Ronald Hendel

The Oxford Hebrew Bible: Its Aims and a Response to Criticisms

Volume 2 () / Issue 1, pp. 63-99 (37)

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The Oxford Hebrew Bible (OHB) will produce critical (eclectic) texts for the biblical books and their ancient editions, accompanied by extensive text-critical commentary and an introduction addressing issues of textual history, translation techniques, and special problems for that book and its textual witnesses. The OHB editions will seek to represent the text in all of its historical dimensions, from the corrected archetype to later editions to the details of scribal exegesis, and in so doing to expand the potential of a critical edition. While this aim conforms to the traditional goals of textual criticism in most academic fields, including classical literature and the New Testament, it is a relative novelty in the field of Hebrew Bible scholarship. The reasons for this situation are varied, including the complexity of the evidence and the intellectual history of the discipline. In this article I sketch the aims of the OHB and respond to criticisms that some scholars have expressed about it, which often express differences about the epistemology of textual criticism and critical biblical scholarship.

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