Chapter

Introduction. The Role of Scribes in the Transmission of Biblical Literature

Michael Fishbane

in Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel

Published in print December 1988 | ISBN: 9780198266990
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600593 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198266995.003.0002

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Introduction. The Role of Scribes in the Transmission of Biblical Literature

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Scribal practice provides the most concrete evidence for the transmission of a body of tradition, and of its elucidation and clarification. The nature and institution of scribal practice in ancient Israel is considered. Various features of the scribal guilds of ancient Israel are presented, and numerous examples provided from diverse genres. Evidence for textual transmission in the form of colophons and title‐lines; of references to gathering and selecting materials; and the clarification and correction of texts is provided. Comparisons with related materials from the ancient Near East and various versions of Scripture (e.g. the Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch) are made.

Keywords: colophon; guilds; sage‐scribes; scribes; textual transmission; title‐line

Chapter.  10199 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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