Old Testament

From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

The conscientious preservation of the discrepancies of parallel passages (as Psalm 14 and Psalm 53; Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22; Isaiah 36-39; and 2 Kings 18-20; Jeremiah 52 and 2 Kings 24-25; Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7), notwithstanding the temptation to assimilate them, proves the accuracy of Ezra and his associates in transmitting the Scriptures to us. The Maccabean coins and the similar Samaritan character preserve for us the alphabetical characters in which the text was written, resembling those in use among the Phoenicians. The targums, shortly before Christ, introduced the modern Aramaic or square characters now used for Hebrew.

Keil however attributes these to Ezra. No vowel points were used, but in the later books matres lectionis or vowel letters. The words were separated by spaces, except those closely connected. Sections, parshioth, are marked by commencing a new line or by blank spaces. The greater parshioth are the sabbath lessons marked in the Mishna, and perhaps dating from the introduction of the square letters; distinct from the verse divisions made in Christian times. Pesukim is the term for "verses." The Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch are the oldest documents with which to criticize our Hebrew text. Gesenius has shown the inferiority of the Samaritan text to our Hebrew Pentateuch:

(1) it substitutes common for unusual grammatical forms;

(2) it admits glosses into the text;

(3) it emends difficult passages, substituting easier readings;

(4) it corrects and adds words from parallel passages;

(5) it interpolates from them;

(6) it removes historical and other difficulties of the subject matter;

(7) Samaritanisms in language;

(8) passages made to agree with the Samaritan theology.

However, as a help in arriving at the text in difficult passages, it has its use. The Samaritan text agrees with the Septuagint in more than one thousand places where both differ from the Masoretic, yet their independence is shown in that the Septuagint agree with the Masoretic in a thousand places, and both herein differ from the Samaritan text. A revised text existed probably along with our Hebrew one in the centuries just before Christ, and was used by the Septuagint. The Samaritans altered it still more (Gesenius); so it became "the Alexandrian Samaritan text." The Samaritans certainly did not receive their Pentateuch from the Israelite northern kingdom, for they have not received the books of Israel's prophets, Hosea, Jonah, Amos. Being pagan, they probably had the Pentateuch first introduced among them from Judah by Manasseh and other priests who joined them at the time of the building of the Mount Gerizim temple.

Josephus (contra Apion i. 8) boasts that through all past ages none had added to, or taken from, or transposed, aught of the sacred writings. The Greek translation of Aquila mainly agrees with ours. So do the targums of Onkelos and Jonathan. Origen in the Hexapla, and especially Jerome, instructed by Palestinian Jews in preparing the Vulgate, show a text identical with ours in even the traditional unwritten vowel readings. The learning of the schools of Hillel and Shammai in Christ's time was preserved, after Jerusalem's fall, in those of Jabneh, Sepphoris, Caesarea, and Tiberias. R. Judah the Holy compiled the Mishna, the Talmud text, before A. D. 220. The twofold Gemara, or commentary, completed the Talmud; the Jerusalem Gemara of the Jews of Tiberias was written at the end of the fourth century; the Babylonian emanated from the schools on the Euphrates at the end of the fifth century. Their assigning the interpretation to the targumist, as distinguished from the transcriber, secured the text from the conjectural interpolations otherwise to be apprehended.

The Talmudic doctors counted the verses in each book, and which was the middle verse, word, and letter in the Pentateuch, and in the psalms, marking it by a large letter or one raised above the line ( Leviticus 11:42;  Psalms 80:14). The Talmudists have a note, "read, but not written," to mark what ought to be read though not in the text, at  2 Samuel 8:3;  2 Samuel 16:23;  Jeremiah 31:38;  Jeremiah 50:29;  Ruth 2:11;  Ruth 3:5;  Ruth 3:17; also "written but not (to be) read,"  2 Kings 5:18;  Deuteronomy 6:1;  Jeremiah 51:3;  Ezekiel 48:16;  Ruth 3:12. So the Masoretic Qeri's (marginal readings) in  Job 13:15;  Haggai 1:8. Their scrupulous abstinence from introducing what they believed the truer readings guarantees to us both their critical care in examining the text and their reverence in preserving it intact. They rejected manuscripts not agreeing with others (Taanith Hierosol. 68, section 1). Their rules as to transcribing and adopting manuscripts show their carefulness.

The Soph-Pasuk (":" colon) marking the verse endings, and the Maqqeph ("-" hyphen), joining words, were introduced after the Talmudic time and earlier than the accents. The Maqqeph embodies the traditional authority for joining or separating words; words joined by it have only one accent. Translate therefore  Psalms 45:4 without "and," "meekness-righteousness," i.e. righteousness manifesting itself in meekness. The Masorah, i.e. tradition (first digested by the doctors in the fifth century), compiled in writing the thus accumulated traditions and criticisms, and became a kind of "fence of the law." In the post-Talmudic period THE MASORAH (Buxtorf, Tiberias) notes:

(1) as to the verses, how many are in each book, the middle verse in each; how many begin with certain letters, or end with the same word, or had a certain number of words and letters, or certain words a number of times;

(2) as to the words, the Qeri 's (Marginal Readings) and Kethib 's (Readings Of The Text) ; also words found so many times in the beginning, middle, or end of a verse, or with a particular meaning; also in particular words where transcribers' mistakes were likely, whether they were to be written with or without the vowel letters; also the accentuation;

(3) as to the letters, how often each occurred in the Old Testament, etc., etc.

The written Masorah was being formed from the sixth century to the tenth century. Its chief value is its collection of Qeri's, of which some are from the Talmud, many from manuscripts, others from the sole authority of the Masoretes. The Bomberg Bible contains 1171. The small number in the Pentateuch, 43, is due to the greater care bestowed on the law as compared with the other Scriptures. The Masorah is distinguished into Magna and Parva (An Abridgment Of The Magna, Including The Qeri'S And Printed At The Foot Of The Page) . The magna is partly at the side of the text commented on, partly at the end. Their inserting the vowel marks in the text records for us the traditional pronunciation. The vowel system was molded after the Arabian system, and that after the Syrian system. The acceders in their logical signification were called "senses"; in their musical signification, "tones." They occur in the Masorah, not in the Talmud. The very difficulties which are left unremoved, in explaining some passages consistently with the accents and the vowel points, show that both embody, not the Masoretes' private judgment, but the traditions of previous generations.

Walton's Polyglot gives readings also of the Palestinian and of the Babylonian Jews; the former printed first in the Bomberg Bible by R. Jacob ben Chaim, 216 in all, concerning the consonants, except two as to the mappik. Aaron ben Asher, a Palestinian, and R. Jacob, a Babylonian Jew, having collated manuscripts in the 11th century, mention 864 different readings of vowels, accents, and Makkeph , and ( Song of Solomon 8:6) the division of a word. Our manuscripts generally agree with Ben Asher's readings. The Masorah henceforward settled the text of Jewish manuscripts; older manuscripts were allowed to perish as incorrect. Synagogue rolls and manuscripts for private use are the two classes known to us. Synagogue rolls contain separately the Pentateuch, the Haphtaroth (literally, "dismissals," being read just before the congregations departed) or sections of the prophets, and the Megilloth , namely, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther: all without vowels, accents, and sophpasuks.

The Sopherim Tract appended to the Babylonian Talmud prescribes as to the preparation of the parchment for these rolls, and the ceremonial required in writing them. They are not sold; it is supposed that only vitiated copies, rejected by the synagogue, have gotten into Christian hands. The Spanish writing is rounder and modern, the German and Polish writing is more angular, designated the Tam ("perfect") and the Welsh ("foreign") respectively. Private manuscripts are in book form, the inner margin being used for the Masorah Parva, the upper and lower margins for the Masorah and rabbinical comments. Sections and verses are marked. One wrote the consonants, another the vowels and accents in a fainter ink, another the Masorah. Most manuscripts are of the 12th century. Kennicott assigns No. 590 of his collation to the 10th century. DeRossi assigns to A.D. 1018, and his own (No. 634) to the eighth century. The Spanish manuscripts, like the Masorah, place Chronicles before the hagiographa; the German manuscripts, like the Talmud, place Jeremiah and Ezekiel before Isaiah; and Ruth, separate from the other Megilloth , before Psalms.

Of the 581 manuscripts collated by Kennicott, 102 have the whole Old Testament. Pinner found at Odessa manuscripts (presented by a Karaite of Eupatoria in 1839 to the Odessa Hist. and Antiq. Society), one of which, brought from Derbend in Daghestan, appears from the subscription older than A.D. 580. If this is correct, it is the oldest extant. Another, a manuscript of the prophets, inscribed A.D. 916, has vowels and accents differing from the ordinary form, and placed above the letters. The China manuscripts resemble the European; so the manuscript brought by Buchanan from Malabar. The manuscript in a cave under the synagogue of Aleppo bears inscription: "I Moses ben Asher wrote this cycle of Scripture with all correctness, as the good hand of God was upon me ... in the city of Tiberias. Amen. Finished 827 years after the destruction of the second temple." The Psalter, with Kimchi's commentary, was the first printed Hebrew scripture, at Bologna, in A.D. 1477; at Soncino the first whole Hebrew Bible, one of which edition is in Exeter College, Oxford.

In 1494 Gersom printed at Brescia the edition from which Luther made his German translated Bomberg at Venice printed in 1518 the first edition with Masorah, targums, and rabbinical comments; Felix del Prato, a converted Jew, being editor. Bomberg at Venice printed the second rabbinical Bible, four vols. fol., 1525, with the text corrected from the Masorah by R. Jacob ben Chaim, a Tunisian Jew. Jos. Athias, a rabbi and printer at Amsterdam, compared previous editions with a manuscript, A.D. 1299, and a Spanish manuscript 900 years old, and printed an edition 1661 with preface by Leusden, professor at Utrecht. Van der Hooght's edition, 2 vols. 8vo, 1705, which is our textus receptus, rests on Athias'. Kennicott's Dissertations on the Printed Text, 1753 and 1759, drew from the English public 10,000 British pounds to secure a collation of manuscripts throughout Europe. He and Brans of Helinstadt collated 581 Jewish and 16 Samaritan manuscripts (half of them throughout, the rest only in select passages), and 40 printed editions. The result was printed with Van der Hooght's text, 1776-80.

