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Old Testament Textual Criticism: Home

A guide to resources useful for Old Testament textual criticism primarily at Goddard Library

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David Richards
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Old Testament Textual Criticism at Goddard Library

*If you know of any other resources that would be helpful, please send a note to

**See also the excellent overview of "Electronic Tools for the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible" by Emanuel Tov (Introduction / Bibliography).


Dead Sea Scrolls

  • Hebrew critical text
    • *The Biblical Qumran Scrolls: Transcriptions and Textual Variants Ref. BS1136 .B52 2010 (This volume collects all Hebrew fragments of biblical texts, and arranges them in canonical order along with footnotes highlighting differences with the MT and LXX. Keep in mind that in Isaiah, you will need to consult 1QIsaa and the other fragments [b,c,d,etc.] separately. The full text of 1QIsaa [all 66 chs.] is presented first, followed by the other fragments. Consult DJD for Greek & Aramaic texts, pesher/’expanded’ texts, or texts found in other sites near the Dead Sea, e.g. Murabbat, Nahal Hever.)
    • Discoveries in the Judaean Desert (DJD) Ref. BM487 .A05 1955 (multi-volume; see especially pp. 185-201 in the Index [vol. 39] for a list of documents for each passage of the OT and pp. 167-183 in the index for the volumes which contain each document.) While Ulrich's Biblical Qumran Scrolls (above) covers most of the material in the DSS, this series is still important, as it contains photos of the manuscripts, descriptions of each manuscript’s characteristics, and critical editions of non-Hebrew/Aramaic scrolls and scrolls found in Murabbat, Nahal Hever and Masada.
    • The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library - High resolution photos of the manuscripts themselves ( To navigate to images of a particular scroll, use the "Explore the Archive" feature to search on specific scrolls or content (e.g. books of the OT, names of sectarian documents, etc.). This site promises to become a very rich resource over time (as notes are added to each image, etc.).
  • English Translation
    • *Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: The Oldest Known Bible Ref. BS895 .A24 1999 (see footnotes for differences between DSS, MT and LXX); available in BibleWorks in library computer lab computers.
  • Indices & Concordances
    • A Catalog of Biblical Passages in the Dead Sea Scrolls / D. L. Washburn Ref. BS1099 .H4 .W37 2003b (lists all passages covered in the DSS, including some passages quoted in non-biblical texts; gives brief summary of characteristics)
    • Index volume of the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert - Ref. BM487 .A05 1955 v. 39 (see above)
    • Abegg, Martin G., Jr., et al. Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance: Volume Three, the Biblical Texts from the Judaean Desert. 2 Parts. Ref. Oversized BM487 .A72 2003 v.3 pts. 1 & 2.
    • Wise, Abegg & Cook, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. 2nd ed. contains an index to OT citations & allusions in the non-biblical scrolls. Ref. BM487 .A3 2005.

Masoretic Text

  • Aleppo Codex
    • Photos online at
    • Online color hires images in 550MB+ pdf:
    • Unicode text available at: (Note that the actual Aleppo text was badly damaged in a fire, and that the electronic text available on the web has many places where the text is only a reproduction of the Leningrad Codex.)
    • See also the Hebrew University Bible (below).
  • Leningrad Codex facsimile edition (photos):
    • Print: Oversize Ref. BS715.5 .L46 1998
    • Online: black+white images in one very large (700MB+) pdf:
    • Online: black+white images in multiple PDFs: WikimediaCommons
  • Ginsburg, The Massorah (4 vols.)
  • BHK / Kittel (predecessor of BHS) Ref. BS715 1968
    Note that the BHK has a two-part apparatus. The upper apparatus notes minor variants and comments, but the lower notes more significant variants and comments.
  • BHS / Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia Ref. BS715 1977; Electronic (without apparatus): German Bible Society -
    To decipher the apparatus consult the following helps:
  • BHQ / Biblia Hebraica Editio Quinta (successor to BHS) Ref. BS715 200x (This edition is a multi-volume edition that contains both the Massoretic text, a critical apparatus and commentaries on the Massorah and critical apparatus. It is incomplete.)
  • Hebrew University Bible (“diplomatic text” based on Aleppo Codex); Isaiah shelved at Ref. 715 1975 .I7; Ezekiel shelved at Ref. BS1542 .G67 2004. Library does not own Jeremiah vol.
  • Kennicott's Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum cum variis lectionibus (1780) (MT with notations of Samaritan differences) 
  • De Rossi's supplement to Kennicott: Variae lectiones Veteris Testamenti librorum
    1. Prolegomena; Genesis - Leviticus (Google Books)
    2. Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings (Google Books)
    3. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Twelve Prophets, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther (Google Books)
    4. Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles, Appendix (Google Books)

