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Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  27 reviews
A Readable, Updated Introduction to Textual Criticism

This accessibly written, practical introduction to Old Testament textual criticism helps students understand the discipline and begin thinking through complex issues for themselves. The authors combine proven expertise in the classroom with cutting-edge work in Hebrew textual studies. This successful classic (nearly 25,0
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Baker Academic (first published November 1st 1993)
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May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Eye opening work. Definitely worth the time for reading.
Noah Green
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
As the title implies, this book provides a great introduction to the complex field of Old Testament Textual Criticism. Chapters 1 and 2 cover ancient writing practices and how the OT text was transmitted throughout different historical periods. Chapter 3 deals with the most important OT manuscripts like the Dead Sea Scrolls, Samaratic Pentateuch, and the Masoretic Text. Chapter 4 discusses the most crucial witnesses to the OT text, such as the Greek Septuagint, Syriac Peshitta, Aramaic Targums, ...more
Nathan Schrock
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brotzman offers a digestible introduction to a subject that by nature has an extremely high starting level. The first half of the book contained especially helpful information about the various editions of Old Testament, including critical editions of the Hebrew text as well as translations. The last half gets deeply technical with more of a textbook style. Overall a great introduction to the technical and vastly complicated world of textual criticism.
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very helpful overview of how the OT was composed and transmitted. The authors carefully and thoughtfully engage with broader biblical criticism, accepting what they may while staying within evangelical orthodoxy. The basic tools and practices of text criticism are laid out clearly, and helpfully illustrated in a textual commentary on Ruth at the end. I would certainly recommend this to anyone learning to work closely with the biblical text.
Marc Sims
A helpful introduction to a very dense field. I have very little interest in text criticism, but this book helped show its importance and necessity.
Jared Mcnabb
Good, basic, readable introduction to the background of criticism and the BHS
Jeremy Manuel
Let me be upfront, this is an academic book for Bible nerds or possibly ancient language nerds. This isn't a book for everyone. However, if you've ever found yourself wanting an introduction to the development of language in the ancient near east, the manuscript history of the Old Testament, or a little about the Dead Sea scrolls, then you may be interested in giving this book a look.

So, Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction is pretty much as advertised. Ellis R. Brotzman is
According to the conclusion, this is an introduction to textual criticism for the intermediate Hebrew student (pp. 168, 170). That seemed to fit the bill since I took only a year of Hebrew prior to picking this little thing up and I had few difficulties. In fact, thanks to a book that expands on Brotzman's simplified and summarized categories (The Masorah of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia by Kelley, Mynatt, and Crawford), I was not only flying through the various practical exercises with the BHS ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great introduction to the topic

The author does a good job of introducing the key ideas necessary to understand the task of textual criticism. He keeps it at a level that is very accessible and doesn't require a knowledge of the languages to grasp the concepts.

The sections on scribal tendencies was also very informative and helpful.

I did notice that in the Kindle version there were a few spots where the Hebrew font used didn't show up. But overall it was a great introduction. The author also do
Sean McGowan
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblical-studies
Readable, easy to follow introduction to the field of Old Testament textual criticism. Much attention is given to the field of New Testament textual criticism with the popular works of Bart Erhman and others, but this field is not as well known on a popular level. This little book is a laymen's guide to the question of how reliable our Old Testament text is. In the grand scheme, the answer is similar to that of the New: no theological teaching is disrupted by any textual variation. Yet at the sa ...more
Stephen Drew
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this to be very helpful book on text criticism. It is clear, through, and practical for exegesis. It’s a helpful resource to visit when needing to freshen up on understanding the development of the OT canon.
Joshua Centanni
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biblical-studies
Not exactly gripping; but an engaging presentation for the topic.
Hany Abdelmalek
Essential introduction for intermediate Biblical Hebrew students
Dave Sammath
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably one of the best introductory overviews to OT textual criticism.
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cole Ragsdale
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Textual Criticism content: excellent.
Enjoyable to read: yikes.
Ko Matsuo
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a fantastic introduction to understanding the different texts that scholars look at to determine the original Hebrew of the Old Testament.

Brotzman helped me gain a better understanding of the different translations, the importance and limitations of Hebrew texts (the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls), as well as translations (Latin, Greek, Samaritan, Aramaic). He also does a great job at explaining transmission errors, i.e, why there are alternate readings and methods used to disce
This book will serve as an excellent, though brief, introduction to the field of Old Testament Textual Criticism. Required reading at most seminaries, Brotzman's work provides the reader with the foundational knowledge necessary to understand both the historical transmission as well as the modern discipline of interpreting the text of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Brotzman opens his work with a brief, but thorough history of the transmission of the text of the Hebrew Scriptures up to the present, with p
As advertised, a practical introduction to Old Testament textual criticism.

The authors assume a basic level of familiarity with Hebrew and Greek and seek to set forth a basic primer on the tools, resources, and work of textual criticism of the Old Testament. The reader is introduced to what textual criticism is, how it works, the terminology involved, modern editions of the text, the history of the transmission of the text, the types of variants and their likely origins, the Hebrew texts themsel
May 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bible, hebrew
This is a well-written book that is easy to follow and digest. Despite the proliferation of unnecessary footnotes it is a very readable and engaging book. Dr. Brotzman has done a fine job of covering the major bases of Old Testament textual criticism, and has written a fine introduction to the process.

The problem I have with this book is that I'm not sure why it is written. At some points it is so cursory that it reads like the introduction to a very basic Bible/textual criticism book, while at
Lu Tsun
A standard textbook and practical introduction to Old Testament Textual Criticism.
Travis Johnston
Surprisingly good. An excellent resource if you are interested in Hebrew. The Text Critical stuff on Ruth is Excellent!
Douglas Mangum
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good introduction to OT textual criticism. Much more readable and accessible for a beginner than Tov's dense book. ...more
Chris Ong
Jan 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fairly readable even that it is dealing with something highly academic like OT textual criticism. Liking it so far though
Dwight Davis
Clear and helpful for beginning OT textual criticism. Too many footnotes, very dull and dry, but otherwise fine. Not as helpful or clear as the companion volume by Greenlee on the NT.
Eric Durso
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Some interesting stuff on the trasmission of OT texts. Totally academic though.
Andy Smith
A little technical and dry, but the information comes across just fine.
Ronaldo Rodas
rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2019
David Lunceford
rated it it was ok
Apr 04, 2020
Dave Chambers
rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2014
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