DeRossi at Parma gave from ancient versions various readings of Select Passages and from the collation on them of 617 manuscripts, and 134 besides, which Kennicott had not seen; four vols. 1784-1788, a fifth vol. 1798. The variations were trifling, chiefly of vowel letters; so that we have the assurance that our Old Testament text is almost as pure as attainable. The ancient versions alone need more careful scrutiny. Jerome's Vulgate is the best critical help on disputed passages. Aquila's, Symmachus', and Theodotion's versions are only fragments. The Syriac leans on the Septuagint. The targums are only paraphrases; still, they, if all agreeing together for a reading, furnish a strong presumption in its favor. The Septuagint confirms a reading if otherwise rendered probable, but not by itself alone. Smith's Bible Dictionary. conjectures on  Psalms 76:10, from the Septuagint, Techageka for Tachgor , "the remainder of wrath shall keep holiday to Thee."

But the Hebrew text is susceptible of the KJV if the cognate Arabic is an authority. Or else the Hebrew literally, is "Thou girdest Thyself with the remainder of the foe's wrath," i.e., even to its last remains (compare  Psalms 75:8) it serves as a weapon to gird Thyself with for their destruction (Hengstenberg); or, "those left of the foe, who vented their wrath against Thee, Thou girdest Thyself with, making them acknowledge and praise Thy power" (Maurer):  Psalms 75:11;  Isaiah 49:18;  Psalms 68:30. The Septuagint is two centuries later than the last book of Old Testament It is only in the period immediately following the closing of the Old Testament canon that its few corruptions have arisen, for subsequently the jealous care of its purity has been continually on the increase. The Septuagint translators neither knew enough Hebrew for rightly fulfilling their task, nor used what they knew to the best purpose. Transcription subsequently has much corrupted their version, it being in great demand and often therefore transcribed hastily without the scrupulous care with which the Hebrew text was most carefully guarded.

The New Testament quotes mainly the Septuagint Old Testament, but corrects it by the Hebrew when needful ( Matthew 21:5;  Matthew 9:13;  Matthew 4:15-16;  John 19:37;  1 Corinthians 3:19;  1 Corinthians 15:54;  Luke 22:37;  Romans 9:33). The Septuagint alone is quoted throughout Epistle to the Hebrew, except for  Hebrews 10:30. A specimen of corrections from the Qeri in conjunction with the Septuagint is  Isaiah 9:3, "its" for "not"; but the difficulty of the reading favors the text, "Thou hast multiplied the nation and (soon after) not increased the joy"; for the increase of the true Israel by Gentile converts to Christianity was soon followed by the growth of corruption and antichrist; but he in turn is to be destroyed, as Midian was by Gideon, to the "joy" of the elect nation. In  Psalms 22:16 Aquila (A.D. 133), a Jew, reads "they disfigured," confirming the reading in KJV, "they pierced my hands," in opposition to "they enclosed as a lion my hands," etc. So the Septuagint, Syriac, Ethiopic, Arabic, Vulgate.

The little Masorah admits that the Hebrew, which in  Isaiah 38:13 means "as a lion," has a different sense here. The Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch agree in the easier reading of  Deuteronomy 32:5, "they (belong) not to Him, children of spot" (defilement); compare  Ephesians 5:7; but the Hebrew text is intelligible, "they are not His children, but their blemish," i.e. the disgrace of God's children. For "after the commandment" ( Hosea 5:11) the Septuagint, Syriac, and targums read "vanity," Jerome "filthiness." But the "commandment" which Ephraim "walked after" is Jeroboam's ( 1 Kings 12:28-33;  2 Kings 10:28-33;  Micah 6:16). Interpretation. The literal system prevailed in Palestine, the allegorical in the Alexandria. Philo is an instance of the latter class. Later Jewish writers searched for recondite meanings in the places, construction, and orthography, apart from the logical context. The Kabala ("reception," "received tradition") attached symbolical meanings to the number of times a word or letter recurred, or to the number which letters represented.

For instance the Hebrew letter 'Αleph ( א ), a, is found six times in the first verse of Genesis and six times in  2 Chronicles 36:23, the last verse of the Hebrew Bible, therefore the world will last 6,000 years. This is the Gematria method. By the Notarjekon process new significant words were formed out of the initial or final words of the text, or a word's letters were made the initials of a new significant series of words. By the Τemurah) ("change") process new words were obtained, by anagram (Or Transposition Of Letters; Whereby They Supposed, For Instance, That Michael Must Be The Angel Meant In  Exodus 23:23 , Because It Has The Same Letters As "My Angel" In Hebrew By Transposition) or by the Atbash alphabet where the last letter of the alphabet represented 'Αleph ( א ), the last but one Βet[H] ( ב ), and so on; thus Sheshach would mean Babel or Babylon. The Christian interpreters soon rejected these subtleties and maintained the historical reality of Old Testament events. Clement of Alexandria laid down the fourfold view of the Old Testament: literal, symbolical, moral, and prophetic (Strom. 1:28).

Origen (de Princip. 4:11) his scholar recognizes in it a body, soul, and spirit; the first for the simple, the second for the more advanced, the third for the perfect. Allegory (Of Which The Song And  Galatians 4:21-31 Are Divinely Sanctioned Instances) and analogy are pressed too far by him, so much so that he denies the literal sense of Genesis 1-4. Contrast the right use, the moral deduced from the literal sense ( Deuteronomy 25:4 with  1 Corinthians 9:9), and spiritual truths shadowed forth in the literal. ( 1 Corinthians 10:1-11;  Hebrews 8:5;  Romans 11:4-5;  Romans 9:13-21, etc.) Diodore of Tarsus in the fourth century attended only to the letter of Scripture. Theodore of Mopsuestia pursued the grammatical method so exclusively that he rejected rationalistically the Old Testament prophetic references, as if the application to Messiah was only by accommodation. Chrysostom accepted the literal and spiritual, and especially dwelt on the moral sense.

Theodoret similarly combined the literal, historical, allegorical, and prophetical. Hilary of Poictiers drew forth the sense that Scripture intended, not what might be forced out of it. Augustine made the literal sense of Scripture history the basis of the mystical, so that the latter should not be "a building resting on air" (Serm. ii. 6). Luther truly says, "the best grammatical (literal) interpreter is also the best theologian." On the Old Testament Jarchi (A.D. 1105), Aben Ezra (1167), Kimchi (1240), and especially Nicholas of Lyre (1341, in his Postillae Perpetuae) set the example of literal interpretation. It was said, " Si Lyra Non Lyrasset, Luther Non Saltasset "; if Lyra had not piped, Luther would not have danced. The moral must rest on the grammatical (literal) historical, and the spiritual on both. These four in some passages co-exist. Others, as the genealogies and many historical details, are links joining together the significant parts. Others are simply moral and spiritual, as Proverbs. Often the moral teaching lies not in separate passages, as, for instance, the speeches of the book of Job, but in the general tenor and issue of the whole, to unfold which the separate passages work together. The New Testament is the key to the Old Testament.

As Christ and His apostles in the New Testament interpreted many parts and facts of the Old Testament, so we must interpret other parts and facts of the Old Testament which they have left uninterpreted, on analogous principles of interpretation. The New Testament does not note the spiritual meaning of every Old Testament type and history, and the fulfillment of every prophecy; space would not admit of it. That is our part, with prayer for the Holy Spirit. " Ιn Vetere Τestamenlo Νovum Latet, In Νovo Vetus Patet "; the New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament, the Old Testament is revealed in the New ( 2 Corinthians 3:6-18). The whole substance of the Old Testament is in the New Testament, but the details are to be unfolded by prayerful search.

The literal interpretation is quite consistent with recognizing metonymies, as "mouth" substituted for "word," the cause put for the effect; metaphors, as "hardness" said of the heart; parabolic images ( Isaiah 5:1-7;  Judges 9:8-15, where the history can be discerned only by recognizing the allegory); personifications; anthropomorphisms, or human conceptions as the "hand," "fingers," "wrath," etc., applied to God; allegory, having no outward reality, as the Song of Solomon is nevertheless the vehicle of representing the historical being, the heavenly Bridegroom, and His church the bride. Again, the prophets depict events as accomplished at once, which in fact were the work of a long period, e.g. Babylon's destruction (Isaiah 13). Each fresh stage in the gradually fulfilled accomplishment is an earliest of a further stage, and at length of the final consummation. Preliminary typical fulfillments do not exhaust but point onward to the exhaustive fulfillment. The moral aim is the reason for the disproportionate space occupied by personal biographies of men remarkable for piety or wickedness, and for the gaps which occur in parts of the Old Testament history.

Whatever illustrates God's providence, man's sinfulness, believers' frailties, God's mercy and faithfulness, is narrated at length at the sacrifice of symmetry. Important wars and political revolutions are briefly noticed. Those events are made prominent and full which illustrate the onward march of the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit's inspiration alone could enable the writers to put the events in the due proportion of God's design. Christ and His apostles bring to light the moral and spiritual truths wrapped up in the Old Testament letter (Matthew 5-7;  Matthew 19:5-6;  Matthew 22:32;  John 10:34-35;  Acts 7:48-49;  1 Corinthians 9:9-10;  2 Corinthians 8:13-15). So in the Old Testament histories ( Luke 6:3; Romans 4;  Romans 9:12-13;  Romans 9:17;  1 Corinthians 10:6-11;  Hebrews 3:7-11; Hebrew 11;  2 Peter 2:15-16;  1 John 3:11-15). Scripture does not sanction every act of a believer which it records, even though it expresses no condemnation ( Judges 3:21;  1 Samuel 21:13;  1 Samuel 27:8-12).

