On Incoherency and Its Causes: Explanatory Notes as a Test Case
This essay examines a peripheral phenomenon of explanatory notes that were integrated in the biblical text, focusing on two types of notes: a) those that, due to a variety of motivations, added something new to the text; and b) those that sought to exchange specific words with others in order to solve some kind of textual difficulty. Regarding the first type, it is not clear whether the note-writer truly desired that his words be included in the text or whether he was simply satisfied to jot down a note for himself in the margins of the scroll or between its lines. Be that as it may, the result was that a scribe – whether the one who wrote the note or a later copyist – did insert it into the text. As for the second type, it is obvious that the author of the note wanted his version to replace the original words, and not that both versions, the original and his own explanation, would be incorporated in the text. However, a later copyist caused this duplication.