Albert M. Wolters

Text and Textual Criticism of the Old Testament Historical Books

translated by: Marijana Petrović, Srećko Petrović

pages: 157-166


Textual criticism can be described as the scholarly discipline that seeks to trace the history of the transmission of’ the text, copied by ancient and medieval scribes, and to recover, as much as possible, an authoritative starting point (“the original text”) for the translation and interpretation. The present article will first give a brief overview of the textual evidence (manuscripts and versions) that is currently available for the Old Testament Historical Books in general. Second, it will mention the main theories currently being proposed to account for the textual diversity that the manuscripts and versions reflect. Third, it will focus on the textual history of the six primary literary units comprising the Historical Books, noting any distinctive features that scholars have discovered. Finally, by way of illustrating the business of textual criticism in the Historical Books, it will give a few examples of significant textual variants in these books and how they can be explained.





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