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Eric Kvaalen
07-06-2004, 02:29 PM
I would like to raise the following subject: Is the Hebrew text provided by BW as accurate as possible?

BW uses the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia which is based on the Leningrad text. But the Leningrad manuscript differs in hundreds of places from the standard Masoretic text. A large part of these are minor, like missing or extra dagesh, but there are also lots of wrong vowel points, and sometimes wrong letters or missing letters.

Your thoughts?

Joe Fleener
07-06-2004, 02:48 PM
Can you suggest another Hebrew text readily available in electronic form and a corresponding morphologically tagged database?

Even if everyone were to agree that the BHS is not the best (not saying I do), the issue is still irrelevant to electronic databases if there is no other option available.

If there is, I would love to have the BHS and whatever else is out there so as to facilitate OT Text Criticism.

d-man
07-06-2004, 05:04 PM
This guy is making probably one of the most accurate electronic editions of the Hebrew Bible yet (based on ben Chayyim/Ginsburg):

http://www.bibles.org.uk/

He is actively seeking help for fixing it up.

No edition is infallible of course, and there are also different opinions as to what manuscripts are more reliable. There are many people arguing for a new more comprehensive eclectic critical edition of the Hebrew Bible, and of course, the Jerusalem Bible Project is working on one. BHS definitely needs some work and we can only cross our fingers hoping for something better.

Joe Fleener
07-06-2004, 05:39 PM
This guy is making probably one of the most accurate electronic editions of the Hebrew Bible yet (based on ben Chayyim/Ginsburg):


You are right this guy is doing some nice stuff, but it is only the text right now, we would need it to be tagged...but one thing at a time.

I would love to see this work integrated into BW.

Ewan MacLeod
07-07-2004, 08:38 AM
If anyone wants another (better) text, why not export the current WTT text, then modify it to bring it in line with another text (e.g. Aleppo Codex, Koren Tanach, Leningrad Codex) then re-import it as another version using the database compiler facility. It would need several people to agree to proof-read sections of the text and make appropriate corrections. The Text Comparison tool would then allow you to see what the differences are.

A morphologically tagged version is probably not necessary (at least at first), because the differences are likely to be small, such as spelling differences, vowel or accent differences, etc.

The fact that BibleWorks only has one Hebrew text (and BHS is a particularly bad example) is a severe limitation for serious Hebrew study.

Why don't several volunteers contribute to have another text, complete with Massoretic notes, etc?

Shalom,

Ewan

Eric Kvaalen
07-10-2004, 04:30 PM
The fact that BibleWorks only has one Hebrew text (and BHS is a particularly bad example) is a severe limitation for serious Hebrew study.

Ewan
Yes, I agree.

What about other commercial programs? Do any have a better Hebrew text?

Ben Spackman
07-10-2004, 05:16 PM
Well, according to this page (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.dbg.de/article.php%3Farticle%3D290&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dsesb%2Bbibel%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3 DUTF-8), LOGOS/Libronix now has the BHS with the critical apparatus available (though LOGOS doesn't appear to know it yet (http://www.logos.com/products/prepub/details/1981). Though that's not a different text, having the apparatus available is virtually the same thing...

Joe Fleener
07-10-2004, 05:55 PM
There is a lot of confusion and controversy surrounding this.

The program in its entirety was developed by the German Bible Society. They chose to develop it in the Libronix "language" (or whatever you want to call it). This seems to violate on of the tenets of the German Bible Society's existence, since they are not supposed to be associated with any singular group, but to be a help and aid to all those who desire to study the text of Scripture.

Originally, the only place one was going to be able to purchase this program was through the GBS. It has been a recent development that Logos has become a distributor of the program, and an exclusive distributor (this is a real violation of point one above, from my perspective).

However, Logos is limited to only distributing to people in North America (of course that is me).

wie
07-11-2004, 03:45 AM
The program in its entirety was developed by the German Bible Society. They chose to develop it in the Libronix "language" (or whatever you want to call it). This seems to violate on of the tenets of the German Bible Society's existence, since they are not supposed to be associated with any singular group, but to be a help and aid to all those who desire to study the text of Scripture.

This is nonsense. They are associated with printers to print their books, they are associated with software developers (M. Frey) from the beginning to create their CDs. This new program is quite complex and has input from several parties. There is no possibility for the GBS to do this all on their own.

Joe Fleener
07-11-2004, 06:39 AM
I appologize for my wording.

When I stated that the GBS developed this all on their own, what I meant was that it as not a Logos develop module. Rather it was developed by the GBS in Libronix format (I am sure with the help of others), not by Logos for the GBS.

wie
07-11-2004, 12:38 PM
When I stated that the GBS developed this all on their own, what I meant was that it as not a Logos develop module. Rather it was developed by the GBS in Libronix format (I am sure with the help of others), not by Logos for the GBS.


