Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Longacre on the DSS and the textual development of the Pentateuch

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Reflections on the Textual Development of the Pentateuch in Light of Documented Evidence (Drew Longacre).
Many have discussed the significant editorial differences evident in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the pluriformity of the texts of the Hebrew Scriptures in the Second Temple period is now common knowledge. The differentiated state of the tradition already in the third century BCE (compare, for example, the “pre-Samaritan” 4QExodus-Leviticus and the Septuagint) suggests that many of the major differences between pentateuchal witnesses were created already in the fourth century or even earlier. Yet, these documented editorial changes still reflect typologically late developments on a much more restricted scale than those typically suggested by source and redaction critics. These latter stages of the development of the text of the Pentateuch are—and will probably always remain—undocumented hypotheses. Nevertheless, it is clear that the Dead Sea Scrolls provide a limited window into the patterns of text production that can be expected in the Persian period, and literary critics cannot afford to ignore these lessons.
The first essay in AJR's current series on the Dead Sea Scrolls (in honor of the 70th anniversary of their discovery) was noted here.