Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Debt We Owe Hebrew Scribes

You will encounter people who are concerned about the authenticity of the Bible. There are many articles explaining why today's Bible accurately reflects the original texts. But this information from Parchment and Pen was new to me:
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Tradition tells us the Hebrew people were meticulous copyists of Scripture. Scribes were so aware of their task they would go to great lengths to make sure their hand-written copy of Scripture was free from error. Hebrew scribes were bound to the following rules:

1. They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts.
2. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines.
3. The ink must be black, and of a special recipe.
4. They must verbalize each word aloud while they were writing.
5. They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies every time before writing God’s name.
6. There must be a review within thirty days, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone.
7. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document.
8. The documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc.).

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Wow! He goes on to tell the story of some famous manuscripts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls. Recommended! Let this information add to your confidence level!

One more thought to ponder: the scribes carefully copied everything over the centuries --even those things which probably made no sense to them at all.

1 comment:

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