Unit Delimitation as a Guide to Interpretation: A Status Quaestionis

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    This paper deals with the importance of delimitation markings in the text
    of the Bible. From antiquity on empty spaces were used by scribes as a
    guiding principle to the interpretation of texts. Spaces dividing sections
    and even marking colometry already appeared on ancient clay tablets but
    they also appear to be present in the ancient Isaiah scroll of Qumran,
    and lots of those spaces appeared to coincide with setumot and petuh. ot
    as well as with masoretic accents in later medieval Hebrew manuscripts
    and with the text divisions and colometry in ancient translations of the
    Hebrew Bible. Apparently not only the consonantal text was important to
    later copyists, but also the text division they found in their master text.
    Several examples are presented to show how this text division may guide
    (or misguide) the reader in understanding texts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLes délimitations éditoriales des Écritures des bibles anciennes aux lectures modernes / Editorial delimitations of the Scriptures from ancient bibles to modern readings
    EditorsGuillaume Bady, Marjo Korpel
    Place of PublicationLeuven
    PublisherPeeters Publishers
    Number of pages31
    ISBN (Electronic)9789042943766
    ISBN (Print)9789042943759
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Publication series



    • text delimitation
    • Hebrew Bible
    • setumot
    • petuchot
    • Ancient Near East

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