Tenth Century Torah Was Penned By Famed Jewish Scribe by the Forward

Tenth Century Torah Was Penned By Famed Jewish Scribe

Image by Wikimedia

Researchers from Cambridge have identified the author of an 10th century collection of biblical scriptures: Samuel ben Jacob, the same scribe who penned the Leningrad Codex. The Codex is the main Hebrew copy of the bible on which most modern translations are based.

The manuscript contains sections from Prophets, Judges and Kings, and was likely written around the year 975, researchers concluded. They used digital images of the manuscript, which is kept in the Russian National Library, to find “little flourishes and little symbols, jots and tittles on the manuscript” that mirrored those in the Leningrad Codex.

Researchers are not sure if the discovery will entail any changes to modern translations. Professor Gary Rendsburg, Laurie Chair in Jewish History at Rutgers University, said the differences may be as small as replacing “hair” with “hairs.”

“These scribes are like our heroes who have given us these texts,” Professor Rendsburg told Religion News Service. “Because they wrote with such devotion, such dedication and such accuracy. … For me, the excitement is to bring to life this person about whom we just knew a name, essentially.”

Contact Ari Feldman at feldman@forward.com or on Twitter @aefeldman.

Author

Ari Feldman

Ari Feldman

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. He covers Jewish religious organizations, synagogue life, anti-Semitism and the Orthodox world. If you have any tips, you can email him at feldman@forward.com. Follow him on Twitter @aefeldman.

Leningrad Codex Author Wrote 10th Century Fragment

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Tenth Century Torah Was Penned By Famed Jewish Scribe

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close