Thursday, September 26, 2013

the Hebrew Union Bible Project

Besides the following the site has links to the journal Textus, the Syro-Palestinian version of the Hebrew Bible, and the monograph series, Kitāb al-Khilaf.

From the website:

The Hebrew University Bible Project (HUBP)
The Hebrew University Bible Project – the flagship of research projects of the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University – was established in 1956 to undertake a comprehensive survey of the history of the textual development of the Hebrew Bible and to produce a major critical edition. The project was initiated by the late Prof. Moshe H. Goshen-Gottstein (Professor of Semitic Linguistics and Biblical Philology), who together with the late Prof. Chaim Rabin (Professor of Hebrew Language) and  the late Prof. Shemaryahu Talmon (Professor of Biblical Studies) constituted the original board of editors.
 The staff of the Bible Project is comprised of recognized experts in the fields of textual criticism, Hebrew language, Masoretic studies and Biblical philology.

The study of the Hebrew Bible is the cornerstone of Jewish Studies, including historical, linguistic, cultural and spiritual aspects. As such, the text of this all-important body of ancient literature demands the most meticulous treatment in regard to its authenticity and history of transmission.

Many classical works of literature have been published in outstanding editions, crowning a painstaking process of collating manuscripts and examining their history, correcting corruptions or interpolations, so as to present the reader with the most authoritative and accurate version of the text possible. Yet to this day, there is no comprehensive critical edition of the Hebrew Bible providing the entire range of textual evidence collated from all extant sources.

The Aleppo Codex
The Aleppo Codex, saved from the flames when hostilities broke out against the synagogue of Aleppo in Syria, which was attacked after the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, is the oldest and most authoritative complete manuscript of the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible, sanctioned by the great Jewish scholar Maimonides. Brought to Israel from Syria to the late President Izhak Ben-Zvi, it serves as the basis for the text of the Bible Project edition.

The Entire Picture
The Hebrew Bible text has been handed down in manuscript form with the greatest of care by many generations of copyists. However, the further back one traces its transmission in history, the more variants are found in the witnesses to the text. This 'pluriformity' is exhibited most dramatically in the fragments of biblical scrolls dating from the late centuries BCE and the early Common Era, found in the Judean Desert (Qumran, Masada, etc.). The Bible Project edition includes all the evidence bearing on the text, listing every difference in the ancient translations: the Greek Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, the Aramaic Targums and the Syriac Peshitta. It also lists the variant readings attested in the Dead Sea scrolls, quotations of biblical verses in Rabbinic literature, and in medieval Hebrew manuscripts and commentaries.

The text of the Aleppo Codex, together with its masora, the meticulous recording of variant readings from all important witnesses, and accompanying philological notes clarifying readings listed in the apparatuses, make up the most comprehensive critical edition of the Hebrew Bible, reflecting the fruit of years of research.

A Training Ground for Scholars
 The research involved in collating the variant readings for each apparatus is carried out by four separate teams, each headed by an expert in the field. The Bible Project also functions as a training ground for promising young scholars engaged as research assistants for the various apparatuses, under the supervision of senior scholars, who gain invaluable practical experience in the field of biblical research and textual criticism. Many of these go on to become senior teachers and occupy senior academic positions at institutions of higher education both in Israel and abroad.

No comments: