Additional Scholarly Bible Editions

Three Important Critical Editions (Newer than BHS)

When complete, Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ) is meant to replace BHS; like BHS, it is published by the German Bible Society, one biblical book at a time. (The volumes currently available are Deuteronomy [2007]; Judges [2011]; Twelve Prophets [2010]; Proverbs [2008]; General Introduction and Megilloth, Ruth, Song of Songs, Qohelet, Lamentations and Esther [2004]; and Ezra and Nehemiah [2006]). Its editorial principles are similar to those of BHS, though the critical apparatus is more complete, and takes a slightly different form, and is supplemented by detailed text-critical notes. In addition, the Masorah magna is published as is from Leningrad, instead of in a modern version.

Please read the general introduction found in vol. 18, Meggiloth, as well as the clear explanations of the structure of the apparatus entries on pp. LXXIII-LXXV (these pages are reproduced below).



These pages are immediately followed by abbreviations. With little practice, it is easy to transition from BHS to BHQ, which is generally superior to its predecessor.

The Hebrew University Bible Project (HUBP) aims to contain a much broader set of variants than either Biblia Hebraica.  It is more conservative in terms of suggesting emendations, and contains variants reflected in Jewish traditional texts, as well as many minor variants found in Jewish biblical manuscripts.  Only Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel have been complete. You can download sample pages from Ezekiel here: http://www.hum.huji.ac.il/upload/_FILE_1372343034.pdf    

BHSBHQ, and HUBP are all diplomatic editions, namely they represent a single manuscript, with notes that contain readings from the versions or conjectures that differ from MT—but these differences are always “below the line,” never integrated in the main text, which remains MT as reflected in Leningrad (BHS and BHQ) or Aleppo (HUBP).  Totally different is the new project of the Society of Biblical Literature, The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition, where so far only Proverbs has been completed (by Michael V. Fox). (See also the earlier volume from a predecessor series, Ronald S. Hendel, The Text of Genesis 1-11 [New York: Oxford University Press, 1998].)  It is an eclectic edition, namely it combines different readings to create a biblical text that is not attested in any single extant manuscript.  Unlike BHSBHQ, and HUBP, it does not contain Masoretic notes; like BHQ, it has extensive, separate textual notes in addition to its apparatus.  It contains an important introduction on the aims and methods of text-criticism. You can download a sample of the Proverbs volume here: http://www.sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/pubs/062401C-front.pdf  

It is thus not surprising that BHS, which is complete, remains the most important critical edition for the entire Bible.

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