Elisha's non-condemnation of Naaman's temporizing with his master's idolatry for expediency does not sanction it ( 2 Kings 5:18-19); its record of Jephthah's rash vow gives no approval. The praise of one's faith does not involve commendation of all his or her recorded acts. The speeches of Job's friends are recorded; it is our part, by comparing them with God's revealed will in other parts of Scripture, to ascertain which sentiments are true and which erroneous, and in the end of the book disapproved by God ( Job 42:7). Jacob's deceits toward his father, and taking advantage of his brother's recklessness, are not approved of, but his faith at the root is what constituted him heir of the promises. It is God's design that spiritual truths should not lie always on the surface, but often need reverent, diligent, and prayerful search. This is our probation; it is also an excellence of the Bible, that it presents to us living men as they are, faulty like the best of us (Excepting The One Faultless Model) , so that we may copy the good and shun the evil. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" ( Revelation 19:10).

The Old Testament is one great type and prophecy, which finds and will find its fullest accomplishment in Him ( Luke 24:44;  Matthew 26:54;  Matthew 5:17-18). It cannot be mere accident that the evangelic history runs parallel with the Mosaic;  Genesis 3:15 is the germ of all succeeding revelation; its one subject is man in conflict with Satan, Satan's temporary successes, man's final victory. In the Case of Jonah the spiritual Antitype confirms the reality of the typical outward fact, the Antitype was even more marvelous than the marvelous type. Moreover the spiritual must rest upon the literal and moral; therefore mere outward fulfillments of prophecy do not suffice; e.g. there must be a further deeper and more spiritual fulfillment of the type, Israel's sojourn in Egypt, than that of our Lord's sojourn there; it marks Him as the true Israel with high destiny before Him after His temporary sojourn in this Egypt world. The New Testament quotes Old Testament prophecies as "fulfilled" in certain events, but not necessarily completely, for the same prophecy has progressive fulfillments down to the final one.

There is a succession of events, each of which partially fills up but does not cover the whole ground, which shall only be covered when the whole succession shall be filled up; like concentric circles all referable to one center ( Acts 2:17-21). So the same verse has manifold bearings, as  Psalms 24:1, quoted for opposite aspects of the same truth ( 1 Corinthians 10:26;  1 Corinthians 10:28). Jesus and His apostles alone use "fulfill" for the New Testament accomplishment of Old Testament Scripture. Matthew ( Matthew 2:15;  Matthew 2:18;  Matthew 2:23) alleges three events in Jesus' youth as occurring "in order that it (Scripture) might be fulfilled," for the Old Testament word divinely causes its own fulfillment in the New Testament. Again, the New Testament writers show the Holy Spirit's inspiration in the liberty they take in altering the Old Testament words for their purpose ( Matthew 26:31, compare  Zechariah 13:7;  Romans 11:26-27, compare  Isaiah 59:20;  Isaiah 2:3;  Matthew 8:17;  Isaiah 53:4).

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

1. The Old Testament in the primitive Church. -By the opening of the Christian era the limits of the OT Canon had been practically fixed, and a high doctrine of its inspiration developed within the Jewish Church. The real Author of the books embraced within the Canon was God Himself; and, charged as they were with His Spirit, they were holy as He was, and ‘defiled the hands’ of those who touched them. The OT Scriptures were thus the final norm of faith and conduct, and an appeal to their authority was decisive (see articleScripture). The early generation of Christians inherited this tradition. As children of the household of Israel, they grew up in the atmosphere of the OT revelation; and, even when they passed to the fuller life in Christ, they carried with them their reverence for the ancient Scriptures. No need for a distinctively Christian literature was yet felt. The books of the OT were the ‘oracles of God,’ which enshrined the Divine rule of life, not for the Fathers only, but for those also who had been called and redeemed in Christ. Being read mainly in the Greek or Aramaic versions, and interpreted, with the freedom characteristic of the age, as a collection of independent ‘prophecies’ or predictions of things to come, they were easily made to cover the great facts associated with Christ’s teaching, personality, and work. In this light they were regarded also as a sufficient guide to Christian conduct.

The clearest reflexion of this simple attitude towards the OT is found in the apostolic preaching in Acts. The theme of all the utterances found there is the salvation won through Christ’s death and resurrection. But the burden of proof rests on the authority of the Scriptures, as represented by the Septuagint. Christ Himself is the Prophet whose coming was heralded by Moses ( Acts 3:22;  Acts 7:37), and His death is the ‘fulfilling’ of ‘the things which God foreshewed by the mouth of all the prophets’ ( Acts 3:18). To Him the mysterious prophecy of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 is directly applied ( Acts 8:32 f.). His resurrection, likewise, is that which was ‘foreseen’ by David in his protest against God’s ‘Holy One’ seeing corruption ( Acts 2:25 ff.), and points forward to the final restoration of all things ‘whereof God spake by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the world began’ ( Acts 3:21). The outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost is equally the fulfilment of Joes’s glorious vision of the latter days ( Acts 2:16 ff.), while the persecution that followed the first triumphs of the gospel marks the rage of kings and nations against the Lord and His Anointed, as foretold ‘by the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of our father David thy servant’ ( Acts 4:25 f.). Even the tragedy of Judas’ end is the immediate working out of the curse denounced in  Psalms 69:25 against the enemies of the righteous ( Acts 1:20).

2. The Old Testament and the conflict for spiritual freedom. -So long as the preaching of the gospel was confined to Jews, the new wine was easily kept within the old bottles. But a conflict was inevitable when the wine began to ferment, and the freedom of the faith to assert itself against Jewish limitations. This conflict is already foreshadowed in St. Stephen’s preaching; but it became acute only with the conversion and world-wide ministry of St. Paul.

The Apostle to the Gentiles was a Pharisee ‘of the straitest sect,’ brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, and thus imbued not merely with a deep reverence and love for the Scriptures, but also with the Rabbinic method of expounding them, in entire independence of their historical setting and significance, as a store-house of separate ‘oracles,’ the manifold sense of which (literal, allegorical, rational, and mystical) was to be deduced by the interpreter’s own insight, logical acumen, or fancy, according to the rules laid down by representative Rabbis. His love for the ‘sacred writings’ St. Paul naturally brought with him into the service of Christ. His sermons and Epistles are steeped in the language of the OT, and proof-texts are abundantly used to point the edge of an argument, or to emphasize his counsels for Christian life (see articleQuotations). Like his Jewish teachers, the Apostle continued to read the Scriptures as a body of independent ‘words,’ each charged with a life and force of its own. He is usually indifferent to the exact exegesis of his texts, following the Septuaginteven when its rendering is faulty, though occasionally he does appear to cite from the original Hebrew. In other directions he claims a wide freedom in his reproduction and application of texts. Nor has he shaken himself quite clear of Rabbinic subtleties. Thus the narrowing of Abraham’s ‘seed’ to Christ ( Galatians 3:16) is a thoroughly characteristic example of the verbal exegesis of the Rabbis. The allegory of Sarah and Hagar, the freewoman and the handmaid ( Galatians 4:21 ff.), and the extracting of a hidden personal principle from the humane law of the unmuzzled ox ( 1 Corinthians 9:9 f.,  1 Timothy 5:18), illustrate the ‘manifold sense’ read into the letter of Scripture; while the bold way in which he transfers to Gentile Christians the promises made to Israel ( Romans 9:8 ff.), and finds in the Deuteronomist’s great thought of the nearness of the Law suggestions of Christ’s descent to earth and His rising from the dead ( Romans 10:6 ff.), or in the ‘strange tongues’ of  Isaiah 28:11 ff. a forecast of Christian ‘tongues’ ( 1 Corinthians 14:21), betrays the unrestrained liberty of interpretation exercised by the Jewish exegete. It is remarkable, however, that the Apostle is so little influenced by Rabbinic methods. Apart from these few survivals from a dead past, which touch only the periphery of his thought, there is nothing in his Epistles that reminds us of the arbitrary and highly extravagant exegetical results of his Jewish contemporaries. So deeply has he entered into the spirit of his Master that his whole treatment of the OT is marked by a sanity and sobriety of mind, enriched with a breadth, sympathy, and penetrating insight surpassed only by Christ.

In his preaching to the Jews St. Paul follows the practice of the earlier apostles, though with a new fullness and range. ‘He reasoned with them from the scriptures, opening and alleging, that it behoved the Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead’ ( Acts 17:2 f.; cf.  Acts 28:23 ff.). Thus in his speech at Antioch he sets forth Jesus as the Saviour of David’s seed brought unto Israel ‘according to the promise,’ whose condemnation and death at the hands of the people and rulers of Jerusalem were the fulfilment of the words of the prophets ‘which are read every sabbath,’ and His resurrection the bringing to pass of ‘the holy and sure blessings of David,’ as promised in Psalms 2, 8 ( Acts 13:23 ff.). In his Epistles, too, he cites OT texts as direct predictions of the gospel. The new faith of which he was called to be an Apostle is ‘the gospel of God, which he promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures’ ( Romans 1:1 f.; cf.  Romans 3:21). Christ both died and rose again ‘according to the scriptures’ ( 1 Corinthians 15:3 f.), while proof-texts are adduced for the promise of the Spirit ( Galatians 3:14), the destruction of human wisdom through the foolishness of preaching ( 1 Corinthians 1:19), the universal range of the preaching of salvation ( Romans 10:18), the vital principle of righteousness by faith ( Romans 1:17,  Romans 3:21,  Galatians 3:11), the fatal unbelief of the Jews ( Romans 10:16 ff.) and the calling of the Gentiles ( Romans 9:25 ff.,  Romans 10:19 f.,  Romans 15:9 ff.), the final salvation of Israel ( Romans 11:26 f.), Christ’s victory over all His enemies ( 1 Corinthians 15:24 ff.), and the swallowing up of death and sin in the immortality won through Him ( 1 Corinthians 15:54 f.).

