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- Submitted: Apr 28 2012 03:32 PM
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- Author: Aaron ben Moses ben Asher
- e-Sword Version: 9.x - 10.x
- Tab Name: HOT-WLC+
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The Wesminster Leningrad Codex 9x-10x
Aaron ben Moses ben Asher
9.x - 10.x
The Wesminster Leningrad Codex
Wesminster Leningrad Codex (AD 1008) with Stron's Numbersg
The Leningrad Codex is the oldest complete and most authoritative manuscript of the complete Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, using the masoretic text and Tiberian vocalization. According to this colophon, the codex is dated AD 1008/1009 and was copied in Cairo from manuscripts written by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher. It has been claimed to be a product of the Ben-Asher scriptorium itself; however, there is no evidence that ben Asher ever saw it.
According to modern scholars, Aharon ben Moshe ben Asher followed the Karaite rather than the Rabbinic tradition of Judaism. This may help explain why Aharon ben Asher’s contemporary, Rav Saadia Gaon (892-942 CE) preferred the codexes of another Masoretic school — that of Ben-Naphtali. However, only the codexes of the Ben-Asher school survived, and ultimately, the codexes of the Ben-Asher school were approved by Maimonides (1135-1204 CE). This approval is all the more astounding considering Maimonides outstanding objections and disputations with the Karaites of his day.
Unusually for a masoretic codex, the same man (Samuel ben Jacob) wrote the consonants, the vowels and the Masoretic notes. It is believed to be the manuscript most faithful to ben Asher's tradition apart from the Aleppo Codex (edited by ben Asher himself). There are numerous alterations and erasures, and it was suggested by Moshe Goshen-Gottstein that an existing text not following ben Asher's rules was heavily amended so as to make it conform to these rules.
The codex is now preserved in the National Library of Russia, accessioned as "Firkovich B 19 A". Its former owner, the Karaite collector Abraham Firkovich, left no word in his writings where he had acquired the codex, which was taken to Odessa in 1838 and later transferred to the Imperial Library in St Petersburg.
The Leningrad Codex also served as the basis for two important modern Jewish editions of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), the “Dotan edition” and the “JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh”(Philadelphia, 1999).
The text of this E-Sword module is based on the Westminster Leningrad Codex, tagged with Strong's numbers, and maintained by OpenScriptures.org. OpenScriptures plans to add morphology tagging.
The Westminster Leningrad Codex is an online digital version of the Leningrad Codex with further proofreading and corrections, maintained by the J. Alan Groves Center for Advanced Biblical Research at the Westminster Theological Seminary.
This text began as an electronic transcription by Richard Whitaker (Princeton Seminary, New Jersey) and H. van Parunak (then at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) of the 1983 printed edition of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS). It was continued with the cooperation of Robert Kraft (University of Pennsylvania) and Emmanuel Tov (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), and completed by Prof. Alan Groves. The transcription was called the Michigan-Claremont-Westminster Electronic Hebrew Bible and was archived at the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) in 1987. It has been variously known as the “CCAT” or “eBHS” text. Since that time, the text has been modified in many hundreds of places to conform to the photo-facsimile of the Leningrad Codex, Firkovich B19A.The Groves Center continues to scrutinize and correct this electronic text as a part of its continuing work of building morphology and syntax databases of the Hebrew Bible, since correct linguistic analysis requires an accurate text.