Digital Hammurabi: Textual Criticism (3): Textual Criticism and the Hebrew Bible

Yesterday I posted a link to the second video in Dr. Joshua Bowen’s series on the topic of textual criticism where he discussed some of the methods and rules utilized by textual critics when they engage in their craft. In the next video Bowen goes into the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible specifically.

The example he gives is from Exodus 3:14 where we read liḇ-nê yiś-rā-’êl (“to the sons/children of Israel”) and in the critical apparatus of BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) you can see a note b which leads you to an alternate reading of ’el- bə-nê (“to the sons/children”). Now having the Hebrew preposition ’el rather than li doesn’t change the meaning, especially since in 3:15 you see ’el- bə-nê rather than liḇ-nê, but it does show that sometimes scribes made changes for various reasons and critical editions like BHS make note of those variations.

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