by Prof. Emanuel Tov
— Part 1—The Masoretic Text (MT), whether in its consonantal form (Proto-MT) or its full form, is the commonly used version of the Hebrew Bible, considered authoritative by Jews for almost two millenia. From the invention of the printing press, all Hebrew editions of the Hebrew Bible have been based on a text form of MT, with the exception of publications of the Samaritan Pentateuch or eclectic editions.
The Bible and the Masoretic Text
The roots of MT and its popularity go back to the first century of the Common Era. Before that period, only the proto-rabbinic (Pharisaic) movement made use of MT, while other streams in Judaism used other Hebrew textual traditions.
In other words, before the first century of the Common Era, we witness a textual plurality among Jews, with multiple text forms conceived of as “the Bible,” or Scripture, including the Hebrew source upon which the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint (LXX), was built...
Table of Contents
Part 1 – The Bible and the Masoretic Text
Part 2 – Judean Desert Texts Outside Qumran
Part 3 – Socio-Religious Background and Stabilization
Part 4 – The Scribes of Proto-MT and their Practices
Part 5 – Precise Transmission of Inconsistent Spelling
Part 6 – Scribal Marks
Part 7 – Key Characteristics of the (Proto-)MT
Part 8 – Other Biblical Text Traditions
Part 9 – Evaluating (Proto-)MT
Part 10 – Editions and Translations of (Proto-)MT