And what is your problem with that? Some such format has to be chosen.

Joe Fleener
07-11-2004, 03:52 PM
This is not entirely correct



A proprietary coding format giving exclusive distribution rights to one US company was not necessary. There are many examples of software programs both related to Biblical Studies and not, that make other choices all the time.



Nothing that is stated on this tread is going to change decisions that were made nor reveal why they were. That was not my point. Nor was my point to upset anyone.



My personal opinion (and I may be the only one on the planet who holds this opinion) is that GBSs choice of the Libronix format is unfortunate to the greater Christian and Biblical Software community

wie
07-12-2004, 02:40 AM
A proprietary coding format giving exclusive distribution rights to one US company was not necessary. There are many examples of software programs both related to Biblical Studies and not, that make other choices all the time.
I think it is a great progress for the GBS, actually. So far they released their digital products (NA etc.) in a rather poor format, kind of "home-made" software. Switching to one of tha major programs is a progress.
What do you want? txt format? MS Word? This includes more than just the words. Of course I would have preferred a BW edition, too, but so is business.

Ewan MacLeod
07-12-2004, 08:34 AM
This is not entirely correct

A proprietary coding format giving exclusive distribution rights to one US company was not necessary. There are many examples of software programs both related to Biblical Studies and not, that make other choices all the time.

My personal opinion (and I may be the only one on the planet who holds this opinion) is that GBSs choice of the Libronix format is unfortunate to the greater Christian and Biblical Software community

I agree - it would have been much better to supply the critical apparatus in an electronic format (as for WTM 4.0) and let a number of companies (BibleWorks, Logos) license it in their own products. I for one will not buy it in Logos Library format because 1) it is much more expensive that just buying the book form (BHS); 2) it is much too heavily tied into Windows and Internet Explorer to be easy to use on different machines; 3) Logos is a pain because it needs the software to be activated and it won't work otherwise, so installing and re-installing on the same machine is a problem; 4) there is no way to try it and not buy if it isn't what you were hoping for (unlike BibleWorks); 5) I don't use Logos and prefer BibleWorks.

I firmly believe the decision to give exclusive rights to Logos was a bad business decision, since it rules out its use by the users of every other Bible study program.

Regards,

Ewan MacLeod

Ewan MacLeod
07-12-2004, 10:46 AM
This guy is making probably one of the most accurate electronic editions of the Hebrew Bible yet (based on ben Chayyim/Ginsburg):

http://www.bibles.org.uk/

He is actively seeking help for fixing it up.

No edition is infallible of course, and there are also different opinions as to what manuscripts are more reliable. There are many people arguing for a new more comprehensive eclectic critical edition of the Hebrew Bible, and of course, the Jerusalem Bible Project is working on one. BHS definitely needs some work and we can only cross our fingers hoping for something better.
I have emailed Tigran Aivazian who runs this site, and he is willing to make his input files available to produce a new/alternative user-defined Hebrew text available to BibleWorks users. I will investigate how difficult it would be to convert his input format into the CCAT format required by BibleWorks. Realistically, there would be three stages:

1) Make the base text available, which would make it possible to use BibleWorks' text comparison facility.

2) (Later) make his critical apparatus available, which would be a fantastic bonus for BibleWorks users. It provides a wealth of information on the Hebrew text.

3) (Much later) provide an alternative morphological version, although the differences would probably be more at the accent and spelling levels, or singular/plural use of words, rather than a different interpretation or understanding of words.

Tigran's text is already very high quality, but has not been fully proof-read, and not all the masoretic footnotes have been entered. Text which has not been proof-read is likely to be "correct" according to some Hebrew text traditions, but not necessarily exactly in line with Ginsburg's or the Rabbinic text traditions.

If anyone wants to help, the best way would be to help proof-read the base text. See the www.bibles.org.uk (http://www.bibles.org.uk) web site for details.

Regards,

Ewan MacLeod

Eric Kvaalen
07-20-2004, 08:47 AM
Well, according to this page (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.dbg.de/article.php%3Farticle%3D290&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dsesb%2Bbibel%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3 DUTF-8), LOGOS/Libronix now has the BHS with the critical apparatus available (though LOGOS doesn't appear to know it yet (http://www.logos.com/products/prepub/details/1981). Though that's not a different text, having the apparatus available is virtually the same thing...
I'm not sure that I understand what you mean about Logos not knowing it yet.

In any case, it seems that the Logos product is better in this respect than BibleWorks.

Personally I would rather have a product in which the text itself is as good as possible, not just have notes in the critical apparatus. I spent years reading the paper version of the Stuttgartensia looking at all the notes to see whether the text was good. It really makes reading more difficult!

Ben Spackman
07-20-2004, 04:41 PM
When I posted the links, the German site said it was available for purchase, the Logos site said it was still in development, and had no availability date...