So far, then, the OT is treated as a Jewish book, pointing to the fulfilment of the ‘promise’ in Christ. But the extension of the gospel to the Gentiles, which was an essential part of this promise (cf. above), of necessity involved a change in the Apostle’s attitude to the Scriptures. As a Jewish book, the OT made no direct appeal to other nations. They had their own modes of thought and expression, and the most cultivated of them possessed a literature of surpassing beauty and power. On occasion the Apostle might approach their conscience by this path (cf. especially his speech to the Athenians); but his mind was so saturated with OT ideas, and the book itself was so manifestly the Word of God which made men ‘wise unto salvation’ ( 2 Timothy 3:15), that he could not withhold it from any nation. Irrespective, then, of the Jewish origin and cast of the whole, he deliberately transformed it into a Christian book, in which Christ was openly identified with the God of the Jews (cf.  Romans 10:13 f.,  Romans 11:26 f.,  Ephesians 4:8;  Ephesians 5:14, etc.), and the history of Israel was read typically (τυπικῶς, ‘by way of pattern’ or ‘figure’), as a series of illustrative moral examples, ‘written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come’ ( 1 Corinthians 10:11). Thus the promise to Abraham is extended to all who walk in the steps of his faith, whether in circumcision or in uncircumcision ( Romans 4:12), while ‘it was not written for his sake alone, that it (his faith) was reckoned unto him (for righteousness), but for our sake also, unto whom it shall be reckoned, who believe on him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification’ ( Romans 4:23 ff.). The true Israel unto whom the Word was given is no more Abraham’s seed according to the flesh, but ‘the children of the promise,’ whether Jew or Gentile ( Romans 9:6 ff.,  Galatians 3:28). Thus ‘whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope’ ( Romans 15:4).

This transformation of the OT into a distinctively Christian book was the more easily effected as the conflict for freedom turned decisively around the Law. For orthodox Judaism the Law was the heart of the Scriptures, the very ‘holy of holies.’ Like the other apostles, St. Paul was a child of the Law, who excelled them all in his zeal for its honour. Even as a Christian he remained under its influence, and was ready in the interests of the gospel, if need were, to circumcise and to carry through the statutory vows for himself and his converts (cf. his procedure in  Acts 16:3;  Acts 18:18;  Acts 21:23 ff.). But to impose the Law on Gentile Christians as a necessary condition of their salvation would inevitably reduce Christianity to a mere Jewish sect. The Apostle knew, moreover, from personal experience, as well as from observation of life, that there was no saving power in the Law. As coming from the holy God, the Law was holy, and its commandment ‘righteous and good.’ But so weak and sinful was human flesh that the very constraint of the Law not only awoke the consciousness of sin, but roused an inward opposition, and thus actually provoked sin. Hence the paradox of moral life, that the ‘law of sin’ in man’s members ‘worked death through that which is itself good-that through the commandment sin might become exceedingly sinful.’ And the only real virtue of the Law was to drive men in despair to Christ ( Romans 7:7 ff.).

On this profound psychological analysis the Apostle based his new reading of OT history. For him the Law was no longer the heart and spirit of the older revelation, but a mere parenthesis or side-issue. Sin was a great fact which directly entered the world (εἰσῆλθεν) in Adam. To circumvent its fatal effects, grace likewise entered ( Romans 5:12 ff.). The Law came in sideways (παρεισῆλθεν), and therefore in a subordinate and non-essential capacity ( Romans 5:20). Its purpose was not to save men, but to hold them in ward or prison until the true faith should be revealed ( Galatians 3:23). At best, it was but the slave-boy (παιδαγωγός), who kept them under a certain moral restraint until Christ came (εἰς Χριστόν, i.e. ‘up to the time of Christ’), when they might be ‘justified by faith’ ( Galatians 3:24). Thus the gospel had its spiritual affinities, not with the Law, but with that faith of Abraham which was the beginning of the promise ( Galatians 3:15 ff.). In a real sense, indeed, the gospel was already inherent in the covenant between God and Abraham, confirmed 430 years before the giving of the Law, and remaining valid in spite of its interposition. If it be rightly read, therefore, the OT is a revelation of the same grace as is made manifest in Christ. Only the Jews have obscured its true character by the fatal emphasis they have placed on the Law. The veil with which Moses covered his face when he spoke to the people is a symbol of that still darker veil lying heavily upon the heart of Israel ‘at the reading of the old covenant,’ which will never be removed until they turn to Christ. In Him the veil has been ‘done away.’ And all who have found liberty through Him, ‘with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror [Revised Version margin] the glory of the Lord,’ are able to trace that glory shining through the ancient Scriptures, and are likewise ‘transformed into the same image from glory to glory’ ( 2 Corinthians 3:12 ff.).

3. The Old Testament as the foreshadowing of the gospel. -In the Epistle to the Hebrews the problem is attacked from a different point of view. The underlying assumptions are, no doubt, the same. The OT is treated throughout as the very Word of God, and quotations are introduced with the formula, ‘he saith’ (λέγει), used of God Himself ( Hebrews 1:5 ff;  Hebrews 5:5 f.), or the Holy Spirit ( Hebrews 3:7 ff.,  Hebrews 10:15 ff.), or God speaking through the Spirit ( Hebrews 4:3 ff.,  Hebrews 8:8 ff.), or even the Messiah ( Hebrews 2:12 f.,  Hebrews 10:5 ff.), irrespective of their human authorship. But the widest freedom of interpretation is claimed. The author cites invariably from the Septuagint, being evidently ignorant of the original Hebrew. He is quite unfettered, too, by the historical application of texts. Thus not merely are Messianic Psalms like Psalms 2 and Psalms 110 referred directly to Christ ( Hebrews 1:5;  Hebrews 1:13 f.), but the highly dubious אֱלֹהִים, ‘O God,’ of  Psalms 45:6 and the ‘son of man’ in  Psalms 8:4 are both identified with Him ( Hebrews 1:8 f.,  Hebrews 2:6 ff.), while even Isaiah’s description of himself and his children as ‘signs and portents in Israel’ ( Isaiah 8:18) is cited as a proof of Jesus’ oneness with His people and His participation in the same flesh and blood as theirs, ‘that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage’ ( Hebrews 2:13 ff.). But, as a Jew of the school of Alexandria, he is much more influenced by the allegorical spirit than St. Paul. To him, indeed, the OT is a system of signs and symbols, foreshadowings and anticipations of something better, which is to be found only in Christ and the ‘new covenant’ of grace.

The opening paragraph lays down the famous contrast between the multiform and fragmentary character of the older revelation and the fullness of the light that came through Christ. ‘God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers through the prophets in many parts and in many modes, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in a Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds, who being the effulgence (ἀπαύγασμα) of his glory, and the very impress of his essence (χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ), and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high’ ( Hebrews 1:1 ff.). The history of revelation is here set forth under the categories of Platonic idealism. As this world is but a dim and flickering shadow of the eternal realities, thrown upon the screen of the passing present, the OT is a broken and changing expression of God’s mind, given through many different media, and sharing the imperfection bound up in all of them, while the revelation in Christ is the full ‘shining forth’ of the Divine glory through the perfect image or embodiment of the eternal Majesty. The real value of the OT Scriptures, therefore, is to point forward to the Light, and then to pass away as the shadow before the sunshine.

The author applies the same categories to the Law, by which, however, he means not the moral command that pressed so hard on the conscience of St. Paul, but the system of Levitical ordinances, as carried through in the service of the Temple. This also was a ‘copy and shadow (ὑπόδειγμα καὶ σκιά) of the heavenly things,’ an earthly adumbration of the worship carried through in the eternal temple above ( Hebrews 8:5). As such, every part of the ritual had its significance (cf. esp.  Hebrews 9:1 ff.). But the Law itself was quite powerless to save. ‘It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins’ ( Hebrews 10:4). It was equally impossible that high priests subject to the infirmities and mortality of human nature should by their daily and yearly sacrifices, offered continually and without change, ‘make perfect them that draw near’ ( Hebrews 7:23 ff.,  Hebrews 9:9 ff.,  Hebrews 10:1 f.). In these sacrifices remembrance was made of sins, and the worshipper’s thoughts were thereby directed towards the perfect Sacrifice yet to be offered ( Hebrews 10:3). The ‘very image’ (αὐτὴ ἡ εἰκών), the clear, full expression of the ‘good things’ of which the Law was but a dim, uncertain ‘shadow,’ was found only in Christ, by the offering of whose body sin was expiated once for all, and a ‘new and living way’ opened through the veil, ‘that is to say, his flesh,’ into the holy place where God is ( Hebrews 10:5 ff.). The Aaronic priesthood was thus as imperfect a channel of the mediation of grace as the prophets had been of the revelation of God’s mind. Both were but foreshadowings of the ‘new covenant’ ( Hebrews 8:7 ff.), ‘a parable for the time now present’ ( Hebrews 9:9). The truest OT type of Christ was Melchizedek, coming, as He did, from the heavenly sphere, ‘without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life,’ to bear immediate witness to the Divine ( Hebrews 7:1 ff.).

