Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert

Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert

by Emanuel Tov
Pub. Date:
Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.

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Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert

This monograph is written in the form of a handbook on the scribal features of the texts found in the Judean Desert (the Dead Sea Scrolls). It deals in detail with the material, shape, and preparation of the scrolls; scribes and scribal activity; scripts, writing conventions, errors and their correction, scribal signs; scribal traditions; differences between different types of scrolls (e.g., biblical and non-biblical scrolls), the possible existence of scribal schools, such as that at Qumran. In most categories, the analysis is meant to be exhaustive. The detailed analysis is accompanied by tens of tables as well as annotated illustrations and charts of scribal signs. The findings have major implications for the study of the scrolls and the understanding of their relationship to scribal traditions in Israel and elsewhere.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789004140011
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/14/2004
Series: Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah Series , #54
Pages: 422
Product dimensions: 8.84(w) x 11.58(h) x 1.27(d)

Table of Contents

Text Editionsxi
Periodicals, Reference Works, and Seriesxiii
References and Sundry Abbreviationsxvi
Diacritical Symbolsxvi
List of Tablesxvii
Chapter 1Introduction1
aPurpose and Nature of the Description1
cBackground of the Documents5
Chapter 2Scribes7
aIdentity, Nature, and Status7
bLearning Scribal Skills13
cProduction of Scrolls in the Judean Desert?14
dCharacteristic Features of Individual Scribes16
eIdentification of Scribal Hands20
fBackground of Scribal Traditions24
gApproaches of Scribes to Their Vorlagen24
iIdentification of the Vorlagen of Qumran Texts?29
Chapter 3Writing and Writing Materials31
eTexts Written on Papyrus44
gWriting Implements55
Chapter 4Technical Aspects of Scroll Writing57
aRuling, Guide Dots/Strokes57
bOpisthographs and Palimpsests68
cLength and Contents of Scrolls74
dDimensions of Sheets79
eWriting Blocks, Columns, and Margins82
fThe Written Text vis-a-vis Horizontal and Vertical Ruling104
gConventions Used at the Beginnings and Ends of Scrolls108
hTitles of Compositions and Headers of Sections118
iUneven Surface, Damage, Repair Stitching, and Patching122
jDe Luxe Editions125
Chapter 5Writing Practices131
aDivisions between Words, Small Sense Units (Stichs and Verses), Sections, Poetical Units, and Books131
(1)Word Division131
(2)Indication of Small Sense Units (Stichs and Verses) in Biblical Manuscripts135
(3)Division between Large Sense Units (Sections)143
(4)Division between Poetical Units (Psalms)163
(5)Division between Books in Biblical Manuscripts165
bSpecial Layout and Superscriptions166
cScribal Marks and Procedures178
(1)Section Markers, Almost Exclusively in the Margin, and Other Scribal Systems Pertaining to the Division of the Text into Sections180
(2)Marks Pertaining to Scribal Intervention, Mainly for the Correction of Errors187
(3)Single Letters in the Cryptic A Script, Mainly Written in the Margin203
(4)Single Paleo-Hebrew Letters Written in the Margin206
(5)Marks, Including Unexplained Signs, Drawing Attention to Matters in the Text208
(6)Marks Written at the Ends of Lines as Line-fillers209
(7)Separation Dots between Words211
(8)Letters and Marks Possibly Numbering Sheets and Units211
(9)Signs for Numerals212
(10)Appendix: Paratextual Elements in Medieval Masoretic Manuscripts214
dSpecial Writing of Divine Names218
fCorrection Procedures and the Degree of Scribal Intervention222
gFinal and Nonfinal Letters230
hNotation of Variant Readings and Glosses?234
Chapter 6Scripts237
aSquare (Jewish) Script237
bWriting in the Paleo-Hebrew Script and Its Background238
(1)Individual Paleo-Hebrew Letters Used as Scribal Markings in the Margins of Texts Written in Square Characters238
(2)Divine Names in Paleo-Hebrew Characters in Texts Written in Square Characters238
(3)Texts Written Completely in Paleo-Hebrew Characters246
Chapter 7Special Scribal Characteristics of Some Groups of Texts249
aBiblical Texts250
bTexts Written in the Paleo-Hebrew Script254
cTefillin and Mezuzot256
dTexts Written on Papyrus258
eTexts Written in Greek258
gTexts Written in Cryptic Scripts259
Chapter 8Scribal Traditions261
aCommon Scribal Practices261
(1)Scrolls Written in the Paleo-Hebrew Script261
(2)The Qumran Scribal Practice261
(3)A Possible Scribal School Reflected in the Proto-Masoretic Manuscripts273
bContinuation of Scribal Traditions in Documents Inscribed in the Square Script273
cPossible Influence from Greek Scribal Practices273
dScribal Practices Mentioned in Rabbinic Sources274
Appendix 1Characteristic Features of the Qumran Scribal Practice277
Appendix 2Papyrus Texts from the Judean Desert289
Appendix 3Opisthographs from the Judean Desert295
Appendix 4The Greek Texts from the Judean Desert299
Appendix 5Scribal Features of Early Witnesses of Greek Scripture303
Appendix 6The Hebrew Texts from Masada317
Appendix 7Scope and Spacing of the Units in the Biblical Text Quoted in the Pesharim323
Appendix 8Scribal Features of Biblical Manuscripts331
Appendix 9Orthographic and Morphological Features of Texts Written in the Qumran Scribal Practice337
Index IAncient Sources367
Index IISubjects386

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