Eric Kvaalen
08-01-2004, 09:16 AM
I have emailed Tigran Aivazian who runs this site, and he is willing to make his input files available to produce a new/alternative user-defined Hebrew text available to BibleWorks users. I will investigate how difficult it would be to convert his input format into the CCAT format required by BibleWorks. Realistically, there would be three stages:

1) Make the base text available, which would make it possible to use BibleWorks' text comparison facility.

2) (Later) make his critical apparatus available, which would be a fantastic bonus for BibleWorks users. It provides a wealth of information on the Hebrew text.

3) (Much later) provide an alternative morphological version, although the differences would probably be more at the accent and spelling levels, or singular/plural use of words, rather than a different interpretation or understanding of words.

When I made my last post, I hadn't noticed that there was a whole second page of discussion!

Your idea is good, but it sounds like a long-term project and a lot of work. I think that the BW text could be fixed up with a lot less effort.

Ewan MacLeod
08-02-2004, 04:11 AM
Your idea is good, but it sounds like a long-term project and a lot of work. I think that the BW text could be fixed up with a lot less effort.
The current BW Hebrew text (as of BibleWorks 6.0) isn't "just" the BHS - it is the "corrected BHS" text. That is, the original problems in the printed editions of BHS have been substantially corrected and the electronic WTT text has been extensively proofread to bring it much more in line with the Leningrad Codex (see the copyrights section in the BW manual for further details). The WTT text is therefore actually very good, and if it contains typos there won't be many and they won't be serious (unlike printed editions of BHS). If you look at the comments in the WTM, there are lots of places where there is a note to the effect that the morphology is different to what BHS says. So, there is really no need to "fix" the current BHS text, and it stands as a good Hebrew text which very closely matches the Leningrad Codex (the original intention of the BHS).

Actually, importing the Ginsburg/ben Chayyim text won't take much longer, and I have already got a working text in my copy of BibleWorks. The Text Comparison tool works well, and picks up the differences between WTT and the Ginsburg text. There are a few issues with some of the accents (like rafe) and circula not being displayed, but that is being worked on. It would also be nice if large/small/raised letters, etc. were also displayed. Importing the footnotes isn't so far away either, but there are a number of ways that could be done, which I am still deciding upon.

Regards,

Ewan

Ewan MacLeod
08-03-2004, 04:06 AM
A snapshot of the Ginsburg/ben Chayyim text is available for downloading as a user-compiled database by going to the link http://www.bibles.org.uk/pdf/misc/bibleworks

The GBC.txt is the CCAT file. If you download and unzip the scripts.zip, you will also see GBC.ddf (the Database Definition File) and GBC.vmf (the verse Mapping File, because a few of the verses are different from the WTT). There are also the scripts used to convert the *.inp files to BibleWorks CCAT format, but these probably won't be useful unless you are helping to proofread the text and have been supplied with the *.inp files.

The current status of the project can be seen on the www.bibles.org.uk (http://www.bibles.org.uk) web site. You can just download the PDF to read the Tanach on the screen. If the text is "proofread", it means that it is in line with the Ginsburg/ben Chayyim tradition, and footnotes have been entered, and it has been meticulously proofread. If it is not yet proofread, the text will very likely be at least as good quality as other Bibles, but not necessarily in line with the ben Chayyim text, and only a few footnotes will have been entered.

Further snapshots of the text will be put onto the site from time to time, and at a later stage the footnotes will also be available to BibleWorks users. These contain a wealth of information on the Hebrew text and are an essential critical apparatus based on traditional massoretic material.

If anyone wants to help proofread the text, then please help. You can download a Proofreaders Guide from the above web site, to see what is involved.

Regards,

Ewan MacLeod

Gilbert Salinas
08-03-2004, 01:03 PM
Ewan,

I appreciate VERY MUCH your labor in this project!

Thanks for sharing your work.

Gilbert:cool:

PrayingWolf
08-13-2004, 02:27 AM
I believe the Keter Aram Zova (Aleppo codex) is widely available in electronic form. The Hebrew University has been working on it for ages and they definately have it. I've also been reading it in HTML 4.0 RTL at http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t0.htm

jdarlack
08-13-2004, 08:19 AM
I believe the Keter Aram Zova (Aleppo codex) is widely available in electronic form. The Hebrew University has been working on it for ages and they definately have it. I've also been reading it in HTML 4.0 RTL at http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t0.htm
Is anyone sure about the provenance of mechon-mamre's Aleppo text? I emailed them in the past to ask what the basis of their text was, and they seemed to indicate that it was compiled from the notes of a highly esteemed rabbi, but they did not give me any clear answer about the provenance.

~Jim

Eric Kvaalen
08-30-2004, 12:21 PM
The current BW Hebrew text (as of BibleWorks 6.0) isn't "just" the BHS - it is the "corrected BHS" text. ... So, there is really no need to "fix" the current BHS text, and it stands as a good Hebrew text which very closely matches the Leningrad Codex (the original intention of the BHS).