4. Practical use of the Old Testament. -Christian interest in the OT is by no means exhausted by such discussions as to its relation to the gospel. The main test of its ‘inspiration’ is rather the practical one of helpfulness ‘for teaching, for judgment, for correction, for discipline in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work’ ( 2 Timothy 3:16 f.). Thus St. Paul not merely checks his own fiery outburst against the high priest by calling to mind the injunction not to speak evil of a ruler ( Acts 23:5), but cites the Decalogue and other moral precepts of the OT as still binding upon his readers (cf.  Romans 12:19 f.,  1 Corinthians 9:9,  2 Corinthians 6:17 f.,  2 Corinthians 9:9,  Ephesians 6:2,  1 Timothy 5:18,  2 Timothy 2:19), and with equal freedom adduces OT heroes as examples or warnings (e.g. Adam in  Romans 5:12 f.; Eve in  2 Corinthians 11:3,  1 Timothy 2:14; Abraham in  Romans 4:1 ff.,  Galatians 3:6 ff.; Moses and the children of Israel in  1 Corinthians 10:1 ff.). The fate of the rebellious Israelites is likewise held forth as a warning to Christian believers in  Hebrews 3:12 ff.; but the noblest instance of this practical use of the OT in the Epistle is found in the great roll-call of faith (ch. 11). In the remaining books the speculative interest has almost vanished, and the OT is cited mainly for its ethical value. Of the six quotations in James, five are unmistakably ethical; and even the text from  Genesis 15:6, which St. Paul made the basis of his doctrine of justification by faith, is adduced as a proof of justification by works (as the necessary fruit of faith). In the same way the Apostle refers to Rahab, Job, and Elijah as notable examples of works, patience, and prayer respectively ( James 2:25,  James 5:11;  James 5:17 f.). Even in 1 Peter, where the primitive conception of the OT as a body of predictions fulfilled in Christ finds clear expression ( Hebrews 1:10 f.,  Hebrews 2:6 ff.), the actual use of the Scriptures is predominantly practical (cf.  1 Peter 1:16,  Hebrews 3:6;  Hebrews 3:10 ff.,  Hebrews 5:5). The few suggestions of the OT traceable in 2 Peter (e.g.  2 Peter 2:5 ff,  2 Peter 2:15 f,  2 Peter 2:22) and 1 John ( 1 John 3:12) are of the same character; while the numerous reminiscences in Revelation, if not distinctively ethical, are yet concrete and imaginative, the clothing of the writer’s own dreams in the majestic symbolism of the OT poets and prophets (see articleQuotations).

Literature.-A. Tholuck, Das AT[Note: T Altes Testament.]im NT6, Gotha, 1868; L. Diestel, Gesch. des AT[Note: T Altes Testament.]in der christl. Kirche, Jena, 1868, p. 6 ff.; B. Jowett, St. Paul’s Epp. to Thess., Gal. and Rom., vol. i.: ‘Essays and Dissertations,’ London, 1894; C. Clemen, Der Gebrauch des AT[Note: T Altes Testament.]in den neutest. Schriften, Gütersloh, 1895; G. H. Gilbert, Interpretation of the Bible, New York, 1908; A. Harnack, Degmengeschichte3, Freiburg, 1898, i. 41 ff.; H. St. J. Thackeray, The Relation of St. Paul to Contemporary Jewish Thought, London, 1900; the New Testament Theologies of B. Weiss (Eng. translation, Edinburgh, 1882-83), W. Beyschlag (Eng. translation, do., 1895), H. J. Holtzmann (2Tübingen, 1911), etc.; Sanday-Headlam, International Critical Commentary, ‘Romans,’5 Edinburgh, 1902; B. F. Westcott, Hebrews, London, 1889, p. 469 ff.; A. B. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Edinburgh, 1899.

A. R. Gordon.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Old Testament.

I. Text of the Old Testament. -

History Of The Text. - A history of the text of the Old Testament should properly commence from the date of the completion of the canon. As regards, the form in which the sacred writings were perserved, little doubt exists that the text was ordinarily, written on skins, rolled up into volumes, like the modern synagogue rolls.  Psalms 40:7;  Jeremiah 36:14;  Ezekiel 2:9;  Zechariah 5:1.

The original characters in which the text was expressed is that still preserved to us, with the exception of four letters, on the Maccabaean coins, and having a strong affinity to the Samaritan character. At what date, this was exchanged for the present Aramaic or square character, is still as undetermined, as it is at what date, the use of the Aramaic language of Palestine superseded that of the Hebrew. The old Jewish tradition, repeated by Origen and Jerome, ascribed the change to Ezra. See Writing .

Of any logical division, in the written text, of the Old Testament into Pesukim or verses, we find in the Tulmud, no mention; and even in the existing synagogue rolls, such division is generally ignored. In the poetical books, the Pesukim mentioned in the Talmud correspond to the poetical lines, not to our modern verses. Of the documents, which directly bear upon the history of the Hebrew text, the earliest two are the Samaritan copy of the Pentateuch and the Greek translation of the Septuagint (LXX). See Samaritan Pentateuch, The; Septuagint, The .

In the translations of Aquila and the other Greek interpreters, the fragments of whose works remain to us in the Hexapla, we have evidence of the existence of a text differing, but little from our own; so also in the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan. A few centuries later we have, in the Hexapla, additional evidence to the same effect in Origin's transcriptions of the Hebrew text. And yet, more important are the proofs of the firm establishment of the text, and of its substantial with our own, supplied by the translation of Jerome, who was instructed by the Palestinian Jews, and mainly relied upon their authority, for acquaintance, not only with the text itself, but also with the traditional unwritten vocalization of the text.

This brings us to the middle of the Talmudic period. The care of the Talmudic doctors for the text is shown by the pains, with which they counted no the number of verses in the different books, and computed which were the middle verses, words and letters in the Pentateuch and in the Psalms. The scrupulousness with which the Talmudists noted what they deemed the truer readings, and yet abstained from introducing them into the text, indicates, at once, both the diligence with which they scrutinized the text, and also, the care with which, even while knowledging its occasional imperfections, they guarded it.

Critical procedure is also evidenced in a mention of their rejection of manuscripts, which were found not to agree with others in their readings; and the rules given, with reference to the transcription and adoption of manuscripts, attest to the care bestowed upon them. It is evident, from the notices of the Talmud, that a number of oral traditions had been gradually accumulating, respecting both the integrity of particular passages of the text itself , and also the manner in which if was to be read.

This vast heterogeneous mass of traditions and criticisms, compiled and embodied in writing, forms, what is known as the Masorah , that is, Tradition. From the end of the Masoretic period onward, the Masorah became the great authority, by which, the text given in all the Jewish manuscripts, was settled.

Manuscripts. - The Old Testament manuscripts known to us fall into two main classes: synagogue rolls, and manuscripts for private use: of the latter, some are written in the square, others in the rabbinic, or Cursive , character [that is, written in a Running Hand ]. The synagogue rolls contain, separate from each other, the Pentateuch, the Haphtaroth or appointed sections of the prophets, and the so-called Megilloth, namely, Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther.

Private manuscripts in the square character are in the book form, either on parchment or on paper, and of various sizes, from folio to 12mo. Some contain the Hebrew text alone; others add the Targum, or an Arabic or other translation, either interspersed with the text, or in a separate column, occasionally in the margin. The upper and lower margins are generally occupied by the Masorah, sometimes by rabbinical commentaries, etc.

The date of a manuscript is ordinarily given in the subscription, but as the subscriptions are often concealed in the Masorah, or elsewhere, it is occasionally difficult to find them: occasionally, also, it is difficult to decipher them. No satisfactory criteria have been yet established by which the ages of manuscripts are to be determined.

Few existing manuscripts are supposed to be older than the twelfth century. Kennicott and Bruns assigned one of their collation, (No. 590), to the tenth century; Deuteronomy Rossi dates it, A.D. 1018; on the other hand, one of his own, (No. 634), he adjudges to the eighth century.

Since the days of Kennicott and Deuteronomy Rossi, modern research has discovered various manuscripts, beyond the limits of Europe. Of many of these, there seems no reason to suppose that they will add much to our knowledge of the Hebrew text. It is different with the manuscripts examined by Pinner at Odessa. One of these manuscripts, (A, No. 1), a Pentateuch roll, unpointed, brought from Derbend in Daghestan, appears, by the subscription, to have been written previous to A.D. 580, and if so is the oldest known biblical Hebrew manuscript in existence. The forms of the letters are remarkable.

Another manuscript, (B, No. 3), containing the prophets, on parchment, in small folio, although only dating, according to the inscription, from A.D. 916, and furnished with a Masorah, is a yet greater treasure. Its vowels and accents are wholly different, from those now in use, both in form and in position, being all above the letters: they have, accordingly, been the theme of much discussion among Hebrew scholars.

Printed text. - The history of the printed text of the Hebrew Bible commences with the early Jewish editions of the separate books. First , appeared the Psalter, in 1477, probably at Bologna, in 4to, with Kimchi's commentary interspersed among the verses. Only the first four psalms had the vowel-points, and these but clumsily expressed.

At Bologna, there subsequently appeared in 1482, the Pentateuch, in folio, pointed, with the Targum and the commentary of Rashi; and the five Megilloth, (Ruth - Esther), in folio with the commentaries of Rashi and Aben Ezra. From Soncino, near Cremona, issued in 1486, the Prophetae priores, (Joshua - Kings), folio, unpointed with Kimchi's commentary.

The honor of printing the first entire Hebrew Bible belongs to the above-mentioned town of Soncino. The edition is in folio, pointed and accentuated. Nine copies only of it are now known, of which one belongs to Exeter College, Oxford. This was followed, in 1494, by the 4to or 8vo edition printed by Gersom at Brescia, remarkable as being the edition from which Luther's German translation was made.

After the Brescian, the next primary edition was that contained in the Complutensian Polyglot, published at Complutum, (Alcala), in Spain, at the expense of Cardinal Ximenes, dated 1514-17, but not issued till 1522. To this succeeded an edition which has had more influence than any on the text of later times, the Second Rabbinical Bible, printed by Bomberg al Venice, 4 vols. Fol., 1525-6. The editor was the learned Tunisian Jew R. Jacob hen Chaim. The great feature of his work, lay in the correction of the text, by the precepts of the Masorah, in which he was profoundly skilled, and on which, as well as on the text itself, his labors were employed.

The Hebrew Bible which became the standard to subsequent generations was that of Joseph Athiais, a learned rabbi and printer at Amsterdam. His text was based on a comparison of the previous editions, with two manuscripts; one bearing date, 1299, the other, a Spanish manuscript boasting an antiquity of 900 years. It appeared at Amsterdam, 2 vols. 8 vo, 1661.

