homebhgrammasorahnarrativexegesis refernce

tc title

Evaluate external evidence
Begin with Biblia Hebraica apparatus

Critical Hebrew texts with apparatuses are a good place to start. Since Biblia Hebraica (BHS, BHQ) and The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition (HBCE) have different philosophies and approaches each can help in different ways. While the primary outcome of working with an apparatus is evaluating witnesses and establishing the text, the process offers some exegetical benefits as well. Since the agenda of BHS editors includes suggesting emendations the apparatus helps students identify difficult contexts for interpretations irrespective of text critical outcome. Since BHQ offers literary and text critical discussion together in the commentary on its apparatus students can begin to identify potential interpretive issues even while determining provisional text critical decisions. Stated simply: Textual difficulties are also exegetical opportunities, ancient and modern. Both BHS and BHQ have problems and limitations, but both, used well, can offer helpful advantages.  

The student should translate the apparatus into clear, straightforward English. This requires using apparatus glossaries in the front of volumes and/or other helps. Although this takes much effort at first, like anything else, regular decoding and evaluating makes it easier. BHS apparatus involves the additional challenge of using Latin and BHQ apparatus, while in English, does not back-translate ancient witnesses to Hebrew, in order to avoid creating additional conjecture, thus leaving the task to users. The provided illustrations are to get one started, but understanding comes through hands on practice.

Biblia Hebraica apparatus (BHK, BHS, BHQ) (Deut 32:8)


For further reading

(BHK) Biblia Hebraica, ed. Rudolf Kittel, 7th ed. (Stuttgart: Württ. Bibelanstalt, 1937, 1951), BHK Gen-Kgs, BHK Isa-Chron, BHK apparatus abbreviations

(BHQ) Biblia Hebraica Quinta: Genesis, ed. Abraham Tal (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2015); Biblia Hebraica Quinta: Deuteronomy, ed. Carmel McCarthy (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2007); Biblia Hebraica Quinta: Judges, ed. Natalio Fernández Marcos (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012); Biblia Hebraica Quinta: Minor Prophets, ed. Anthony Gelston (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2010); Biblia Hebraica Quinta: Proverbs (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2008); Biblia Hebraica Quinta: General Introduction and Megilloth, ed. J. de Waard, et al (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2004); Biblia Hebraica Quinta: Ezra and Nehemiah, ed. David Marcus (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006)

(BHS) Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 5th ed. (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1997). BHS text

Freedman, David Noel, ed. The Leningrad Codex: A Facsimile Edition (Eerdmans, 1998)

Leningrad Codex (facsimile); L in high-def; about L

Scott, William R. A Simplified Guide to BHS (D. & F. Scott Publishing, 1987).

Wonneberger, Reinhard. Understanding BHS: A Manual for the Users of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 3rd ed. (Roma: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2001).

Also see "Textual Criticism" section of Biblical Hebrew bibliography.

tc home

2 dss

3 sp

4 lxx


Copyright © 2016