Friday, January 1, 2016

About relying strictly on textual sources...

Some people seem to believe that because text of MT matches SP and/or DSS, it is safe to assume that this is the original wording. 

Therefore, I would like to advise everyone who study Torah that this is a very dangerous approach.

First of all, this may lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Torah. My favorite example is Exodus 35:3 and the root "baer" (to burn). See "Everything About Shabbat" page for detailed information.

Secondly, this is simply not true and bad science. There is simply indisputable evidence that text of the Written Torah was edited. My favorite examples include Exodus 12:40, Exodus 23:19 and Numbers 4:14 in the Samaritan Pentateuch. Even such holy parts of the text such as the main Decalogue (Exodus 20) was edited (see Exodus 20:8 in SP). 

This is why the textual consistency alone can never be used as the only argument in favor of specific interpretation due to textual corruption. Instead, the main tool that we need to rely upon when interpreting Written Torah is logic, rationality and reason, all of which are the faculties of our God (Yahuah) and which all of us possess according to Genesis 3:22.

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