Ancient Versions and Textual Transmission of the Old Testament
Gerard J. Norton
This essay will first give a schematic outline of the history of the Hebrew text in four stages. The elements that readers will meet in modern editions of that text are then presented. These modern editions find a common focus in the great Tiberian manuscripts of about 1000 CE linked with the name of ben Asher. These manuscripts are presented in conjunction with the editions. The possibility of finding variant Hebrew traditions in manuscripts from after that date is discussed, and largely rejected. The discernment of differing traditions in witnesses from before 1000 CE is discussed with reference to the ancient versions and the manuscript traditions from Qumran.