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Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible

Christian D. Ginsburg, L. L. D. Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew BibleChristian D. Ginsburg, L. L. D.

Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible

Christian David Ginsburg, (born Dec. 25, 1831, Warsaw, Pol., Russian Empire [now in Poland] died March 7, 1914, Palmers Green, Middlesex, Eng.), Hebrew and biblical scholar who was the foremost authority in England on the Masorah (authoritative Jewish tradition concerning the correct text of the Hebrew Bible).

Ginsburg, who was born a Jew, immigrated to England not long after his conversion to Christianity in 1846. While working there as a missionary among the Jews (until 1863), he made a name as a biblical scholar, publishing translations with commentaries on the Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and Leviticus. He republished Jacob ben Chajims introduction to the Rabbinic Bible (first printed in 152425) with an English translation (1867); edited the Masorah, without the biblical text (4 vol., 180086); and wrote Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible (1897), which served as an introduction to his critical edition of the text of the Hebrew Bible according to the Masoretic tradition (1894).

Table of contents


Part I. The Outer Form of the Text.


Chap. I. The Order of the Books

Chap. II The Sectional Divisions of the Text (the Open and Closed Sections)

Chap. III. The Division into Chapters

Chap. IV. The Sedarim; or Triennial Pericopes

Chap. V. The Parashivoth; or Annual Pericopes

Chap. VI. The Divisions into Verses

Chap. VII. The Number of the Words

Chap. VIII. - The Number of the Letters

Part II. The Text Itself.

Chap. I. Dagesh and Raphe

Chap. II. The Orthography

Chap. III. The Division of Words

Chap. IV. The Double and Final Letters

Chap. V. Abbreviations

Chap. VI. Homoeoteleuton

Chap. VII. The Keri and Kethiv

Chap. VIII. The Readings called Sevirin

Chap. IX. The Western and Eastern Recensions

Chap. X. The Differences between Ben-Asher and Ben-Naphlali

Chap. XI. The Massorah: its Rise and Development:

    1. The Introduction of the Square Characters

    2. The Division of the Consonants into Words

    3. The Introduction of the Final Letters

    4 The Introduction of the Matres Lectionis

    5. The Consonants of the Hebrew Text and the Septuagint

        i. Mikra Sopherim

        ii. Itur Sopherim

        iii. Words Read which are not Written in the Text

        iv. Words Written in Text, but cancelled in Reading

        v. The Fifteen Extraordinary Points

        vi. The Suspended Letters

        vii. The Inverted Nuns

        viii. The Removal of Indelicate Expressions and Anthropomorphisms, &c, from the Text

        ix. The Emendations of the Sopherim

        x. Impious Expressions towards the Almighty

        xi. The Safeguarding of the Tetragrammaton

        xii. The attempt to Remove the Application of the Names of False Gods to Jehovah

        xiii. Safeguarding the Unity of Divine Worship at Jerusalem

Chap. XII. The History and Description of the Manuscripts

Chap XIII. The History of the Printed Text


Appendix I. On the Closed Sections

Appendix II. The Dikduke Ha-Teamim from the St. Petersburg MS. (A. D. 1009)

Appendix III. Tables of Massorah, Magna and Parva

Appendix IV. Specimen of the Revised Notes on the Pentateuch


I. Index of Manuscripts

II. Index of Printed Editions of the Hebrew Bible

III. Index of Subjects

IV. Index of Persons

V. Index of Principal Texts


I. Table of Manuscripts Described

II. Table of Printed Editions Described and Enumerated

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