The problem is not so much that there are, or were, differences between the BHS and L, but that L has many places where it is wrong (that is, has obvious mistakes or differs from most other manuscripts).

There are some places where the BibleWorks text is wrong, but I don't know if it follows L or not. For instance, in Genesis 30:37 it has W:_(ER:MO^WN instead of W:_(AR:MO^WN.


Actually, importing the Ginsburg/ben Chayyim text won't take much longer, and I have already got a working text in my copy of BibleWorks. The Text Comparison tool works well, and picks up the differences between WTT and the Ginsburg text.
How many differences are there? I think there are hundreds.

paterdr
01-29-2005, 12:46 AM
Sorry to get into this conversation very late - 7 months after it's inception.

Eric Kvaalen wrote "... The Leningrad manuscript differs in hundreds of places from the standard Masoretic text." Some thoughts about "standard":

What is _the_ "standard" Masoretic text? Probably, in the context of the thread, this means the Bombrrg Rabbinic Bible (Venice 1524-5), the classic eclectic text also championed by Ginsburg. I'd love to have an electronic form of this myself, but this wasn't "standard" until put together in the 16th century. Generally accepted, yes, but I'm not aware that any divinely inspired process (except for love of the Hebrew Scriptures) was ever attributed to this process. (I don't want to step into a quagmire similar to the NT Majority text controversy.)

Is the Aleppo codex the "standard"? It should be, probably. A better Ben Asher text, without a doubt, but unfortunately incomplete after its partial destruction in well known circumstances. (The Hebrew University project and the Bar-Ilan University editions are based on this Ms for the part of it that has survived.) Leningrad B19a is accepted as the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Scriptures although it was copied some 60-70 years after Aleppo, and was pointed and corrected ways not always accurate, especially in the Masoretic apparatus itself.

Is "the standard Masoretic text" the phantom ideal Ben Asher text represented by the Kitab al_khilaf of Mishael ben Uzziel? According to statistics repeated in the General Introduction in the recently published fascicle of the Biblia Hebraica Quinta, (page xix) "In cases from Kitab al-hkilaf where ben Asher differs from ben Naphtali, [Aleppo] follows ben Asher in 94% and [Leningrad] follows in 92%. Both follow ben Asher in 90% of the cases where ben Ahser and ben Naphtali agree against other authorities (cited from Yeivin, Tiberian Masorah).

Alongside the so-called diplomatic or quasi diplomatic editions (BHK3, the Hebrew University Project and now the BHQ), there definitely are places in the academic world for eclectic editions (Rabbinic, Ginsburg) and "mosaic" editions, with the best parts of the various Masoretic codices "patched" together. (The big Masoretic Mss are Aleppo, British Oriental Ms 4445, Cairo, Leningrad B19a, B17, B34, Complutensian, Sassoon 1053, Sassoon 507, Cambridge Ms 1753.)

Unless they are obvious editorial choices, WTT differences from the Leningrad codex should be signaled to DBG or, better, to Westminster.

So, again, what is "the standard" Masoretic text? I'd like to hear more about this.

Finally, thanks ever so much for directing to http://www.bibles.org.uk/ . There is some really good material here, including the Ginsburg - Bomberg text and - wow! - fascimiles of Vaticanus and Alexandrinus.

Dan Pater

Eric Kvaalen
04-30-2007, 10:25 AM
Sorry to get into this conversation very late - 7 months after it's inception.

Eric Kvaalen wrote "... The Leningrad manuscript differs in hundreds of places from the standard Masoretic text." Some thoughts about "standard":

What is _the_ "standard" Masoretic text? Probably, in the context of the thread, this means the Bombrrg Rabbinic Bible (Venice 1524-5), the classic eclectic text also championed by Ginsburg. I'd love to have an electronic form of this myself, but this wasn't "standard" until put together in the 16th century. Generally accepted, yes, but I'm not aware that any divinely inspired process (except for love of the Hebrew Scriptures) was ever attributed to this process. (I don't want to step into a quagmire similar to the NT Majority text controversy.)

Eric Kvaalen
La Courneuve, France
Is the Aleppo codex the "standard"? It should be, probably. A better Ben Asher text, without a doubt, but unfortunately incomplete after its partial destruction in well known circumstances. (The Hebrew University project and the Bar-Ilan University editions are based on this Ms for the part of it that has survived.) Leningrad B19a is accepted as the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Scriptures although it was copied some 60-70 years after Aleppo, and was pointed and corrected ways not always accurate, especially in the Masoretic apparatus itself.