Samaritan Pentateuch

  • Hebrew
    • von Gall’s edition: in print Ref. BM920 1966; online: McMaster University (Pages are "backwards" in the PDF, so to find Genesis, you would have to scroll to the end of the text.)
    • The Torah: Jewish and Samaritan versions Compared: A Side-by-Side Comparison of the Two Versions with the Differences Highlighted / Mark Shoulson Ref. BS1222 .S545 2008
    • Kennicott's Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum cum variis lectionibus (1780) (MT with notations of Samaritan differences) Samaritan Pentateuch in Vol. 1 online at
    • Normalized Interlinear Pentateuch (includes transcription of Kennicott checked against von Gall, along with a 'translation' based on the KJV) Aleksandr Sigalov
    • Step Bible: Samaritan Pentateuch (SP) : from
  • English
    • The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah: First English Translation Compared with the Masoretic Version / Tsedaka & Sullivan Ref. BM925 .E54 2013
    • Normalized Interlinear Pentateuch (includes transcription of Kennicott checked against von Gall, along with a 'translation' based on the KJV) Aleksandr Sigalov

Greek / Septuagint / LXX

  • English Translations
    • NETS – New English Translation of the Septuagint (new trans. replaces Brenton). The introductions to each book of the Greek OT are invaluable.
    • Lexham English Septuagint Ref. BS741 .P35 2019
    • Brenton (old translation of Vaticanus; ca. 1851) Ref. BS742 .B74 1986 (
    • Thomson (older translation; ca. 1808) Ref. BS742 .T42 1954 Online at (vol. 1vol. 2)
  • Greek Texts
    • Rahlfs – Septuaginta (editio altera) with Robert Hanhart
      • Print: Ref. BS741 .R3 2006
      • Electronic (without apparatus): German Bible Society - (the base text is used in most electronic editions of the Septuagint, e.g. BibleWorks, Logos, etc.)
    • Cambridge – The Old Testament in Greek (especially helpful for historical books, as they are not yet published in the Göttingen edition)

      NOTE: The "Prefatory Note" and "List of Symbols" in the Genesis volume are essential for understanding the other volumes in this series.
    • Göttingen
    • CCAT An online compilation of variants from Cambridge and Göttingen LXX is in production at UPenn, but it is difficult read: University of Pennsylvania (CCAT)
    • Swete (the shorter “Cambridge LXX”)
      • Online:
      • In print: Circ. BS741 .S95 1887 (multi-volume)
    • Parallel LXX/MT arranged word per word (by Tov & Polak)
      • Online: University of Pennyslvania (CCAT)
      • BibleWorks, Accordance and Logos also have electronic editions. The BibleWorks edition allows one to search Hebrew & Greek “equivalents”.
    • Joel Kalvesmaki of the Septuagint Online has assembled links to many LXX texts and translations: Texts and Translations
  • Manuscripts
  • Hexapla (Field’s edition)
    • In print: Ref. BS760 .F53 1964 (2 vols.)
    • Online ( Vol. 1Vol. 2
  • Introductions
    • Silva & Jobes, Invitation to the Septuagint, Ref. BS744 .J63 2000 Second edition in Circ. BS744 .J63 2015
    • Marcos, Septuagint in Context, Ref. BS38 .F4713 2000
    • Swete, Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek,
  • Commentaries
    • Septuagint Commentary Series (library owns volumes on Genesis, Joshua, Ezekiel, Tobit, 3 and 4 Maccabees; shelved by OT book).
    • Ottley’s translation and commentary on The Book of Isaiah According to the Septuagint is available at
  • Concordances, Indices & Lexicons
    • Hatch & Redpath, Concordance to the Septuagint 2nd ed. Ref.  BS1122 .H3 1998.
    • Muraoka, A Greek-Hebrew/Aramaic Two-Way Index to the Septuagint Ref. BS1122 .H32 .M872 2010.
    • Muraoka, Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint Ref. PA781 .M87 2009.
    • Lust, et al. A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint Ref. PA781 .L875 1992.
  • Grammars
    • Thackeray's A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek According to the Septuagint (vol. 1 only published) /
    • Conybeare & Stock Grammar of Septuagint Greek

Aramaic / Targums

  • English
    • The Aramaic Bible (ed. M. McNamara) Ref. BS709.2 .A72 1987 (multi-volume) Note that for the Pentateuch, there are three different targumic texts, each with their own “personality”: Pseudo-Jonathan, Onkelos & Neofiti. Most other books of the OT (besides the Pentateuch) are covered by this series. The historical books of the OT are in the volume labeled “Former Prophets.” It is by far the first translation you should consult. Expansions and additions to the MT are typically rendered in italics with footnotes describing differences. Consult introductions to each volume for proposed manuscript dates and value for textual criticism.
    • Diez Macho,  English & Spanish translations of Targum Neofiti only Ref. BS1224 .A76 1968 (multi-volume)
    • Online (NTCS) texts covered below:
      • Pentateuch - Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and Onkelos (an 1892 translation by J. W. Etheridge) Ref. BS1223.
      • Targumim to the Megilloth
        • Song of Songs: A Translation by Jay C. Treat
        • Ruth: A translation by Samson H. Levey
        • Lamentations: A translation by Christian M. M. Brady
        • Targum Psalms (a new translation by Edward M. Cook, 2001)
    • Note: Don't bother looking for Targums to Ezra, Nehemiah & Daniel! They don't exist!
  • Aramaic Text
    • Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon (CAL)
      • Online: Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon - This resource has a number of helpful tools, including a means of searching for Hebrew reflexes of Aramaic words.
      • Several software packages have the targumic texts represented by the CAL, including: BibleWorks [TAR, etc], Libronix, and Accordance. (Accordance has full parsing of all forms, and an English translation is in production.)
    • Sperber Ref. BS709 1959 (multi-volume, with apparatus)
    • Diez Macho (Targum Neofiti only) Ref. BS1224 .A76 1968 (multi-volume)
    • Again: Don't bother looking for Targums to Ezra, Nehemiah & Daniel! They don't exist!
  • Online Resources
  • Introduction
    • Flescher & Chilton, The Targums: A Critical Introduction Ref. BS709.4.F54 2011

