You wouldn’t be recruited to copy an Old Testament manuscript if you answered like this….
December 12, 2011
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I have come to appreciate the value of good vigilant clinical scholarship after reading history of the bible and how we have the texts that make up our Old and New Testaments. The Jewish Masorete scribes made copies of the Old Testament with precision and profound accuracy. They set down detailed rules to govern the copying of the Scriptures. It was considered unacceptable to do such work with half a mind. The Masoretes counted the number of words and letters of each book of the Old Testament and fixed the middle letter of each line. Everything countable was counted. The manuscript was then submitted for checking and if it was in error at any point then it was ordered to be destroyed; and the scribe would start all over again.
My good friend Jim on the other hand recently realised that a good bulk of the students today are lazy and do not read their bibles enough. Take this excerpt from a recent paper for example:
“After killing a Hebrew slave, Moses fleas Egypt to live in the Sinai dessert.”
Obviously you can imagine how bewildered my friend Jim became. He actually turned purple! Well, okay almost. You see:
1- Moses didn’t kill a Hebrew slave, he killed an Egyptian.
2- He didn’t ‘fleas’ he ‘fled’.
3- The Sinai isn’t a ‘dessert’, it’s a desert.
4- Moses fled to Midian, the text says nothing about his fleeing to Sinai.
Such student blunders could easily be avoided if only they actually bothered to read the Bible (and spell).
Ex 2:11 One day after Moses had become an adult, he went out among his people and he saw their forced labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 He looked around to make sure no one else was there. Then he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 When Moses went out the next day, he saw two Hebrew men fighting with each other. Moses said to the one who had started the fight, “ Why are you abusing your fellow Hebrew? ” 14 He replied, “ Who made you a boss or judge over us? Are you planning to kill me like you killed the Egyptian? ” Then Moses was afraid when he realized: They obviously know what I did. 15 When Pharaoh heard about it, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses ran away from Pharaoh and settled down in the land of Midian.
How good a student are you of the word of God?