Is "the standard Masoretic text" the phantom ideal Ben Asher text represented by the Kitab al_khilaf of Mishael ben Uzziel? According to statistics repeated in the General Introduction in the recently published fascicle of the Biblia Hebraica Quinta, (page xix) "In cases from Kitab al-hkilaf where ben Asher differs from ben Naphtali, [Aleppo] follows ben Asher in 94% and [Leningrad] follows in 92%. Both follow ben Asher in 90% of the cases where ben Ahser and ben Naphtali agree against other authorities (cited from Yeivin, Tiberian Masorah).

Alongside the so-called diplomatic or quasi diplomatic editions (BHK3, the Hebrew University Project and now the BHQ), there definitely are places in the academic world for eclectic editions (Rabbinic, Ginsburg) and "mosaic" editions, with the best parts of the various Masoretic codices "patched" together. (The big Masoretic Mss are Aleppo, British Oriental Ms 4445, Cairo, Leningrad B19a, B17, B34, Complutensian, Sassoon 1053, Sassoon 507, Cambridge Ms 1753.)

Unless they are obvious editorial choices, WTT differences from the Leningrad codex should be signaled to DBG or, better, to Westminster.

So, again, what is "the standard" Masoretic text? I'd like to hear more about this.

Finally, thanks ever so much for directing to http://www.bibles.org.uk/ . There is some really good material here, including the Ginsburg - Bomberg text and - wow! - fascimiles of Vaticanus and Alexandrinus.

Dan Pater

Sorry to answer you very late -- 2 years late! :) (I haven't been checking this forum.)

What I meant by "standard" was somewhat imprecise. There are many places where a particular manuscript differs from the vast majority, and this is true of "L" and the BHS. That is what I was complaining about. These are noted in the BHS footnotes, with a message like "sic L, mlt Mss Edd ...", which is abbreviated Latin for "that is what L actually has, but many (or most) manuscripts and editions have...". The first instance in the book of Genesis is at 2:18, where L and the BHS have a dagesh in the "he" at the end of the word "e`ese". There are many cases like this where there is a superfluous dagesh, or a dagesh missing. There are also plenty of places (first example in Genesis 16:2) where the vowel is clearly wrong.

There are also places (like Is. 44:25) where the BHS has a different consonant from most texts (in Is. 44:25 it is not clearly a mistake) or where a consonant is missing (like Hos. 13:15, where the BHS has "ben" meaning "son" rather than "beyn" meaning "between").

I admit that there may be lots of places where there is no clear majority text. But what bothers me is that BibleWorks (and others) use a text that in many places is clearly wrong.

RickGross
08-14-2007, 12:22 PM
BibleWorks would very much like to enhance its offerings by including the ben Chayyim text, but we've not found an electronic version of this text unencumbered by copyright and of sufficient quality as to need only very minor editing. If anyone knows of such a version that might be available for inclusion in BibleWorks, please let me know, and I'll follow up with the text's owner. Thanks.

Eric Kvaalen
08-15-2007, 11:24 AM
A few years ago I offered to take your Hebrew text and go through my BHS and find all the places where there's a footnote noting a difference between the BHS and most other texts, and change it manually. We talked about whether there would be copyright problems, and in the end it seemed that everything was all right. The German Bible Society didn't have a problem with your putting a modified version in your software along with theirs. After all, the result would NOT be their text anymore--it would be a majority text. I even did the book of Genesis to see how long it took.

Michael Hanel
08-17-2007, 12:02 PM
Not sure if this website source is helpful or not: http://www.christianhospitality.org/benchayyim.htm

Eric Kvaalen
09-02-2007, 02:43 AM
The Ben Hayyim Tanakh, which came out in about 1525, also contained many errors. I have read that it contained thousands of technical errors. This is perhaps to be expected, since typesetting is a laborious endeavor, and correcting errors was not as simple as it is today on a computer!

So be careful about texts calling themselves the Ben Hayyim text. They may contain more errors than the text presently used by BibleWorks!

Adelphos
09-02-2007, 02:07 PM
The Ben Hayyim Tanakh, which came out in about 1525, also contained many errors. I have read that it contained thousands of technical errors. This is perhaps to be expected, since typesetting is a laborious endeavor, and correcting errors was not as simple as it is today on a computer!

Could you provide a source for this please? And also which edition you are referring to.

Eric Kvaalen
09-15-2007, 07:16 AM
I was referring to the 1525 edition. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikraot_Gedolot#The_Ben_Hayyim_edition

Adelphos
09-15-2007, 11:19 AM
I was referring to the 1525 edition. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikraot_Gedolot#The_Ben_Hayyim_edition

Yeah, that's what I figured. That article is so obviously biased in one direction that it couldn't even be missed by a blind man.

It is furthermore riddled with naked, unsubstianted assertions. Not a single assertion in that article is backed up with actual evidence. Not one.

