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There are two ways to get to our articles. First, you click and come to this page and scroll down a little and there will be a bullet list of category pages where you can scroll through articles on that subject. Second, hold your mouse of the page name above and there will be a dropdown category list. Below before you get to the category list is just some basic introductory material.
Textual Scholar: a scholar whose goal is to reconstruct from extant manuscripts either the autograph or the initial text of the OT, from which all existing copies originated. The methodology is the same in either case. The critic uses mental, and computer-based tool sets to decide between variant readings among the manuscripts. There are different schools of thought, which tend to prefer either the Masoretic Text with more difficult readings or those that put more weight in the versions.
Textual Studies: the art and science (some would say only art) of determining the original text from variant readings exhibited by extant manuscripts. At present, a good deal of scientific methodology seems to be used as statistics, and computer processing is heavily employed. At the same time, however, TS is also faith-based (at least among conservative theologians), and the results are arguably impossible to verify. Faith plays a role in the belief by many that God has preserved His word somewhere among extant Greek manuscripts, which makes conjectural emendation unnecessary and unacceptable. As to verification, logic and the genealogical relationships between texts than can be constructed are often very convincing, but sometimes a decision is somewhat tenuous. Some critics would claim that no decision can really be verified, but many theories are accepted today without physical verification, on the strength of reasonable probability.
OLD TESTAMENT TEXTUAL STUDIES section is where the layperson comes together with textual scholars and serious Bible students to take in knowledge of the Old Testament and how it came down to us. It is designed to help Christians in their effort to defend the trustworthiness of the Word of God. We discuss the basics of ancient writing tools, manuscripts, the work of scribes, and how the differences in what the various manuscripts say came about. How modern-day English translations fit in with our understanding of the Old Testament text.
The group is geared to the layperson who may be uninformed or confused about textual criticism, wherein this serious subject matter is made easy to understand. Group members are introduced to the basic principles of textual criticism, the concept of variant readings (copyist errors), and how to determine which variant (error) has the highest likelihood of being the original reading. To illustrate the basic principles, the group is publishing an online Old Testament Textual Commentary variant by variant.
We also have The OLD TESTAMENT TEXTUAL STUDIES Facebook Group, which is a chance for textual scholars to share information with colleagues and to help educate the layperson. It also allows a forum where those highly interested in textual studies can ask questions and have them answered. No arguing and no disrespect. No one talks down to no other simply because they may know more.