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Fixing God's TorahThe Accuracy of the Hebrew Bible Text in Jewish Law$
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B. Barry Levy

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195141139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/019514113X.001.0001

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Fixing God's Torah Since the Sixteenth Century

Fixing God's Torah Since the Sixteenth Century

Chapter:
(p.156) 8 Fixing God's Torah Since the Sixteenth Century
Source:
Fixing God's Torah
Author(s):

B. Barry Levy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019514113X.003.0008

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

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