The actual facts are quite different. Bomberg's first edition was produced some nine or ten years earlier, and whatever printing errors there were had mostly fixed by 1525. In addition to that, there were numerous printings after 1525. By the time most of the Renaissance Bibles were produced, especially in 1611 when the KJV was produced, any errors that remained were well know by everyone, and further still, the 1611 translators had at LEAST nine different Hebrew texts before them.

That's just the basics, but suffice it so say that biased articles like the one you referenced are about as reliable as a wax figurine in a volcano.

Eric Kvaalen
09-15-2007, 02:45 PM
So why don't you fix the article in Wikipedia?

In any case, I think BibleWorks should have a text that does not contain obvious errors (deviations from the majority text), and I'm not sure that texts calling themselves "Ben Hayyim" would be that.

Adelphos
09-15-2007, 03:16 PM
So why don't you fix the article in Wikipedia?

In any case, I think BibleWorks should have a text that does not contain obvious errors (deviations from the majority text), and I'm not sure that texts calling themselves "Ben Hayyim" would be that.

I don't have the desire nor the time to go around correcting pure fiction all over the internet, especially in Wikipedia, which is renowned for its inaccuracies.

And I don't know what obvious errors you are referring to. The BHS text is certainly not representative of the "majority text" seeing as how its base is almost solely the Leningrad Codex, and yet it would be remiss if BW didn't include it, so including the 1516 or the 1525 Ben Chayyim text would be just as appropriate.

Furthermore, it is a matter of opinion, for the most part, as to which text contains errors, and which doesn't.

Nor do I know what you mean by the term "majority text," as that term is grossly abused today, especially in the NT.

For example, one "scholar" has made the assertion that there are approximately 1800 differences between the "majority text" and the "byzantine" text, and this "scholar" has been quoted ad nauseum by his sycophants who are content to sit back and quote such "scholars" without verifying where the "scholars" get their information.

In this case, the "scholar" has based his assertion on Von Soden's apparatus, and laying aside the fact that Von Soden's apparatus is honeycombed with errors (as well as laying aside a number of other assumptions), the figures derived for the "majority text" in that apparatus are based on a grand total of 400 manuscripts, and of that 400, only about 200 of them are even fully cited.

In other words, about 200 manuscripts out of some five to six THOUSAND manuscripts constitute this "scholar's" assertion of a "majority."

Thus, the so-called "majority text" which contains 1800 differences between the byzantine manuscripts is based on approximately 200 Greek manuscripts, or in other words, approximately 3% of the extant Greek manuscripts.

Which is to say, this "majority text" that everyone keeps citing is actually a 3% text.

Last time I checked, 3% doesn't constitute a majority.

And yet this "scholar", who is a leading textual critic, is quoted vociferously as if he actually knew what he was talking about. He's quoted by several leading apologists, and most any others who attempt to deal with the subject, all of whom are just as ignorant as this "scholar" is with regard to the actual facts.

And of course, I haven't even addressed the subjective classification of "byzatine" and a number of other subjective classifications which are further problems in this "scholar's" assertion.

The moral of the story is, this generation for the most part, seems to be content to quote people without doing a shred of actual investigation for themselves, which is the case with the Ben Chayim text as well.

And this attitude, as well as a number of other shortcomings, such as not even knowing what constitutes actual evidence, let alone knowing how to intepret it, in addtion to patently faulty logic, is one of the many reasons why this generation of bible "scholars" will go down as the most inept and incompetent generation of bible scholars in the history of religion.

MBushell
09-17-2007, 09:28 AM
Just for clarification: the Hebrew text in BibleWorks is not really the BHS text. It is the Leningrad Codex as produced by Westminster Theological Seminary in conjunction with its morphological database. The differences between it and the BHS however are very minor.

On the other issue, we have tried without success to license the GBS apparatus for use in BibleWorks. They are not presently open to discussions on the matter. In the long run their proprietary stance will be good for the scholarly and Bible software community because it forces alternatives to be developed to provide the needs of scholars and students. We are pursuing other alternatives ourselves which we believe will be much better for our users and should be announcing something very soon that many people will find very exciting (aimed initially at the New Testament - sorry OT folks - one thing at a time). Stay tuned.
Mike

Eric Kvaalen
09-17-2007, 09:59 AM
I would also like to respond to "Adelphos".

I agree with you that the BHS is not representative of the "majority text". That is what I have been saying on this thread ever since I started it.

Here's what I mean by an obvious error: Gen. 32:18 in BibleWorks has the word "vish'elkha", which should be "ush'elkha". The mistake is peculiar to the Leningrad text. Whether it's a mistake is not a question of opinion.

The rest of your post seems to be a bit off topic. We're talking about the Hebrew Old Testament, not the Greek New Testament.

Adelphos
09-17-2007, 12:55 PM
The rest of your post seems to be a bit off topic. We're talking about the Hebrew Old Testament, not the Greek New Testament.

Perhaps you missed the point. I used the NT as an example of people blindly quoting information which they themselves have not verified, such as making the assertion that there were thousands of errors in the 1525 Bomberg edition without a shred of hard evidence to support such an assertion.

