About the Author:
David Phillips received his B. A. in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin in 1969. He is an independent scholar and has been a member of Society of Biblical Literature since 1993. At the annual meeting in San Francisco in 1997, he presented the seminal paper "The Palaeo-Hebrew Tenth Commandment" to the Hebrew Bible and Textual Criticism section. A member of the Society of Papyrologists, Mr. Phillips is also interested in New Testament manuscripts, especially regarding the question of the autograph Epistles of Paul.
"Few readers realize that the Hebrew Torah has been handed down to us in two forms: the version current in the synagogue for some 2,000 years, called the Masoretic Text (MT), and the Pentateuch of the Samaritans. As often happens in the Bible, these "brothers" have received unequal treatment. The privileged MT constitutes the basis for every edition and translation of the Torah, while the Samaritan Pentateuch is relegated to the footnotes and margins, if mentioned at all. And yet the Samaritan Torah is quite as old as the MT. Both arose in the turbulent days of Rome's administration over Judaea. Moreover, while the MT is written in the letters of the Arameans, the so-called square script, the Samaritan employs a form of writing far closer to the palaeo-Hebrew alphabet used by the Israelites themselves. Moreover, a comparison with the Greek translation of the Torah (the Septuagint) and the Dead Sea Scrolls shows that where the MT and the Samaritan Torah differ, sometimes the latter deserves consideration as the superior reading. For over two centuries, any serious effort to establish the original text of the Torah has had to grapple with the Samaritan Pentateuch. But only scholars had access to the primary sources. Now, Mr. David Phillips has provided the community of scholars and the interested public with a new tool: an edition of the Book of Exodus in Hebrew and English, highlighting in palaeo-Hebrew letters the hundreds of differences among the MT, the Samaritan Torah and the Dead Sea Scrolls. For the scholar, his book will provide a shortcut, and I wish I had had it for my own text-critical work on Exodus. For the layman, Phillips's edition will make explicable some of the groundwork underlying our seductively readable English translations. I recommend to your attention this quirky, helpful work." - Professor William H. C. Propp, the University of California, San Diego"
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