Syriac / Peshitta

Latin / Vulgate

  • English
    • Douay-Rheims Ref. BS180 1911 (also in BibleWorks [DRA])
    • Knox, The Holy Bible: A Translation From the Latin Vulgate in the Light of the Hebrew and Greek Originals
      • Print: Goddard Reserve BS195 .K776 1954; Goddard Ref. BS180 2012 . K56
      • Online: Knox's translation is displayed in parallel with the LXX and Vulgate in the New Advent Bible.
  • Latin Text
    • Vulgate
      • Main critical text: Biblia Sacra Iuxta Vulgatam Versionem Ref. BS75 1994
      • Electronic (without apparatus): German Bible Society -
    • Online translation tools:
      • Vulsearch a free program based on Words (see below). It provides parsing & lemmatization for the Latin text.
      • Words (by William Witaker; look up Latin words to find English definitions & grammatical data.
      • provides Vulgate text with Douay-Rheims presented in parallel.
  • Other Online Resources

Textual Commentaries

  • Critique textuelle de L’Ancien Testament (Textual commentary on the OT in French) Ref. BS1136 .C74 (multi-volume). Don’t be too intimidated by the French, you can always try to work through it with Google Translate!
  • Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project (Offers textual commentary on the OT books in English. As the title states, it is “preliminary.”) Circ. BS1135 .U55 (multi-volume)
  • BHQ (see above) contains a running textual commentary on major variants.
  • Consult multiple critical commentaries, especially the Hermeneia and Word Biblical Commentary series, for notes on textual criticism—the quality of which varies from volume to volume.
  • The “Septuagint Commentary Series” is being released slowly (in Reference shelved with other commentaries on each OT book; see above under Septuagint / LXX)
  • The Textual Criticism and the Translator Series offers A Handbook on Isaiah Ref. BS1515.2 .W22 1997 and A Handbook on Jeremiah Ref. BS1525.52 .W33 2003 containing textual commentary.

Other resources:

  • Commentaries: Check critical commentaries (WBC; Hermeneia; ICC; Anchor) for the textual history of individual books. Some commentaries have a detailed discussion of textual issues.
  • Brotzman, Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction Ref. BS1136 .B765 1994 (general introduction to OT textual criticism)
  • **McCarter, Textual Criticism: Recovering the Text of the Hebrew Bible Ref. BS1136 .M38 (this introduction has a very helpful appendix which describes briefly the characteristics of the textual witnesses for each book of the OT.)
  • **Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, 3rd rev. ed. Ref. BS1136 .T6813 2012 (an advanced introduction to OT textual criticism)
  • Würthwein, The Text of the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Biblia Hebraica Ref. BS1136 .W813 1979 (another helpful introduction)
  • Soulen & Soulen, Handbook to Biblical Criticism, 3rd ed. Ref. BS511.3 .S68 2001 (helpful for definitions of unfamiliar and esoteric terms)
  • Murphy, Pocket Dictionary for the Study of Biblical Hebrew, Ref. PJ4554 .M87 2003
  • Patzia & Patrotta, Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies, Ref. BR600.3 .P38 2002
  • Emanuel Tov, “Electronic Resources Relevant to the Textual Criticism of Hebrew Scripture” TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism 8 (2003)  an excellent [though outdated] collection of links to many Old Testament texts online
  • David Instone-Brewer’s WWW Links for Biblical Studies has an excellent collection of links at Tyndale House

Book-Specific Resources (more to be added)

  • 1 & 2 Samuel
    • Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel,
    • Cambridge LXX
  • 1 & 2 Kings
    • Burney, Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Kings With and Introduction and Appendix,
    • Cambridge LXX
  • Isaiah
    • Ottley, The Book of Isaiah According to the Septuagint,
    • de Waard, A Handbook on Isaiah, Ref. BS1515.2 .W22 1997 (DTL)
  • Jeremiah
    • de Waard, A Handbook on Jeremiah, Ref. BS1525.52 .W33 2003 (DTL)