In fact, I doubt if there is a living person anywhere on this earth who can tell how many errors there may have been in the original edition, nor how many of those errors were corrected in the nine years between 1516 and 1525.

Quoting some "scholar" who made the statement some hundreds of years after the fact without offering a shred of hard data doesn't qualify as evidence. It, in fact, only qualifies as rumor, which in turn labels it as nothing but slip-shod scholarship, which unfortunaltely appears to be the status quo these days.

Adelphos
09-17-2007, 01:23 PM
In fact, I think the following by Robert Dick Wilson summarizes the point I was making. You'll remember, of course, that Wilson was fluent in 45 ancient langauges and dialects, including all the biblical and cognate langauges, and in my view, far and away the greatest Old Testament Bible scholar who has ever lived. You may see a very brief article about his methodology here --

http://www.lamblion.net/Articles/ScottJones/veracity_of_the_old_testament.htm

Here's his quote that typifies what is all too often common today --

"I remember that some years ago I was investigating the word 'Baca,' which you have in the English Bible -- Passing through the valley of Baca, make it a well. I found in the Hebrew dictionary that there was a traveller named Burkhart, who said that 'Baca' meant mulberry trees. That was not very englightening. I could not see how mulberries had anything to do with water. I looked up all the authority of the scholars in Germany and England since Burkhart's time and found they all quoted Burkhart! Just one scholar at the back of it! When I was travelling in the Orient, I found that we had delicious water here and there. The water sprang up apparently out of the ground in the midst of the desert. I asked my brother who was a missionary where this water came from. He said, 'They bring the water from the mountains. It is an underground aqueduct. They cover it to prevent it from evaporating.' Now the name of that underground aqueduct was Baca!" Robert Dick Wilson, What Is An Expert

Adelphos
09-17-2007, 08:13 PM
IHere's what I mean by an obvious error: Gen. 32:18 in BibleWorks has the word "vish'elkha", which should be "ush'elkha". The mistake is peculiar to the Leningrad text. Whether it's a mistake is not a question of opinion.

Well, "vish'elkha" is the way it's written in the printed edtion of BHS, so while Mike has stated that BW doesn't follow BHS verbatim, I imagine that the database BW employed also has "vish'elkha"

Calling it a mistake thererfore depends on the source you are assiging it to. If BW meant to copy the text accurately as it received it, and assuming that "vish'elkha" is in fact what's written in that source, then it's not a mistake on BW's part.

In other words, even in something like this one must define the parameters before one assigns terms such as "mistake" or what-have-you. That it may be a true syntactical mistake is another matter entirely. It is not uncommon, when one is making a text from a single manuscript, or mostly from a single mansucript, to copy the text of that manuscript warts and all.

Eric Kvaalen
09-18-2007, 04:13 AM
Maybe you should go back and read the rest of this thread, instead of setting up a strawman.

What I have always been saying is that the text in BibleWorks has lots of errors compared to the majority text. Most of these errors are directly from the Leningrad text. I am not accusing BibleWorks of introducing even more errors.

Adelphos
09-18-2007, 08:07 AM
Maybe you should go back and read the rest of this thread, instead of setting up a strawman.

What I have always been saying is that the text in BibleWorks has lots of errors compared to the majority text. Most of these errors are directly from the Leningrad text. I am not accusing BibleWorks of introducing even more errors.

I don't think I set up a strawman since I asked you what you were referring to as the majority text, and that you have never defined. I also told you that I didn't know what you meant by "errors" because your wording was unclear to me.

In any case, I don't really care at this point, for my entry into this thread was originally a question asking you to provide evidence for your assertion that there were throusands of errors in the 1525 Bomberg edition.

As it turns out, you can provide no such evidence; your statement was mere rumor, and rumor is unfortunately a driving force in modern biblical scholarship today, and it is statements like yours that often times propagate these rumors.

We all make off the cuff statements somtimes, but when you have a PHD behind your name, people pay attention to what you say, so I would encourage you to be more careful about your assertions in the future. I am sure you are probably well qualilfied in whatever field it is that you earned your doctorate, and I doubt very seriously that you earned your doctorate by making statements without evidence to back them up.

In any case, regardless of how many typos or errors or whatever label you would like to assign to them, the 1525 Bomberg text would still be a valuable edition to BW, if it could ever be arranged.

Eric Kvaalen
09-18-2007, 10:18 AM
What I asserted is that it the Ben Hayyim Tanakh had many errors. I also said that I had read that it contained thousands of technical errors. The latter statement ("I have read that...") is perfectly true, and the previous statement is also true. Do you have a better idea than I how many errors it had?

Ma`an rakh yashiv chma.

