THE TEXTUAL TRANSMISSION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
B. J. ROBERTS
By changing the traditional title, "'Textual Criticism'" to "'Textual Transmission'", the editor has recognized the change of character that has taken place in the topic during the past few years. In contrast to earlier attitudes the concern of the textualist now is to retain the Massoretic text wherever possible, not on grounds of dogma or a return to 'orthodoxy', but simply because of the misleading results produced by earlier approaches. Textual emendation is, of course, still a legitimate exercise, but it now demands acceptance of criteria reflecting a better understanding of the textual transmission.
During the past twenty-five years a substantial amount of new texts and material for textual study has become available, which needs to be surveyed before we embark on the actual topic of this essay. In order of priority, pride of place goes to the new critical editions of the text--this despite the current popularity of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The new texts are Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia1 and the recent edition by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, based on the Aleppo Codex.2 The reason for the priority is that all other discoveries and hypotheses based on them are subservient to the basic Massoretic text which had become an authoritative text.____________________