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The Massorah: Translated into English with a critical and exegetical commentary (Vol. IV of "The Massorah. Compiled from Manuscripts. Alphabetically and Lexically arranged")

Ginsburg, Christian David

Published by Carl Fromme, London; Vienna, 1905

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Elephant folio. 546pp. 1/4 cloth over paper covered boards of the time with white lettering to spines. Volume IV of four volumes containing 'masoretic notes from numerous manuscripts and early printed editions of the Bible, rearranged in alphabetical order and translated into English with frequent introductory notations by Ginsburg' (after Harry M. Orlinsky). In English, with Hebrew insertions. Library plate to spine. Head and tail of spine slightly bumped. Water staining, scuffing, rubbing and discoloration to boards. End papers crumbled. Library stamp to title page: "Hebrew Union College. Jewish Institute of Religion Library." Slightly wavy through first third of book from exposure to water. Minor tears to page edges, not affecting text. Starting at page 1b. Some pages loose but present. Binding in overall fair, interior in very good condition. On the author: Christian David Ginsburg (1831-1914), Jewish scholar, born in Warsaw on 25 December 1831. Coming to England shortly after the completion of his education in the Rabbinic College at Warsaw, Ginsburg continued his study of the Hebrew Scriptures, with special attention to the Megillot. The first result of these studies was a translation of the Song of Songs, with a historical and critical commentary, published in 1857. A similar translation of Ecclesiastes, followed by treatises on the Karaites, the Essenes, and the Kabbala, kept the author prominently before biblical students while he was preparing the first sections of his magnum opus, the critical study of the Massorah. Beginning in 1867 with the publication of Jacob ben Hayyim's Introduction to the Rabbinic Bible, Hebrew and English, with notices, and the Massoreth HaMassoreth of Elias Levita, in Hebrew, with translation and commentary, Ginsburg took rank as an eminent Hebrew scholar. In 1870 he was appointed one of the first members of the committee for the revision of the English version of the Old Testament. The work at-hand is considered his life work: The publication of the Massorah, in three volumes (1880-1886), in Hebrew, followed by the one-volume English edition in 1905. Ginsburg had one predecessor in the field, the learned Jacob ben Hayyim (or: Jacob ben Chajim), who in 1524-1525 published the second Rabbinic Bible, containing what has ever since been known as the Massorah; but neither were the materials available nor was criticism sufficiently advanced for a complete edition. Ginsburg took up the subject almost where it was left by those early pioneers, and collected portions of the Massorah from the countless manuscripts scattered throughout Europe and the East. Ginsburg published Facsimiles of Manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible (1897 and 1898), and The Text of the Hebrew Bible in Abbreviations (1903), in addition to a critical treatise on the relationship of the so-called Codex Babylonicus of A.D. 916 to the Eastern Recension of the Hebrew Text (1899, for private circulation). In the last-mentioned work he seeks to prove that the St. Petersburg Codex, for so many years accepted as the genuine text of the Babylonian school, is in reality a Palestinian text carefully altered so as to render it conformable to the to the Babylonian recension. He subsequently undertook the preparation of a new edition of the Hebrew Bible for the British and Foreign Bible Society. He also contributed many articles to J. Kitto's Encyclopedia, W. Smith's Dictionary of Christian Biography, and the Encyclopedia Britannica. [from Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed. (1911) Volume V12, p. 29] On the Massorah in general: "It is well known that the received text of the Hebrew Bible is called the Massoretic, i.e., printed according to the Massorah. Now, the Massorah is a marginal directory, indicating (.) how the letters, words and phrases are to be written, according to the most ancient rules laqaid down by those who compiled, preserved, and transmitted the canon of the Old Testament Scriptures(.). This invaluable key to the text of the old. Bookseller Inventory # 14735

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Massorah: Translated into English with a...

Publisher: Carl Fromme, London; Vienna

Publication Date: 1905

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First edition.

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