- Torah and Jewish Thought
- Torah Teachings
Is the accuracy of the Torah also in the rest of the Tanach?
There are more small textual differences in the rest of the Nach (78) as opposed to the Torah (which has rare individual differences in the Yemenite scrolls, which "can be counted by a child"), but they also are almost all spelling differences which do not change the meaning. Even if we take for example, the largest difference, Proverbs 8, 16, where in a minority of editions, there is a different word [“By me (wisdom) princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of justice/earth], it is clear that the correct reading is “justice” as found in the ancient Aramean, Syrian and Roman translations, and as is written in the Keter Aram Tzova, the oldest manuscript of the Tanach which was recently publicized. In addition, the context of the wisdom of judges is explicitly not (!) found in all of the earth’s judges (see Isa. 10, 1) but only in the “judges of justice”. We can even be pretty certain in identifying the source of that mistaken scribe, who apparently just slipped and accidentally wrote in Proverbs, that which is written in Isa. 40, 23 (“… judges of earth”). In other words, even in this unique and most extreme case, the correct version is clear, as opposed to the incorrect one found in a minority of scrolls. In short, the world can rest assured that the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Books (both the Torah- given 3,300 years ago, and the Nach which was finished 2,500 years ago), is extremely accurate and unadulterated. Rabbi Ari Shvat