to the

(generally o.k. if KJV)



...   The most
complete edition of the Massora is that by C. D. Ginsburg,
entitled, The Massorah Compiled from Manuscripts, appearing
in London (1881-1905) in four volumes.


   The work of the Massoretic scholars in preparing an official
standard text of the Hebrew Scriptures and in assuring that
text transmission without substantial change or alteration
was a necessary and fortunate prelude to the invention of
printing and the ministry of the printed Hebrew Bible in the
modern world.   The invention of the printing press in the
middle of the fifteenth century was an event of incalculable
importance.   [....]
   1. The Earliest Printed Editions of the Hebrew Bible.
   The first part of the Hebrew Old Tesament to be put into
print was the Psalter in 1477; twenty-seven years after the
invention of the printing press.   It was printed with the rab-
binical commentary of Kimchi, text and commentary alter-
nating at each verse.   During the next decade (1477-1487)
some four editions, covering all of the Old Testament, ap-
peared in as many cities.
   In 1488 the first edition of the whole Hebrew Old Testa-
ment with vowels and accents was completed at Soncino, near
Milan, Italy.   It was reissued at Naples 1491-1493, and ap-
peared a third time in the Brescia Bible in 1494.   This is
the Hebrew text translated by Martin Luther, whose copy is at
Berlin.   This text was reproduced substantially in D. Bomberg's
manual editions (Venice, 1516-1517, 1521, 1525-1528), in
the editions of S. Munster (Basel, 1536) and R. Stephanus
(Paris, 1539-1544).   All these editions appeared under the


direction of Jewish scholars.   Printed editions of the Hebrew
Scriptures thus appear from 1477 to the present.
   2. Printed Editions of the Hebrew Bible Under Christian

   a. The Complutensian Polyglot.
   This massive opus carried the Hebrew, Septuagint Greek
and Latin Vulgate in columns and the Targum of Onkelos
on the Pentateuch printed at the bottom.   It was edited by
Cardinal Ximenes and printed at the University he founded at
Alcala (Complutum), Spain, 1514-1517.   Its critical value is
slight because of its defects and frequent errors.   [....]
[Chaldee, Greek, Hebrew, Latin per 1939]
   b. The Antwerp Polyglot.
   For the Old Testament (Vols. I-IV) appeared the Hebrew
text, the Targums (except Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chron-
icles) with a Latin version, the Complutensian text of the
Septuagint with a Latin version and the Vulgate.   Other
volumes embraced the New Testament.   The work was called
Biblia Regia because its publication was financed by Philip
II.   It was printed at Antwerp (1569-1572).
[Chaldee, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Syriac per 1939]
   c. The Paris Polyglot.
   Volumes I-IV reproduce the Old Testament and its versions
as found in the Antwerp Polyglot.   Volumes V and VI deal
with the New Testament.   Volumes VII-X contain the Samari-
tan Pentateuch with its Targum, the Peshitta and the Arabic
versions of the Old Testament, all of which are translated into
Latin.   It appeared in Paris, 1629-1645.
[Arabic, Chaldee, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Samaritan, Syriac per 1939]
   d. The London Polyglot.
   This work, which still possesses critical value, is the most
comprehensive and important of the three great polyglots.   The
six folio volumes of the polyglot proper are supplemented in
Volume VII-VIII (1669), with a dictionary of Hebrew, Ara-
maic, Syriac, Samaritan, Ethiopic and Arabic, with a separate


Persian vocabulary and a comparative Semitic grammar.   The
scholarly prolegomena in Volume I is still invaluable.   The
work appeared in London from 1657-1669 and was financed
by public subscription.
[Arabic, Chaldee, Ethiopic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Persian, Samaritan, Syriac (1655-57) per 1939]

[Czech, Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Polish, Spanish, Syriac (1599, Hutter's Polyglot New Testament) per 1939]

[English, French Ostervald, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Samaritan, Spanish, Syriac (1831, Bagster's Polyglot) per 1939]
   4. The Standard Printed Edition of the Massoretic Text.
   This is the text of Jacob Ben Chayyim published at Venice
1525-1526 in four volumes.   This venture was sponsored by
D. Bomberg, who had previously sponsored his first Rabbinical
Bible in 1516-1517.   Ben Chayyim's text, essentially a re-
cension of Ben Asher with only an occasional reading from Ben
Naphtali, remained unsurpassed among the early editions and
became standard.   This is the so-called editio princeps of the
Hebrew Bible, forming the standard edition of the Massoretic
text.   It was frequently reprinted in the sixteenth century.   It
was used by Rudolf Kittel in the first and second editions of
his Biblia Hebraica (1905 and 1912), unhappily, however,
with tacit emendations in the form of variants from the ancient
  It was also used by C. D. Ginsburg (1894 and
   The received text of our standard editions is substantially
that of Jacob Ben Chayyim.   It is the basis of the manual
edition of J. Buxdorf (Basel, 1611) and, finally, of A. Hahn
(1832, 1833, and 1868) and M. Letteris (Vienna, 1852),
which was reprinted in 1866 by the British and Foreign
Bible Society.
   Critically important modern editions are those of C. D.
Ginsburg and R. Kittel (first edition 1905, second, 1912,
third 1929-1945, fourth 1949).   Kittel's third edition contains
Ben Asher's text in its [supposed] purest form, and other scholars have
contributed a critical apparatus of selected variants from manu-
scripts and ancient versions.

CHM update: Kittel appears to have been an unbeliever.   See evidence link.

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