Saturday, February 02, 2019

Common Bibles in the Cairo Geniza

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH (JANUARY 2019): The Uncommon Bible: T-S AS 44.35 (Ben Outhwaite).
It is unlikely that these Common Bibles preserve variant readings of great value to the recovery of pre-masoretic biblical traditions. Israel Yeivin, in his Introduction to the Tiberian Masorah (1980, as translated by the E. J. Revell) suggests ‘most are fragments of “vulgar” texts, some with Masorah, without accents, with many extra vowel letters, and so on…’ (Yeivin 1980, 30–31). But this does not diminish their value as cultural artefacts: they form a large body of evidence for ordinary Jewish engagement with the text of the Hebrew Bible in the Middle Ages.
Past posts noting Cairo Geniza Fragments of the Month in the Cambridge University Library's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit are here and links. There was no fragment of the month for December 2018.

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