Friday, September 23, 2005

Second Rabbinic Bible/Chapter Divisions

University of California at Berkeley has purchased a copy of what is known as the Second Rabbinic Bible (seen on PaleoJudaica here). This Bible was published by Daniel Bomberg and edited by Jacob ben Hayyim ibn Adonyahu. Without denigrating the importance of owning the original, I think the article describing the value added to Berkeley is a bit misplaced or at the very least overblown.

First, this book is now available online via the Hebrew Univesity's program of digitilizing parts of their collection (the First Rabbinic Bible is also available there as well). Second, a photomechanical reproduction of this book was done in 1972 with an additional introduction by the Bible scholar, Moshe Goshen-Gottstein. Additionally, one of the most important portions of this Bible, namely Jacob ben Hayyim's introduction was published with an English translation and extensive notes by C.D. Ginsburg in 1867 and republished by Ktav in 1968. Basically, if one wants to examine this book, without paying a huge amount of money to purchase it, there is no lack of places to do so.

The article also neglected to mention a feature of this edition that is particularly important, the inclusion of chapter breaks. Although, Jacob b. Hayyim attempted to obtain the Jewish chapter breaks, the ones created by the ba'alei mesorah, Jacob only got these at the end of the printing a instead utilized the non-Jewish chapter breaks (which we use until today). He did, however, include a list of the Jewish breaks after his introduction but the actual divisions used in this edition are the non-Jewish ones. As the article correctly points out, this bible became the template for almost all future bibles and thus, we are consigned to use those divisions eventhough, at times, they run counter to Jewish law and tradition.

[For an excellent exposition on the chapter divisions, see Shmuel haKohen Weingarten, Halukat haTora l'Perakim, in Sinai vol. 42 (1958) pp. 281-293; R. Pesach Finfer, Mesoret ha-Toah veha-Nevi'im, Vilna 1906 (republished in 2005).]

1 comment:

davidmartin76402222 said...

i thought your blog was cool and i think you may like this cool Website. now just Click Here

Print post

You might also like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...