In the following, you will find informationen about the project ‚ÄúEdition of the Samaritan Pentateuch‚ÄĚ. In its issue from 7th April 2012, the magazine ‚ÄúDer Spiegel‚ÄĚ published an article about the work on this project, which you can read HERE.

Recordings of Samaritan Hebrew reading of the Torah can be found HERE.


The Samaritan Pentateuch: A Critical editio maior

The research project aims to provide a critical edition of the Hebrew Pentateuch of the Samaritans. The Samaritan Pentateuch is one of the most important text sources of Old Testament studies and Hebrew linguistics. To this day, however, there is no edition available that meets the requirements of modern text science. This holds true especially for the edition prepared by August Freiherr von Gall (1914-1918) which must be considered as out-dated and unreliable with regard to the manuscript data as well as to the methodological approach.

The diplomatic edition will be based on MS Dublin, Chester Beatty Library 751 (dating to 1225 CE.). MS Dublin, Chester Beatty Library 751 is the oldest dated manuscript which has preserved almost the complete Samaritan text. Variant readings of ca. 100 further Samaritan Hebrew manuscripts (dating from the 9th to the 14th centuries) will be noted in the critical apparatus. Two additional apparatus will record the variants of the different Samaritan translations (Samaritan Aramaic Targum and Samaritan Arabic translation) as well as of parallels found in non-masoretic texts (the Septuagint and Qumran manuscripts in particular). Marginal notes will show the vocalization of single words where the oral tradition is required in order to understand the specifically Samaritan reading of the text, particularly in those cases where significant differences to the masoretic vowel tradition occur or where a certain word allows more than one reading.

In the Samaritan tradition there is no fixed written vowel text. Therefore the vocalization must be established by consulting the orally transmitted reading tradition of the Samaritans. The Samaritan vocalizations will be transposed into the Masoretic pointing system in order to enable readers of the edition to easily follow and to compare the Samaritan vowel tradition with the masoretic one.

The project is realized by a team working at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (director: Prof Dr Stefan Schorch), in co-operation with colleagues from Budapest (Prof Dr József Zsengellér).

The project is financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Bonn).


Expert Advisors:

Professor Dr Abraham Tal (Tel Aviv University)

Professor Dr Moshe Florentin (Tel Aviv University)

Professor Dr Adrian Schenker (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

Professor Dr Haseeb Shehadeh (Helsinki University)

Benyamim Tsedaka (Director of the “Institute A.B. for Samaritan Studies“, Holon)


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