Edited Masoretic text as advised by Maomonides

      The Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible was consolidated in Tiberias in the 10th century and codified by Aaron Ben Asher. Its important characteristics are the diacritical marks (vocalization and other punctuation), and the cantillation marks for chanting. This text was authorized by Maimonides, who in the Mishneh Torah certified that "the codex that we used in these works is known in Egypt ... and was edited by Ben Asher, who studied it carefully for many years and edited it many times." However, it is unsure to which specific manuscript he referred to and then there is an embarrassing fact: he says “edited it many times.” That means “made unspecified changes.” The Masoretic text formed the basis of the most important printed version of the Bible, which was edited by Jacob ben Hayyim ben Isaac ibn Adonijah, and printed in Venice between 1516 and 1518. This version is the basis of most printed copies of the Bible up to the present day. During the 20th century, other editions of the Bible were printed, including the Biblia Hebraica editions and the Aron Dotan edition, both based on the St. Petersburg manuscript of the Bible, which is the oldest entire Bible ever found and is just a thousand years old. Despite minor differences in these editions, all are named “Masoretic.”

      How loyal is the Masoretic text to the oldest known version of the Bible? There are two types of earlier versions of the Bible: ancient translations, and Hebrew versions that predate the Masoretic text. Three vital examples of translations are the abovementioned Greek Septuagint translation, the Onkelos Aramaic translation and the Vulgate Latin Bible. The most famous historic Hebrew text is known as the Dead Sea Scrolls; many would rejoice to find all the books of the Old Testament appear there, except the odd Book of Esther.

These are given as anomalies or textual-errors found in the Bible, Bible version may vary. The obvious answer given by scholar and theologian is that the original inspired record is inerrant and later copies may indeed have translation mistakes. Regardless, the Bible clearly says the word by the Holy Spirit is spiritually discerned, the answer then in any case regarding text is of little import but to those deliberately misleading. Within the New Testament we are told (1 Cor 2:14) "...the things that come from the Spirit of God... are spiritually discerned."

(1) There were in Israel 800,000 (2 Sam. 24:9); 1,100,000 (1 Chron. 21:5) men that drew the sword and there were 500,000 (2 Sam. 24:9), 470,000 (1 Chron. 21:5) men that drew the sword in Judah;

(2) There were 550 (1 Kings 9:23), 250 (2 Chron. 8:10) chiefs of the officers that bare the rule over the people;

(3) Joseph was sold into Egypt by Midianites (Gen. 37:36), by Ishmaelites (Gen. 39:1);

(4) Saul was killed by his own hands (1 Sam. 31:4), by a young Amalekite (2 Sam. 1:10), by the Philistines (2 Sam. 21:12);

(5) Solomon made of a molten sea which contained 2,000 (1 Kings 7:26), 3,000 (2 Chron. 4:5) baths;

(6) The workers on the Temple had 3,300 (1 Kings 5:16), 3,600 (2 Chron. 2:18) overseers;

(7) The earth does (Eccle. 1:4), does not (2 Peter 3:10) abideth forever;

(8) If Jesus bears witness of himself his witness is true (John 8:14), is not true (John 5:31);

(9) Josiah died at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29-30), at Jerusalem (2 Chron. 35:24);

(10) Jesus led Peter, James, and John up a high mountain after six (Matt. 17:1, Mark 9:2), eight (Luke 9:28) days;

(11) Nebuzaradan came unto Jerusalem on the seventh (2 Kings 25:8), tenth (Jer. 52:12) day of the fifth month.

(12) Earliest manuscripts had Greek alpha numeric 'Chilioi' in Rev 20:1-7 & 2 Pe 3:8, but were replaced with Greek 'Chilia', apparently thinking chilioi and chilia followed the regimen of language, rather than a plural of numeric article.

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