Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Several Samaritan Pentateuchs for Comparative Analysis

When studying Bible, it is always a good idea to compare an authoritative text of your choice (in my case it is Masoretic Text) to other existing versions.

Samaritan Pentateuch is one of such versions of the Pentateuch that deserves attention. And in order to do this, you would most definitely want to have more or less reliable copy.

Unfortunately, in case with the Samaritan Pentateuch, it is very hard to come by, not only because it is believed that Samaritan Pentateuch has variations from copy to copy, but also because it is actually written in "Samaritan Hebrew".

Nevertheless, here are couple of of such books that I would recommend for you to check out:

This first book, "The Torah: Jewish and Samaritan versions compared (Hebrew Edition)", by Mark Shoulson, is more of a reference work. However, it is useful for quick comparison and basic research.

This second book, even though is a bit out of date, is much more serious attempt at categorization of the Samaritan Pentateuch differences, and it is suited for more serious comparative studies.

There are other similar books available, but IMHO they are not as useful as the two mentioned above. And of'course, I hope that in the future, online and more comprehensive versions will become available.

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