Principles of criticism. - The method of procedure required in the criticism of the Old Testament is widely different from that practiced in the criticism of the New Testament. Our Old Testament "textus receptus," [the Received Text ,] is a far more faithful representation of the genuine Scripture; but, on the other hand, the means of detecting and correcting the errors contained in it, are more precarious, the results are more uncertain, and the ratio borne by the value of the diplomatic evidence of manuscripts, to that of a good critical judgment and sagacity is greatly diminished. It is indeed, to the direct testimony of the manuscripts that, in endeavoring to establish the true text, we must first have recourse.

The comparative purity of the Hebrew text, is probably different, in different parts of the Old Testament. In the revision of Dr. Davidson, who has generally restricted himself to the admission of corrections warranted by manuscript, Masoretic or Talmudic authority, those in the book of Genesis do not exceed eleven; those in the Psalms are proportionately three times as numerous; those in the historical books and the Prophets are proportionately more numerous than those in the Psalms.

Ii. Quotations From the Old Testament in the New Testament. - The New Testament quotations, from the Old Testament, form one of the outward bonds of connection between the two parts of the Bible. They are manifold in kind.

In the quotations of all kinds, from the Old Testament in the New Testament, we find a continual variation from the letter of the older Scriptures. To this variation, three causes may be specified as having contributed: First, all the New Testament writers quoted from the Septuagint (LXX); correcting it indeed more or less by the Hebrew, especially when it was needful for their purpose, occasionally deserting it altogether; still abiding by it, to so large an extent as to show that, it was the primary source whence their quotations were drawn.

Secondly, the New Testament writers must have frequently quoted from memory.

Thirdly, combined with this, there was an alteration of conscious or unconscious design. Sometimes, the object of this was to obtain increased force. Sometimes, an Old Testament passage is abridged, and in the abridgment so adjusted, by a little alteration, as to present an aspect of completeness, and yet omit what is foreign to the immediate purpose.  Acts 1:20;  1 Corinthians 1:31.

At other times, a passage is enlarged by the incorporation of a passage from another source: thus in  Luke 4:18-18, although the contents are professedly those, read by our Lord from  Isaiah 61:1, we have the words, "to set at liberty them that are bruised," introduced from  Isaiah 58:6. (Septuagint); similarly in  Romans 11:8;  Romans 29:4, is combined with  Isaiah 29:10. In some cases, still greater liberty of alteration assumed.

In some places, again, the words of the original are taken up, but employed with a new meaning. Almost more remarkable than any alteration in the quotation itself , is the circumstance that in  Matthew 27:9, Jeremiah should be named as the author of a prophecy really delivered by Zechariah; the being that the prophecy is based upon that in  Jeremiah 18:1;  Jeremiah 19:1, and that, without a reference to this original source, the most essential features of the fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy would be misunderstood. See New Testament; Bible, The [Holy] .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

OLD TESTAMENT . See Bible, Canon of OT, Text of OT.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Old Testament. See Scriptures.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

See Bible

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

( Παλαία Διαθήκη , Fetus Testamentum ) is the popular designation of the books of the Hebrew Bible, in distinction from "the New Testament," or the Christian Scriptures, which has been borrowed from the title in the Septuagint and Latin Vulgate. (See Testament).

I. History Of The Text. Under this head we shall consider only the successive steps by which the text seems to have reached its present form and condition according to the best light which modern criticism has thrown upon the subject. For the subdivisions into books, etc., (See Bible); for the contents, see the several books (also (See Pentateuch); (See Prophets); (See Hagiographa) etc.); and for the hermeneutical principles applied in different ages, (See Interpretation). The apparent or real citations from one part of the O.T. in another, and in the N.T., will be discussed under the head of Quotations

1 . Ante-Rabbinical Period A history of the text of the O.T. should properly commence from the date of the completion of the Canon; from which time we must assume that no additions to any part of it could be legitimately made, the sole object of those who transmitted and watched over it being thenceforth to preserve that which was already written. Of the care, however, with which the text was transmitted we have to judge, almost entirely, by the phenomena which it and the versions derived from it now present, rather than by any recorded facts respecting it. That much scrupulous pains would be bestowed by Ezra, the "ready scribe in the law of Moses," and by his companions, on the correct transmission of those Scriptures which passed through their hands is indeed antecedently probable. The best evidence of such pains, and of the respect with which the text of the sacred books was consequently regarded, is to be found in the jealous accuracy with which the discrepancies of various parallel passages have been preserved, notwithstanding the temptation which must have existed to assimilate them to each other. Such is the case with Psalms xiv and liii, two recensions of the same hymn, both proceeding from David, where the reasons of the several variations may on examination be traced. Such also is the case with Psalms 18 and 2 Samuel 22, where the variations between the two copies are more than sixty in number, excluding those which merely consist in the use or absence of the matres lectionis; and where. therefore, even though the design of all the variations be not perceived, the hypothesis of their having originated through accident would imply a carelessness in transcribing far beyond what even the rashest critics have in other places contemplated.

As regards the form in which the sacred writings were preserved, there can be little doubt that the text was ordinarily written on skins, rolled up into volumes, like the modern synagogue rolls ( Psalms 40:7;  Jeremiah 36:14;  Zechariah 5:1;  Ezekiel 2:9). Josephus relates that the copy sent from Jerusalem as a present to Ptolemy in Egypt was written with letters of gold on skins of admirable thinness, the joints of which could not be detected ( Ant. 12:2,11).

The original character in which the text was expressed is that still preserved to us, with the exception of four letters, on the Maccabeaan coins, and having a strong affinity to the Samaritan character, which seems to have been treated by the later Jews as identical with it, being styled by them כתב עברי . At what date this was exchanged for the present Aramaic or square character, כתב אשורית , or כתב מרבע , is- still as undetermined as it is at what date the use of the Aramaic language in Palestine superseded that of the Hebrew. The old Jewish tradition, repeated by Origen and Jerome, ascribed the change to Ezra. But the Maccabeean coins supply us with a date at which the older character was still in use; and even though we should allow that both may have been simultaneously employed, the one for sacred, the other for more ordinary purposes, we can hardly suppose that they existed side by side for any lengthened period. Hassencamp and Gesenius are at variance as to whether such errors of the Septuagint as arose from confusion of letters in the original text are in favor of the Greek interpreters having had the older or the more modern character before them. It is sufficiently clear that the use of the square writing must have been well established before the time of those authors who attributed the introduction of it to Ezra. Nor could the allusion in  Matthew 5:18 to the Yod as the smallest letter have well been made except in reference to the more modern character. We forbear here all investigation of the manner in which this character was formed, or of the precise locality whence it was derived. Whatever modification it may have undergone in the hands of the Jewish scribes, it was in the first instance introduced from abroad; and this its name, אשורית כתב , i.e. Assyrian writing, implies, though it may geographically require to be interpreted with some latitude. (The suggestion of Hupfeld that אשורית may be an appellative, denoting not Assyrian, but Firm, writing, is improbable.) On the whole, we may best suppose, with Ewald, that the adoption of the new character was coeval with the rise of the earliest Targums, which would naturally be written in the Aramaic style. It would thus he shortly anterior to the Christian aera; and with this date all the evidence would well accord. It may be right, however, to mention that while of late years Keil has striven anew to throw back the introduction of the square writing towards the time of Ezra, Bleek also, though not generally imbued with the conservative views of Keil, maintains not only that the use of the square writing for the sacred books owed its origin to Ezra, but also that the later books of the O.T. were never expressed in any other character. (See Hebrew Language).

No vowel-points were attached to the text: they were, through all the early period of its history, entirely unknown. Convenience had indeed, at the time when the later books of the O.T. were written, suggested a larger use of the matres lectionis: it is thus that in those books we find them introduced into many words that had previously been spelled without them: קודש takes the place of דויד קדש of דוד . An elaborate endeavor has recently been made by Dr. Wall to prove that up to the early part of the 2d century of the Christian sera the Hebrew text was free from vowel-letters as well as from vowels. His theory is that they were then interpolated by the Jews, with a view to altering rather than perpetuating the former pronunciation of the words: their object being, according to him, to pervert thereby the sense of the prophecies, as also to throw discredit on the Septuagint, and thereby weaken or evade the force of arguments drawn from that version in support of Christian doctrines. Improbable as such a theory is, it is yet more astonishing that its author should not have been deterred from prosecuting it by the palpable objections to it which he himself discerned. Who can believe, with him, that the Samaritans, notwithstanding the mutual hatred existing between them and the Jews, borrowed the interpolation from the Jews, and conspired with them to keep it a secret? or that among other words to which by this interpolation the Jews ventured to impart a new sound were some of the best-known proper names; e.g. Isaiah, Jeremiah? or that it was merely through a blunder that in  Genesis 1:24 the substantive חיה in its construct state acquired its final י , when the same anomaly occurs in no fewer than three passages of the Psalms? Such views and arguments refute themselves; and while the high position occupied by its author commends his book to notice, it can only be lamented that industry, learning, and ingenuity should have been so misspent in the vain attempt to give substance to shadow. (See Vowel- Points).

There is reason to think that in the text of the O.T., as originally written, the words were generally, though not uniformly, divided. Of the Phoenician inscriptions, though the majority proceed continuously, some have a point' after each word, except when the words are closely connected. The same point is used in the Samaritan manuscripts; and it is observed by Gesenius (a high authority in respect to the Samaritan Pentateuch) that the Samaritan and Jewish divisions of the words generally coincide. The discrepancy between the Hebrew text and the Septuagint in this respect is sufficiently explained by the circumstance that the Jewish scribes did not separate the words which were closely connected: it is in the case of such that the discrepancy is almost exclusively found. The practice of separating words by spaces instead of points probably came in with the square writing. In the synagogue rolls, which are written in conformity with the ancient rules, the words are regularly divided from each other; and indeed the Talmud minutely prescribes the space which should be left (Gesenius, Gesch. der Heb. Sprache, § 45).

Of ancient date, probably, are also the separations between the lesser Parshioth or sections; whether made, in the case of the more important divisions, by the commencement of a new line, or, in the case of the less important. by a blank space within the line. (See Parshioth).

