BAR 38:03, May/Jun 2012
ReViews: The Art and Science of Textual Criticism
Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible
Third Edition, Revised and Expanded
By Emanuel Tov
(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011), 481 pp., 32 plates, $90
This is the third edition of Emanuel Tov’s enlightening treatise on textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible that first appeared in 1992. It was clear from its appearance 20 years ago that this handbook, so badly needed since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the middle of the 20th century, was at long last at hand. A second edition appeared in 2002 updating the first edition to a limited but helpful extent, but it was not actually a revision due to the constraints under which Tov was working at the time. Now, however, in this third edition, major amplifications, discussions and additions have been made. The result is essentially a new book and mandatory to any serious student of the Hebrew Bible text. It is considerably expanded and includes consideration of a plethora of new developments since the first edition. The neophyte or casual reader in the field, the majority of BAR readers, is considerably better served by several features of this third edition, while the seasoned reader and expert will do well to keep the present volume at hand for continual reference.