Textual criticism of the Bible in the writings of Jacob Reifmann: A re-evaluation

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Jacob Reifmann (Poland, 1818-1895), one of the most fascinating figures of the Enlightenment in Eastern Europe, was a prolific scholar and intellectual whose books and articles cover a variety of subjects in Jewish intellectual history. Most of the scholars - scholars of Reifmann's work and scholars of Jewish biblical research during the Enlightenment - usually present him as someone who worked extensively on the biblical text and proposed hundreds of emendations to the traditional (Masoretic) text. As I will endeavour to show in this article, the place of the critical study of the biblical text within Reifmann's scholarly oeuvre needs to be re-evaluated. The conclusion reached in the course of our discussion is that Reifmann in fact made only a few suggestions for emending the biblical text, while the hundreds of comments that scholars have understood as proposals for textual emendation should be understood in a different way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-115
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Jewish Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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