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date: 18 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

It is essential for any interpretive analysis of a biblical book—historical, literary, or theological—to know the character of the book’s various textual witnesses and establish a sound text. The Masoretic text is not the text of the Hebrew Bible; it is one text among others, including the Scrolls, the Samaritan, and the Septuagint. The text is developmental: it grew in different ways at different times and through the work of different authors/editors/scribes. Four separate levels of textual variation should be distinguished: variant literary editions, intentional insertions, individual variants, and orthography. The MT and LXX of Kings exhibit variant literary editions characterized by alternative readings, additions, double readings, a different arrangement of the materials, and a different chronological system. The kaige-Theodotionic and the Hexaplaric recensions provide empirical evidence of the textual growth of the Hebrew text from the first edition represented by the Vorlage of the LXX to a more developed and authorized edition represented by the (proto-)Masoretic Text.

Keywords: Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, Kings, Old Greek, Old Latin, Samuel, Septuagint, textual criticism, variant editions

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