Pericope: Scripture as written and read in antiquity










Paul Sanders' Thesis 4

The distribution of the petuchot and setumot in the best mediaeval manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible is largely due to the use of the texts in the Jewish liturgy, and does not go back to an ancient text division.

Reaction Prof. J. Revell to Paul Sanders' Thesis 4

I would think that this view was adequately countered by E. Tov in `The Background of Sense Divisions in the Biblical Texts' (Pericope I, 312-350). I would argue against it on the basis of the usage of Papyrus Fouad inv. 266, and of the fact that examples of pisqah be'emsa` pasuq (see Tov, ibid. p.332) occur within the Pentateuch, suggesting that the tradition of division (in the Pentateuch at least) is very old. These verse-internal divisions represent the same system as other petuchot and setumot. Outside the Pentateuch, the use of petuchot and setumot in the best MSS varies much in detail, but little in the units actually marked. I.e. the variation is often a matter of a verse or two, probably reflecting uncertainty as to where a unit actually begins. The same sort of variation occurs between other traditions of division, e.g. European chapter divisions.

 Reaction Marjo Korpel to Paul Sanders' Thesis 4

I know Paul Sanders well enough to know that this is no more than a challenging statement he himself does not support. For those who might be tempted to accept it, good cures are provided by E. Tov, Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert, Leiden 2004, and of course many articles in Pericope.

Reactions can be sent to the webmaster who will place them on the site.


[ Home ] [ News ] [ Pericope series ] [ Pericope data ] [ Previous page] [ Contact ]

©2007 Marjo C.A. Korpel