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The Ultimate and the Penultimate Text of the Book of Joshua

Authors:  De Troyer K.

Year: 2018
ISBN: 978-90-429-3736-9
Pages: X-191 p.
Price: 59 EURO

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In this monograph, differences between the Hebrew and the Greek text of the Book of Joshua are studied. In chapter 1 the differences in commands and their executions are analysed, with examples from the story of the collapse of the wall of Jericho (Josh 6) and the battle against Ai (Josh 8). In chapter 2, examples, like “all the law that Joshua commanded” (e.g. Josh 1:7) and the concept of “crossing this Jordan,” are analysed and explained using the category of “nomistic alterations.” Then, the texts dealing with the concept of “burning with fire” (Josh 7) and “stoning and hanging (Josh 8:29), and Josh 8:30-35 are studied. In each of these cases, the final editor of the Hebrew Masoretic Text revised an older Hebrew text and sought to make sure that the text of the final version better reflected the laws as given in the book of Deuteronomy. The problematic variant with regard to “returning to Gilgal” in Josh 10 is studied in chapter 3. In chapter 4, the line of command is studied: Joshua clearly, albeit rather late in his life, stands in the shadow of Moses and continues in his line.

In all the chapters, text critical data of the Masoretic Text, the Old Greek, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Vetus Latina and Josephus are taken into account, as well as the data from the early Jewish revisers and the Hexaplaric and the Lucianic revisions. Moreover, the translation technique of specific passages is studied as well as the literary- and redactional development of the text.

After studying all the variants, it is proposed that the Masoretic Text grosso modo is a further development of the Hebrew text underlying the Vorlage of the Old Greek text of the book of Joshua and the editorial strategies by which the penultimate text of the book of Joshua was transformed into the ultimate Hebrew, Masoretic Text of the book of Joshua are described.

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