Chapter

Fixing God's Torah Since the Sixteenth Century

B. Barry Levy

in Fixing God's Torah

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195141139
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780199834945 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019514113X.003.0008
 Fixing God's Torah Since the Sixteenth Century

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It is pointed out that the process of changing the text of the Torah is still continuing, as the evidence for doing this continues to grow and change. Moreover, despite the assurance that many previously questionable spellings have been settled to the satisfaction of the halakhic system, the historical fact that numerous conflicting readings (spellings and other variations) did (and still do) exist cannot be made to disappear. The text is testimony to both the care and precision of its preservation and to an extensive list of minor textual variations. Most of the variants in the postmedieval rabbinic literature are relatively minor, but there are quite a number, and examples of some of these passages are presented in this chapter. The current decoding craze (from an imperfect text that is treated as perfect for that purpose), and the possibility of the discovery of a new ‘old text’ of the Torah are also addressed.

Keywords: accuracy; ancient texts; halakhic evidence; Hebrew Bible; spelling; Torah

Chapter.  11611 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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