Wednesday, August 31, 2011

3rd Edition of Emanuel Tov's "Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible"

Fortress Press announced here that the third revised and expanded edition of Emanuel Tov's classic Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible will be released on November 1, 2011. This work has become the standard reference work in the field, and the new edition apparently will be incorporating some of the developments in Tov's thinking over the last decade, as well as an extensive section on the relationship between textual criticism and exegesis, which promises to be interesting.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Big Valley Christian School

Today I had a great opportunity to discuss textual criticism and the reliability of the text of the Bible with the junior high students at Big Valley Christian School in Modesto, CA for their first chapel service of the year. I explained the basic premises of textual criticism, some of the more significant examples of the manuscript evidence available for the Bible, and also a few examples of text-critical problems. It was a very simple presentation, but I think they enjoyed it and hopefully learned something. The main conclusions to be drawn?

1) The Bibles has been preserved essentially through the ages with a very high degree of accuracy.

2) In some cases, textual criticism can help restore the original text more precisely.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Hebrew University Bible Project

The Hebrew University Bible Project got a little sensationalistic attention from an AP reporter recently here. In truth the scholars of the Bible project should be commended for their extraordinary efforts in exhaustively collating the textual evidence, but there is nothing revolutionary about it. Ironically, the policy of the HUBP is not even to give evaluation of variants... :) The end result of the project will be the fullest listing of the evidence to date, but most of the significant problems have already been discovered and discussed. Nevertheless, we can look forward to the completion of the project as a great help for OT textual criticism... hopefully sooner than 2211! For anyone who wants more information on the Hebrew University Bible, fuller explanation can be found on pages 19-20 of my master's thesis here.