Hebrew scripture annotations


Can someone tell me and/or point me to the historical references as to who’s who in the addition of vowels, punctuation marks, word breaks… to the Hebrew scriptures and when this began?



The present-day text of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings, which with minor discrepancies is identical to the text of the Protestant Old Testament, is known as the Masoretic Text, and the scholars who produced it are known as the Masoretes. There are quite a number of online Jewish sources which will give you full information. Those are the terms to google for.



The Masoretes were dedicated to the preservation of the understanding of scripture. They reasoned, we can only surmise, that there was a lot of confusion over even the basic reading of the Hebrew text that preceded their text.

A series of books I’m reading speaks of “rewritten Bible” as an independent genre of Jewish thought in the second temple period (after the temple was rebuilt after the return from exile in Bablylon until its destruction in 70 AD.)

The oldest such Masoretic texts date back to around 900 AD or thereabouts. So, a fine resolution of the history is not so well known.

A previous post refers to the Protestant Bible as being identical to the MT but it is not, IMHO. There is always something lost in the translation, to begin with. But, if you do an online search as was suggested, come back with a more refined question to ask about it. Depends on how much you want to know about this at this time.


I was referring to the Hebrew text of the Protestant Old Testament. I’m sorry I failed to make my meaning clear.


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