Aaron D. Hornkohl

Published On


Page Range

pp. 115–162

Tiberian ketiv-qere and the Combined Samaritan Written-Reading Tradition

Points of Contact and Contrast

  • Aaron D. Hornkohl (author)
Both the Tiberian and Samaritan biblical traditions are composite in nature. In the Tiberian tradition this manifests most clearly in the phenomenon of ketiv-qere. Against the backdrop of the normally harmonious relationship between the written (i.e., consonantal, orthographic) and pronunciation (i.e., vocalisation, recitation) components of the Tiberian biblical tradition, ketiv-qere instances are a clear indication of divergence between what is written and what is read—divergence which, it should be emphasised, exceeds acknowledged cases of ketiv-qere. A similar relationship obtains between the Samaritan written tradition and its oral recitation, with the latter regularly deviating from what was evidently intended by the former. Both the Tiberian and Samaritan reading traditions are commonly characterised as later than their respective written traditions. The present study examines a series of ketiv-qere cases in the Pentateuch, seeking to explain the various forms reflected by the Tiberian and Samaritan written and reading traditions and to assess the relative antiquity of each.