Adelphos
09-18-2007, 10:54 AM
What I asserted is that it the Ben Hayyim Tanakh had many errors. I also said that I had read that it contained thousands of technical errors. The latter statement ("I have read that...") is perfectly true, and the previous statement is also true. Do you have a better idea than I how many errors it had?

Ma`an rakh yashiv chma.

Since you insist on pushing this, demonstrate that "the Ben Hayyim Tanakh had many errors." Provide the original text of those errors and demonstrate that they are in fact errors, which is what I bascially asked you to do from the beginning.

Further, when you stated that you read that there were thousands of errors in the 1525 edition, I asked you for a source.

You gave me Wikipedia, and I responded that Wikipedia is not reliable, nor is it evidence. It's rumor.

I had hoped you knew the difference, but it was obviously a vain hope.

Now, since you continue to insist that the Ben Chayyim text had thousands of errors, back up your assertion with actual evidence -- not rumors -- beginning with the original text of the 1525 edition and an enumeration of the errors therin.

Thanks.

Adelphos
09-18-2007, 11:16 AM
I might just further add, that this is not merely a contest, at least for me. I have studied this issue considerably, and I have never seen any valid evidence in any material I've ever studied that the 1525 Bomberg Bible was error-ridden.

Just the opposite. There were 9 years from 1516 to 1525, which is to say, from the first Bomberg Bible in 1516 to the second Bomberg Bible in 1525, and although the text in 1525 was not an exact replica of the 1516 edition, it was nevertheless ESSENTIALLY the same text, and in that nine year period everything I've read indicates that the vast majority of errors, printing and otherwise, had been corrected.

On top of that, there were many additional Hebrew texts also produced during that general era which were checks against the Ben Chayyim text.

Thus, for a 21st century naked assertion to come out the blue and state that there were "thousands" of errors in the 1525 Bomberg edition is not only contrary to all the evidence I've ever seen, but it's contrary to plain logic. Of course, that's not to say that the 1525 Bomberg Bible was absolutely perfect and free from every single error, but to state that it was riddled with errors has no basis whatsoever in any evidence or logic that I have ever seen.

Accordingly, if such evidence for this assertion truly exists, I'd like to see it.

It's that simple.

Oh... bevet hasefer ruach hakodesh

Eric Kvaalen
09-18-2007, 12:44 PM
...udevar `etsev ya`aleh f.

Chzit sh ts bidvrv?

Adelphos
09-18-2007, 01:09 PM
...udevar `etsev ya`aleh f.

Chzit sh ts bidvrv?

az atah lo yakol veatah lo yodea

Adelphos
09-18-2007, 01:23 PM
Oh... with regard to this thread....

TO TELOS

Eric Kvaalen
09-19-2007, 10:56 AM
I don't think you quite understood what I said (in English) yesterday at 4:18.

"sh af yegreh mdn..."

Adelphos
09-19-2007, 11:38 AM
I don't think you quite understood what I said (in English) yesterday at 4:18.

"sh af yegreh mdn..."

Yes, I think I understand the whole matter. The fact is, this thread has degenerated into pointlessness, and I see no use in continuing, which is to say, as you intimate, that there is no use for continuing strife in this matter.

I hope that one day we will see the 1525 Ben Chayyim text in BW.

Steve Watkins
09-19-2007, 06:46 PM
A while back in this thread, someone (might have been Michael Hanel) pointed to this web-site:

http://www.christianhospitality.org/benchayyim.htm

They have the Ben Chayyim text in PDF and Word format - both fully editable, and claim that it is, "Free to download, non-copyright, public domain"

Can BibleWorks use this in developing the Chayyim as a usable version?

Adelphos
09-19-2007, 07:37 PM
A while back in this thread, someone (might have been Michael Hanel) pointed to this web-site:

http://www.christianhospitality.org/benchayyim.htm

They have the Ben Chayyim text in PDF and Word format - both fully editable, and claim that it is, "Free to download, non-copyright, public domain"

Can BibleWorks use this in developing the Chayyim as a usable version?

Since there is also a Word document there, it would seem that it is very doable. I personally don't have the time for it. I'm going to be out of pocket for the next few weeks, and even then I just don't think I have the heart to go through the whole Tanach and develop it for BW.

But I would sure love it if BW or some user ever does.

Steve Watkins
09-19-2007, 07:53 PM
yeah, same here. Far too daunting for me! But it seems as though it's a fully public domain source that the BW guys could get their hands on and develop for a later version, or add-on. We can pray!

Steve Watkins
09-19-2007, 08:55 PM
Actually, as tedious a task as it would be, it's even harder than it looks.

Whoever compiled the data did so in right-to-left format - simply imposing the text character by character for each line, with consecutive verses on same lines. So it's really not all that editable after all. Getting the text into a left-to-right format means more work than first meets the eye, due to cutting half-lines and rearranging them, etc... Too bad they didn't do all that work in a Hebrew compatible editor in the first place!