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Project Description

The so-called Textus Receptus (TR) of the Hebrew Bible is based on a Tiberian Masoretic tradition, which mainly goes back to the Masoretic families of Ben Asher and Ben Naftali. This text tradition became established in the Christian world - first in the manuscript tradition in the Ibero-Sephardic region, later mainly through Hebrew printing. With the Second Rabbinical Bible by Daniel Bomberg (1525), this text type achieved its first standardization, which is still valid today. The fact that other text types (Palestinian; Yemenite-Babylonian) have also been preserved, of which a large number of medieval manuscripts - especially the Ashkenazic and Italian ones - have genuine text variants, has so far gone almost unnoticed. Moreover, until recently no clear philological statement could be made about the biblical text traditions in the rabbinic writings in order to make a quantitative and qualitative overview of the diversity of the Hebrew consonantal biblical text in the different geo-cultural areas of Judaism. The aim of the project is the complete computer-aided recording and evaluation of the variant readings in selected rabbinic texts on the basis of the Babylonian-Yemenite text traditions, which have been incorporated into the rabbinic biblical text tradition to a large extent. Only by analyzing these variants will it be possible to reconstruct the variability of biblical textual history up to the High Middle Ages and thus close an important gap in biblical textual criticism. Since Christian biblical scholarship bases its biblical text exclusively on a Tiberian manuscript (Firkovich, Evr. I B 19a, the basis of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia [BHS] and the Biblia Hebraica Quinta [BHQ]), the current project will also close a gap in Western European Christian Hebraism, whose Hebrew textual basis, mediated by the Jews until the end of the 13th century, was the Ashkenazic text type.

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