Stephen Sewall praised the beauty of Hebrew particularly when it appeared, as in Richard Grey's pedagogical method, without Masoretic
vowel points: "I was agreeably surprised to find a language, hitherto generally esteemed jejune, rough & uncouth, restored almost to its primitive beauty and uniformity" (Friedman 1948, 148).
(56) It is possible that, also in the biblical context, these two types of pluralities should be understood as emerging from two different (temporal) contexts: the "open source" model used at the earlier stages, when no central authority had yet emerged (or when it had collapsed, for whatever reason, as would have been the case after 586 BCE), and the "closed source" model taking place after a central text, such as the Masoretic
text, had already been established.
(51) The binyan nifal of [phrase omitted] predominantly appears in the Masoretic
Text in participle: approximately 32 times, with five presences in the perfect tense, and eight recurrences in the imperfect.
Newton hoped to delineate the gradual emergence of postdiluvian civilization, based upon the "course of nature" and careful, yet imaginative, interpretations of pagan sources, all the while hoping to maintain the timeframe of the Masoretic
text of the Hebrew Scriptures.
I am not saying the Masoretic
pointing was necessarily correct, simply that it was either largely or at least a reasonable representative of an old tradition; in any event, the vocalization of such Semitic languages as were routinely written consonantally was part and parcel of their morphology, more so than many a language written alphabetically.
In translating the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, for example, most modern Bibles depend on the highly dubious Masoretic
Text, created by scribes who were active from around 780 to 930 CE in modern-day northern Israel.
First, does the Septuagint translation of Proverbs present its own specific theology which differs from that of the Masoretic
Secondly it draws into research done by Suzanne Haik-Ventoura into decoding the Tiberian (Masoretic
) school of notation.
The contrast between the Masoretic
text of Deuteronomy 26:8 and the Septuagint's translation (mid-3rd century B.C.E.) serves as a useful place to begin this inquiry.
The rabbis who compiled and handed on the official version of it in the so-called Masoretic
Text, between the 6th and 10th centuries of the Common Era, counted the letters in each book, backwards and forwards, identifying both the number of characters and the middle one, to assure absolute fidelity of copying.
During the lives of Servetus and Bruno the following questions were all the focus of intense debate: whether Moses was the author of the Pentateuch; which was the more authentic text of the Bible, the Vulgate or the Masoretic
; whether Christians should be baptized as infants or as adults; Trinitarianism versus Unitarianism; whether salvation was to be attained by faith or acts; and whether the earth moved around the sun or the sun moved around the earth.
Within Judaism the Masoretic
text was considered final and authoritative.