The use of the letters פ and ס , however, to indicate these divisions is of more recent origin: they are not employed in the synagogue-rolls. These lesser and earlier Parshioth, of which there are in the Pentateuch 669, must not be confounded with the greater and later Parshioth, or Sabbath-lessons, which are first mentioned in the Masorah. The name Parshioth is in the Mishna ( Megill. 4:4) applied to the divisions in the Prophets as well as to those in the Pentateuch; e.g. to  Isaiah 52:3-5 (to the greater Parshioth here correspond the Haphtaroth). Even the separate psalms are in the Gemara also called Parshioth ( Berach. Bab. fol. 9, 2; 10, 1) Some indication of the antiquity of the divisions between the Parshioth may be found in the circumstance that the Gemara holds them to be as old as Moses ( Berach. fol. 12. 2). Of their real age we know but little. Hupfeld has found that they do not always coincide with the capitula of Jerome. That they are, nevertheless, more ancient than his time is shown by the mention of them in the Mishna. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, their want of accordance with the Kazin of the Samaritan Pentateuch, which are 966 in number, seems to indicate that they had a historical origin; and it is possible that they also may date from the period when the O.T. was first transcribed in the square character. Our present chapters, it may be remarked, spring from a Christian source. (See Chapter).

Of any logical division, in the written text, of the prose of the O.T. into Pesukiin, or verses, we find in the Talmud no mention; and even in the existing synagogue-rolls such division is generally ignored. While, therefore, we may admit the early currency of such a logical division, we must assume, with Hupfeld, that it was merely a traditional observance. It has indeed, on the other hand, been argued that such numerations of the verses as the Talmud records could not well have been made unless the written text distinguished them. But to this we may reply by observing that the verses of the numbering of which the Talmud speaks could not have thoroughly accorded with those of modern times, Of the former there were in the Pentateuch 5888 (or, as some read, 8888); it now contains but 5845: the middle verse was computed to be  Leviticus 13:33; with our present verses it is  Leviticus 8:5. Had the verses been distinguished in the written text at the time that the Talmudic enumeration was made, it is not easily explicable how they should since have been so much altered: whereas, were the logical division merely traditional, tradition would naturally preserve a more accurate knowledge of the places of the various logical breaks than of their relative importance, and thus, without any disturbance of the syntax, the number of computed verses would be liable to continual increase or diminution, by separation or aggregation. An uncertainty in the versual division is even now indicated by the double accentuation and consequent vocalization of the Decalogue. In the poetical books, the Pesukim mentioned in the Talmud correspond to the poetical lines, not to our modern verses; and it is probable, both from some expressions of Jerome, and from the analogous practice of other nations, that the poetical text was written stichometrically. It is still so written in our manuscripts in the poetical pieces in the Pentateuch and historical books; and even, generally, in our oldest manuscripts. Its partial discontinuance may be due, first, to the desire to save space, and, secondly, to the diminution of the necessity for it by the .introduction of the accents. (See Biblical Manuscripts).

2. Early Christian Period. While great freedom in dealing with the sacred text was exercised at Samaria and Alexandria, (See Samaritan Pentateuch); (See Septuagint Version), there is every reason to believe that in Palestine the text was both carefully preserved and scrupulously respected. The boast of Josephus (c. Apion. 1:8) that through all the ages that had passed none had ventured to add to or to take away from, or to transpose aught of the sacred writings, may well represent the spirit in which in his day his own country menacted. In the translations of Aquila and the other Greek interpreters, the fragments of whose works remain to us in the Hexapla, we have evidence of the existence of a text differing but little from our own: so also in the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan. A few centuries later we have, in the Hexapla, additional evidence to the same effect in Origen's transcriptions of the Hebrew text. And yet more important are the proofs of the firm establishment of the text, and of its substantial identity with our own, supplied by the translation of Jerome, who was instructed by the Palestinian Jews, and mainly relied upon their authority for acquaintance not only with the text itself, but also with the traditional unwritten vocalization of it.

This brings us to the middle of the Talmudic age. The learning of the schools which had been formed in Jerusalem about the time of our Savior by Iillel and Shammai was preserved, after the destruction of the city, in the academies of Jabneh, Sepphoris. Cesarea, and Tiberias. The great pillar of the Jewish literature of this period was R. Judah the Holy, to whom, is ascribed the compilation, of the Mishna, the text of the Talmud, and who died about A.D. 220. After his death there grew into repute the Jewish academies of Sura, Nahardea, and Pum-Beditha, on the Euphrates. The twofold Gemara, or commentary, was now appended to the Mishna, thus .completing the Talmud. The Jerusalem Gemara proceeded from the Jews of Tiberias probably towards the end of the 4th century: the Babylonian from the academies on the Euphrates, perhaps by the end of the 5th. That, along with the task of collecting and commenting on their various legal traditions, the Jews of these several academies would occupy themselves with the text of the sacred writings is in every way probable, and is indeed shown by various Talmudic notices. (See Masorah).

It is after the Talmudic period that Hupfeld places the introduction into the text of the two large points (in Hebrew סו Š פסוק ,. Soph-Pasuk ) to mark the end of each verse. They are manifestly of older date than the accents, by which they are, in effect, supplemented (Stud. und Krit. 1837, p. 857). Coeval, perhaps, with the use of the Soph-pasuk is that of the lakkeph, or hyphen, to unite words that are so closely conjoined as to have but one accent between them. It must be older than the accentual marks, the presence or absence of which is determined by it. It doubtless indicates the way in which the text was traditionally read, and therefore embodies traditional authority for the conjunction or separation of words. Internal evidence shows this to be the case in such passages as  Psalms 45:5, וענוהאּצדק . But the use of it cannot be relied on, as it often in the poetical books conflicts with the rhythm; e.g. in  Psalms 19:9-10 (comp. Mason and Bernard's Grammar, 2:187).

3. Masoretic Period. Such modifications of the text as these were the precursors of the new method of dealing with it which constitutes the work of the Masoretes. It is evident from the notices of the Talmud that a number of oral traditions had been gradually accumulating respecting both the integrity of particular passages of the text itself, and also the manner in which it was to be read. The time at length arrived when it became desirable to secure the permanence of all such traditions by committing them to writing. The very process of collecting them would add greatly to their number; the traditions of various academies would be superadded the one upon the other; and with these would be gradually incorporated the various critical observations of the collectors themselves, and the results of their comparisons of different manuscripts. The vast heterogeneous mass of traditions and criticisms thus compiled and embodied in writing forms what is known as the, מסרה , Masorah, i.e. Tradition. A similar name had been applied in the Mishna to the oral tradition before it was committed to writing, where it had been described as the hedge or fence, סייג of the law ( Pirke Aboth, 3:13).

Buxtorf, in his Tiberias, which is devoted to an account of the Masorah, ranges its contents under the three heads of observations respecting the verses, words, and letters of the sacred text. With regard to the verses, the Masoretes recorded how many there were in each book, and the middle verse in each; also how many verses began with particular. letters, or began and ended with the same word, or contained a particular number of words and letters, or particular words a certain number of times, etc. With regard to the words, they recorded the Keris and Kethibs, where different words were to be read from those contained in the text, or where words were to be omitted or supplied. They noted that certain words were to be found so many times in the beginning, middle, or end of a verse, or with a particular construction or meaning. They noted also of particular words, and this especially in cases where mistakes in transcription were likely to arise, whether they were to be written plene or defective, i.e. with or without the matres lectionis; also their vocalization and accentuation, and how many times they occurred so vocalized and accented. With regard to the letters, they computed how often each letter of the alphabet occurred in the O.T.: they noted fifteen instances of letters stigmatized with the extraordinary points: they commented also on all the unusual letters, viz. the majuscule, which they variously computed; the minusculs, of which they reckoned thirty-three; the suspensce. four in number; and the inversae, of which, the letter being in each case נ , there are eight or nine.

The compilation of the Masorah did not meet with universal approval among the Jews, of whom some regretted the consequent cessation of oral traditions. Others condemned the frivolous character of many of its remarks. The formation of the written Masorah may have extended from the 6th or 7th to the 10th or 11th century. It is essentially an incomplete work; and the labors of the Jewish doctors upon the sacred text might have unendingly furnished materials for the enlargement of the older traditions, the preservation of which had been the primary object in view. Nor must it be implicitly relied on. Its computations of the number of letters in the Bible are said to be far from correct; and its observations, as is remarked by Jacob ben-Chayim, do not always agree with those of the Talmud, nor yet with each other; though we have no means of distinguishing between its earlier and its later portions.

The most valuable feature of the Masorah is undoubtedly its collection of Keris. The first rudiments of this collection meet us in the Talmud. Of those subsequently collected, it is probable that many were derived from the collation of MSS., others from the unsupported judgment of the Masoretes themselves. They often rest on plausible but superficial grounds, originating in the desire to substitute an easier for a more difficult reading; and to us it is of little consequence whether it were a transcriber or a Masoretic doctor by whom the substitution was first suggested. It seems clear that the Keris in all cases represent the readings which the Masoretes themselves approved as correct; and there would be the less hesitation in sanctioning them could we assume that they were always preserved in documents separate from the text, and that the written text itself had remained intact. In effect, however, our MSS. often exhibit the text with the Keri readings incorporated. The number of Keris is, according to Elias Levita, who spent twenty years in the study of the Masorah, 848; but the Bomberg Bible contains 1171. the Plantin Bible 793. Two lists of the Keristhe one exhibiting the variations of the printed Bibles with respect to them, the other distributing them into classes-are given in the beginning of Walton's Polyglot, vol. 6. (See Keri).

The Masorah furnishes also eighteen instances of what it calls סופרים תקון , "Correction of the scribes." The real import of this is doubtful; but the recent view of Bleek, that it relates to alterations made in the text by the scribes, because of something there offensive to them, and that therefore the rejected reading is in each case the true reading, is not borne out by the Septuagint, which in all the instances save one ( Job 7:20) confirms the present Masoretic text.

