38] Sven Soderlund, The Greek Text of Jeremiah: A Revised Hypothesis (JSOTSup 47; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985) llf.

[39] Janzen, Studies.

[40] Soderlund, Greek Text, 198-248.

[41] E. Tov, Lincidence; id., Some Sequence Differences between the MT and the LXX and Their Ramifications for Literary Criticism of the Bible, forthcoming in JNSL.

[42] E. Tov, "The Growth of the Book of Joshua in the Light of the Evidence of the LXX Translation," in Studies in the Bible: 1986 (ScrHier 31; Jerusalem, Magnes, 1986) 321-39.

[43] E. Tov, "The Composition of 1 Samuel 1618 in the Light of the Septuagint Version," in Empirical Models for Biblical Criticism (ed . J. H. Tigay; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1985) 97-130.

[44] E. Tov, "Recensional Differences between the MT and LXX of Ezekiel," ETL 62 (1986) 89-101.

[45] Soderlund. Greek Text, 248.

[46] S. Talmon, "The Variant Readings of IQls[a]," Auerbach Jubilee Volume (Jerusalem 1956) 147-56 [Hebrew], cited by Tov, Text-Critical Use, 311; id., "Synonymous Readings in the Textual Traditions of the OT," in Studies in the Bible (ScrHier 8; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1961) 335-85; id., "The Textual Study of the Bible - A New Outlook," in Qumran and the History of the Biblical Text, 321-400.

[47] M. Goshen-Gottstein, "The History of the Bible Text and Comparative Semitics," VT 7 (1957) 195-20 1; cited by Tov, Text-Critical Use, 311.

[48] M. Greenberg, "The Use of Ancient Versions for Interpreting the Hebrew Text," Congress Volume: Göttingen 1977 (VTSup 29; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1978) 131-48; cited by Tov, Text-Critical Use, 311.

[49] Geo Widengren, Literary and Psychological Aspects of the Hebrew Prophets (Uppsala Universitets Årsskriff 10; Uppsala: Lundequistska, 1948) 49.

[50] Hans Zeller, "A New Approach to the Critical Constitution of Literary Texts," SB 28 (1975) 231-64.

[51] Jerome J. McGann, A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism (Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 1983) 32.

[52] See bibliography cited by Soderlund, Greek Text, 201.

[53] Emanuel Tov, "Criteria for Evaluating Textual Readings: The Limitations of Textual Rules," HTR 75 (1982) 429-48.

[54] Tov, "Criteria," 431-54. Judith E. Sanderson, An Exodus Scroll from Qumran: 4QpaleoExodM and the Samaritan Tradition (HSS 30; Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press, 1986).