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A Short Introduction to the Tiberian Masoretic Bible and its Reading Tradition


This book is intended to provide a quick introductory overview of the Tiberian Masoretic tradition of the Hebrew Bible and its background. It was this tradition that produced the great Masoretic codices of the Middle Ages, which form the basis of modern printed editions of the Hebrew Bible. Particular prominence is given to the multi-layered nature of the Masoretic tradition. The volume contains a section describing the Tiberian reading tradition, which is essential for a correct understanding of the vocalization system.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0246-0
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Oct 24,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 154
Languages: English, Hebrew
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0246-0
$39.00
$27.30

This book is intended to provide a quick introductory overview of the Tiberian Masoretic tradition of the Hebrew Bible and its background. It was this tradition that produced the great Masoretic codices of the Middle Ages, which form the basis of modern printed editions of the Hebrew Bible. The presentation gives particular prominence to the multi-layered nature of the Masoretic tradition. These layers include the various components of the written text surviving in the medieval Masoretic manuscripts as well as the reading tradition that was transmitted orally in the Middle Ages. Particular attention is given to the Tiberian reading tradition. Much of our current knowledge of this reading tradition, which is essential for a correct understanding of the Tiberian vocalization system, derives from recently discovered medieval sources and has not been incorporated so far into the standard textbooks of Biblical Hebrew used by students.

This second edition contains a number of additions to the first edition, notably in the chapters on Masoretic Treatises and on the Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition.

Geoffrey Khan is Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1998 and Honorary Fellow of the Academy of the Hebrew Language in 2011. In 2004 he was awarded the Lidzbarski Gold Medal for Semitic Philology.

This book is intended to provide a quick introductory overview of the Tiberian Masoretic tradition of the Hebrew Bible and its background. It was this tradition that produced the great Masoretic codices of the Middle Ages, which form the basis of modern printed editions of the Hebrew Bible. The presentation gives particular prominence to the multi-layered nature of the Masoretic tradition. These layers include the various components of the written text surviving in the medieval Masoretic manuscripts as well as the reading tradition that was transmitted orally in the Middle Ages. Particular attention is given to the Tiberian reading tradition. Much of our current knowledge of this reading tradition, which is essential for a correct understanding of the Tiberian vocalization system, derives from recently discovered medieval sources and has not been incorporated so far into the standard textbooks of Biblical Hebrew used by students.

This second edition contains a number of additions to the first edition, notably in the chapters on Masoretic Treatises and on the Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition.

Geoffrey Khan is Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1998 and Honorary Fellow of the Academy of the Hebrew Language in 2011. In 2004 he was awarded the Lidzbarski Gold Medal for Semitic Philology.

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Contributor Biography

Geoffrey Khan

Geoffrey Khan has recently been elected 'Regius Professor of Hebrew' at the University of Cambridge. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1998 and Honorary Fellow of the Academy of the Hebrew Language in 2011. In 2004 he was awarded the Lidzbarski Gold Medal for Semitic Philology.

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Preface (page 7)
  • 1. The Tiberian Masoretic Tradition (page 9)
  • 2. The Consonantal Text (page 21)
  • 3. The Layout of the Text and the Codicological Form of Manuscripts (page 39)
  • 4. The Marking of Paragraphs (page 43)
  • 5. The Accents (page 45)
  • 6. The Vocalization and the Reading Tradition (page 51)
  • 7. The Masoretic Notes (page 75)
  • 8. Masoretic Treatises (page 79)
  • 9. Masorah and Grammar (page 87)
  • 10. The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition (page 93)
    • 10.1. Consonants (page 93)
    • 10.2. Distribution of the Variants of the Letters BGDKPT (page 102)
    • 10.3. Vowel Signs (page 102)
    • 10.4. Vowel Length (page 103)
    • 10.5. Syllable Structure and Shewa (page 106)
  • 11. Concluding Remarks and Selected Reading (page 116)
  • References (page 121)
  • Indexes (page 139)
    • General Index (page 139)
    • Index of Biblical References (page 147)
  • Plates (page 151)
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