Furthermore, the Masorah contains certain סבירין , "Conjectures," which it does not raise to the dignity of Keris, respecting the true reading in difficult passages. Thus at  Genesis 19:23, for יצא was conjectured יצאה , because the word שמש is usually feminine.

The Masorah was originally preserved in distinct books by itself. A plan then arose of transferring it to the margins of the MSS. of the Bible. For this purpose large curtailments were necessary; and various transcribers inserted in their margins only as much as they had room for, or strove to give it an ornamental character by reducing it into fanciful shapes. R. Jacob ben-Chayim, editor of the Bomberg Bible, complains much of the confusion into which it had fallen; and the service which, he rendered in bringing it into order is honorably acknowledged by Buxtorf. Further improvements in the arrangement of it were made by Buxtorf himself in his Rabbinical Bible. The Masorah is now distinguished into the Masora magna and the Masora parva, the latter being an abridgment of the former, including all the Keris and other compendious observations, and usually printed in Hebrew Bibles at the. foot of the page. The Masora magna, when accompanying the Bible, is disposed partly at the side of the text, against the passages to which its several observations refer, partly at the end, where the observations are ranged in alphabetical order: it is thus divided into the Masora textualis and the Masora finalis.

The Masorah itself was but one of the fruits of the labors of the Jewish doctors in the Masoretic period. A far more important work was the furnishing of the text with vowel-marks, by which the traditional pronunciation of it was imperishably recorded. That the insertion of the Hebrew vowel-points was post-Talmudic is shown by the absence in the Talmud of all reference to them. Jerome also, in recording the true pronunciation of any word, speaks only of the way in which it was read; and occasionally mentions the ambiguity arising from the variety of words represented by the same letters (Hupfeld; Stud. und Krit. 1830, p. 549 sq.). The system was gradually elaborated, having been molded in the first instance in imitation of the Arabian, which was itself the daughter. of the Syrian. (So Hupfeld. Ewald maintains that the Hebrew system was derived immediately from the Syrian.) The history of the Syrian anid Arabian vocalization renders it probable that the elaboration of the system commenced not earlier than the 7th or 8th century. The vowel-marks are referred to in the Masorah; and as they are all mentioned by R. Judah Chiyug in the beginning of the 11th century, they must have been perfected before that date. The Spanish rabbins of the 11th and 12th centuries knew nothing of their recent origin. That the system of punctuation with which we are familiar was fashioned in Palestine is shown by its difference from the Assyrian or Persian system displayed in one of the Eastern MSS. collated by Pinner at Odessa.

Contemporaneous with the written vocalization was the accentuation of the text. The import of the accents was, as Hupfeld has shown, essentially rhythmical (Stud. und Krit. 1837): hence they had from the first both a logical and a musical significance. With respect to the former they were called טעמים , "senses;" with respect to the latter, נגינות , "tones." Like the vowel-marks, they are mentioned in the Masorah, but not in the Talmud.

The controversies of the 16th century respecting the late origin of the vowel-marks and' accents are well known. Both are with the Jews the authoritative exponents of the manner in. which the text is to be read: "Any interpretation," says Aben-Ezra, "which is not in accordance with the arrangement of the accents, thou shalt not consent to it, nor listen to it." If in the books of Job, Psalms, and Proverbs the accents are held by some Jewish scholars to be irregularly placed (Mason and Bernard's Grammar, ii, 235; Delitzsch's Com. on the Psalter, vol. ii), the explanation is probably that in those books the rhythm of the poetry has afforded the means of testing the value of the accentuation, and has consequently disclosed its occasional imperfections. Making allowance for these, we must yet on the whole admire the marvelous correctness in the Hebrew Bible of both the vocalization and accentuation. The difficulties which, both occasionally present, and which a superficial criticism would, by overriding them, so easily remove, furnish the best evidence that both faithfully embody, not the private judgments of the punetuators, but the traditions which had descended ton them from previous generations.

Besides the evidences of various readings contained in the Keris of the Masorah, we have two lists of different readings purporting or presumed to be those adopted by the Palestinian and Babylonian Jews respectively. Both are given in Walton's Polyglot, vol. 7. The first of these recensions was printed by R. Jacob ben-Chavim in the Bomberg Bible edited by him, without any mention of the source whence he had derived it. The different readings are 216 in number: all relate to the consonants, except two, which relate to the Mappik in the ה . They are generally of but little importance: many of the differences are orthographical, many identical with those indicated by the Keris and Kethibs. The list does not extend to the Pentateuch. It is supposed to be ancient, but post-Talmudic. The other recension is the result of a collation of MSS. made in the 11th century by two Jews, R. Aaron ben-Asher, a Palestinian, and R. Jacob ben-Naphtali, a Babylonian. The differences, 864 in number, relate to the vowels, the accents, the Makkeph, and in one instance ( Song of Solomon 8:6) to the division of one word into two. The list helps to furnish evidence of the date by which the punctuation and accentuation of the text must have been completed. The readings of our MSS. commonly accord with those of Ben-Asher.

It is possible that even the separate Jewish academies may in some instances have had their own' distinctive standard texts. Traces of minor Variations between the standards of the two Babylonian academies of Sura and Nahardea are mentioned by De Rossi (Proleg. § 35).

From the end, however, of the Masoretic period onward, the Masorah became the great authority by which the text given in all the Jewish MSS. was settled. It may thus be said that all our MSS. are Masoretic: those of older date were either suffered to perish, or, as some think, were intentionally consigned to destruction as incorrect. Various standard copies are mentioned by the Jews, by which, in the subsequent transcriptions, their MSS. were tested and corrected, but of which none are now known. Such were the Codex Hillel in Spain; the Codex Egyptius, or Hierosolymitanus, of Ben-Asher; and the Codex Babylonius of Ben-Naphtali. Of the Pentateuch there were the Codex Sinaiticus, of which the authority stood high with regard to its accentuation; and the Codex Hierichuntinus, which was valued with regard to its use of the mates lectionis; also the Codex Ezra, or Azarah, at Toledo, ransomed from the Black Prince for a large sum at his capture of the city in 1367, but destroyed in a subsequent siege (Scott Porter, Princ. of Text. Crit. p. 74).

The subsequent history of the O.T.text is discussed under (See Sacred Criticism).

II. Commentaries. The following are the special exegetical helps on the entire O.T. exclusively (in addition to the Rabbinical Bibles [q.v.]), the most important of which we designate by an asterisk prefixed: Augustine, Exegetica (in Opp. iii); Damianus, Collectanea (in Opp. 4:74 sq.); Antonius, Expositio [mystical] (in Opp. St. Francis, p. 464); Sol. ibn- helek, מַכְלִל יֹפַי (Constantinople, 1533, fol.; ed. Abendana, n. d.; ed. Uri ben-Ap., Amst. 1661, fol.; ed. D. Tartas, ib. 1685, fol.); Munster, Biblia Latina [chiefly Rabbinical] (Basil. 1546, fol.; also in the. Critici Sacri ) ; Broughton, Treatises [on various parts] (in Works ) ; *Osiander, Expositio (Tilb. 1578-86, 7 vols. 4to, and often afterwards); Drusius, Commentarii [on most of the books] (at various places in parts, 1595 sq., mostly 4to); also, Vet. Interpret. Grcecorum Filagmenta (Arnob. 1622, 4to); Pareus, Commentarii (in Opp. i); Althing, Commentarii [on certain parts] (in Opp. ii); Maldonatus, Comnentarii [on most of the books] (Par. 1643, fol.); Abram Nicolai, Pharus [dissertations] (Par. 1648, fol.); Malvenda, Commentarii (Lugd. 1650, 5 vols. fol.); Anon., Adnotationes (Cantab. 1653; Amst. 1703, 8vo); Richardson, Observations (Lond. 1655, fol.); Cappel, Commentarii (Amst. 1689, fol.); Burmann, Erkldrung [Genesis to Job] (Frankf. 1709, fol.; earlier in Dutch in parts); Jarchi (i.e.Rashi), Commentarius (ed. Breithaupt, Gotha, 1710, 5 vols. 4to); Le Clerc, Commentarius (Amst. 1710 sq., 4 vols. fol.); Pyle, Paraphrase (Lond. 1717' sq.; 1738, 4 vols. 8vo); Patrick and Lowth, Commentary (Lond. 1738,4 vols. fol.; earlier in parts separately); *Michaelis, Annotationes (Hal. 1745, 3 vols. 4to); Menoche, Commentarii (Vienna, 1755, 4to); Houbigant, Notce (Franc. 1777, 2 vols. 4to); Alfonso Nicolai, Dissertazioni (Ven. 1781-2, 12 vols. 8vo); Schulze, Scholia (Norimb. 1783-90, 9 vols. 8vo); Kennicot, Remarks [on certain passages] (Oxf. 1787, 8vo); Digbv, Lectures (Dubl. 1787, 8vo); Orton, Exposition [practical] (Shrewsb. 1788; Lond. 1822, 6 vols. 8vo); *Rosenm Ü ller, Scholia (Lips. 1788 sq., and several times since, 23 vols. 8vo); Paulus, Clavis (Jen. 1791-1827, 2 vols. 8vo); Augusti and Hopfne. Exeq. Handb. (Lpz. 17971800, 9 pts. 8vo); De Rossi, Scholia (Parm. 1799. 8vo); Boothroyd, Notes (Pontef. 1810-16, 2 vols. 4to); *Hitzig, Knobel, Thenius, and others, Kurzgef. Exeg. Handb. (Lpz. 1833 sq. 17 pts. 8vo); Bottcher, Aehrsenlese (Lpz. 1833-5, 3 vols. 8vo); Holden, Expositor (Lond. 1834, 12mo); *Maurer, Commentarius (Lips. 1835-8. 4 vols. 8vo); Philippson, Erldut. [Jewish] (Lpz. 1839-56,1858, 3 vols. 4to); *Keil and Delitzsch, Commezntar (Lpz. 1861 sq., and several editions, to be completed in about 20 vols. 8vo; tr. in Clark's For. Library, Edinb. 1866 sq.). (See Commentary).