J. A. Young


As a result of analyzing the Dead Sea Scrolls, numerous scholars have concluded that before the firstcentury standardization of the Hebrew Masoretic text and the imposition of external rabbinical controls, some scribes employed text-correctional procedures, which are discoverable by comparing the extant textual witnesses. An analysis of three records indicates conscious harmonization of the chronological data rather than accidental error, perhaps in order to correct suspected errors or to conform to certain theological views. Patriarchal ages at death in Genesis 5 seem to have been recorded using the ancient sexagesimal numerical system, testifying to their great antiquity and providing a diagnostic test for reported ages in other biographical categories. Applying text-critical criteria to the evidence of the ages at paternity in the three traditions tends to the inference that the greater ages found in the Septuagint may be more independent, older, and possibly more original, with a stronger claim to authenticity than the lower ages reported in the Masoretic Text or the Samaritan Pentateuch.


Archetype; Dead Sea Scrolls; Deuteronomy 32; Genesis 5; Genesis 11; Masoretic Text; Samaritan Pentateuch; Septuagint; Sexagesimal numerical system; Textual criticism


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