In this follow up to the last post, we discuss important manuscripts (hand-written copies) of the Old Testament.
The Oldest Manuscripts of the Old Testament
|Frontispiece of the Leningrad Codex, known as Leningradensis|
The original manuscripts (the autographs) written by the sacred authors themselves are no longer extant for any book of the Bible. The oldest partial copies of the text of any biblical book are to be found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (treated in next post). However, the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew of the protocanonical books of the Old Testament is a codex (a book formed by leaves of paper stitched on one side; i.e. the form of book most familiar to us) called Leningradensis, held in the Imperial Russian Library in St. Petersburgh (formerly Leningrad). Leningradensis is a complete copy of the Masoretic Text written in Galilee around AD 1000.
The Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the standard Hebrew form of the books of the Jewish Bible, the form used for