Biblical Citations in the Mishnah: A Characterization of the Biblical Text Witnesses in Medieval Byzantium

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This study suggests another means of ascertaining the origins of manuscripts of mishnaic Hebrew, one that has not been utilized to date: examination of the biblical traditions of the verses cited therein. After all, biblical manuscripts can be grouped as Ashkenazic or Sephardic according to defined characteristics. Therefore, manuscripts of rabbinic literature can be tested in line with the affinity of their biblical traditions to these traditions and assigned to the above-mentioned categories. This methodology was here applied to MS Cambridge of the Mishnah. This article examined the versions of the biblical verses cited in MS Cambridge, comparing them to the varied biblical text witnesses. I was specifically interested in the range of textual variants from the MT, from words, to grammatical changes, to consonantal exchanges. That rabbinic literature as a whole contains variants from the MT is well known. But what emerged from this study was that the manuscripts of the Mishnah—Cambridge, Kaufmann, and Parma A—exhibit a basic, shared biblical tradition. Nonetheless, a systematic examination of MS Cambridge revealed its tradition to differ in many details from the other mishnaic manuscripts. The conclusion reached from MS Cambridge’s unique features as detailed in all the sections of this article was instructive: the scribe of this manuscript followed an Ashkenazic tradition.
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)1-47
Number of pages47
StatePublished - 2013

IHP Publications

  • ihp
  • Bible -- Criticism, Textual
  • Criticism, Textual
  • Hebrew language, Biblical
  • Hebrew language, Talmudic
  • Jews -- History -- Middle Ages, 500-1500
  • Manuscripts, Hebrew
  • Mishnah
  • Quotation
  • היסטוריה יהודית -- ימי הביניים
  • השוואת נוסחים
  • כתבי יד עבריים
  • משנה
  • נוסח המקרא
  • ציטוט
  • שפה עברית -- תקופת המקרא
  • שפה עברית -- תקופת חז"ל

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