A Reader's Hebrew Bible: WLC-BHS Differences Clarification

I recently received a question about the Qere readings in 1 Sam 18:14, 22 that appear in BHS but do not appear in the Westminister Leningrad Codex (WLC) and therefore do not appear in A Reader's Hebrew Bible (RHB). The questioner wondered why the black dot that normally marks WLC-BHS differences in RHB did not appear there.

A fair question, and here, I hope, is a fair answer. According to the WLC 4.10 morphology, there are 56 instances where BHS adds a Qere that is not present in L. The Qere readings in 1 Sam. 18:14 and 22 are two such instances. Although I have not checked all 56 instances in BHS, the few I did check showed that BHS was following a note in the masorah in adding the Qere reading.

On page xvi of RHB's introduction, we said that RHB will mark with a supra-linear solid black dot all known instances where the editors of WLC read the text of L differently than the editors of BHS. Additions of Qere readings to L do not constitute a different reading of L's text as it stands. Therefore, such instances are not marked in RHB.

I suspect that many, if not most, users of BHS do not pay attention to whether Qere readings are marked as added to L by BHS, and thus would (wrongly) assume that RHB should reflect BHS at all points. Such is not the case.


I enjoy reading your posts, as they are theologically significant while avoiding rambling on and on, as many other blogs.

I also wanted to thank you for your work on the readers hebrew Bible, which I have. I've already pre-paid for the readers greek/hebrew Bible and am looking forward to that.

It's good to use hebrew and greek without having to look up every single obscure word, and thus losing passion for the scriptures. I'm a little over a third of the way through the NT and loving it!

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