Lexham Hebrew Bible Question

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Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Dec 27 2015 9:06 PM

Is there some information on the textual background/textual criticism decisions that went into producing the Lexham Hebrew Bible and where it differs from the BHS?


Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

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Stephen Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2015 10:10 PM


This info is from the Logos Product page ....


The Lexham Hebrew Bible (LHB) is Logos’ own, in-house Hebrew Bible. As Logos branched out from only licensing content from publishers to also creating our own content, we needed a Hebrew Bible that we maintained to hang data on, since third party databases are moving targets and their use in derivative products is sometimes limited by licensing issues.

Because LHB is the Bible on which we base all of our in-house data projects, it has the best integration with the most Logos databases, including the Bible Knowledgebase (Biblical People, Biblical Places, etc.), the participant referent tagging (which tags things like who/what a pronoun refers to, or who the implied subject of a verb is), the Bible Sense Lexicon, the Hebrew Pronunciation audio clips, and more. It is also the Hebrew Bible that Logos’ interlinears and reverse interlinears are aligned to, as well as the Hebrew Discourse project, facilitating better sympathetic highlighting between these texts—highlight a word in one text and see the corresponding words highlighted in the others. LHB is also the database behind the Clause Search feature introduced in Logos 5.

LHB doesn’t replace the third party Hebrew databases: they all make important contributions. BHW, for example, has detailed textual notes comparing its text to Codex Leningradensis (L) and a number of important print editions, and its morphological tagging covers some features not currently tagged in LHB. The Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text includes quite a bit of tagging for features like genre that are not tagged in LHB, and AFAT ties into a rich syntax database. BHS/SESB includes the critical apparatus from the print BHS that lists textual variants from other manuscripts and early versions. All of these editions complement each other well.

Technical Details

Like most of the digital Hebrew Bibles (as well as many print editions, like the BHS, BHQ, and BHL), LHB is an edition of Codex Leningradensis (L), the oldest complete Hebrew Bible. The texts of each edition of L differ only slightly from each other in terms of how they read L or when they correct it. In terms of editorial changes, LHB falls somewhere between BHW (which only rarely corrects L) and BHS (which corrects L more often, but still with a relatively light hand). The most common changes involved supplying missing sof passuqs (a punctuation mark at the end of each verse, where the end of the verse is also marked by the silluq accent on the final word, making such changes unambiguous), missing maqqefs (the hyphen that indicates that two words share one primary accent) or missing accents (consulting Dontan’s BHL and/or the critical apparatus of BHS).

LHB includes lexical form (lemma) tags to assist in identifying each word, searching for all instances of the word and lexicon look-ups. The lexical forms (including the numbers used to distinguish homographs—different words that are spelled the same) mostly follow Koehler-Baumgartner-Stamm’s Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT), the most detailed lexicon of Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic in the English language. Likewise, LHB has morphological tags identifying grammatical features like part of speech, person, number and gender, and the verb stem assignments align fairly closely to HALOT as well, making it easy to move back and forth between the LHB and HALOT.

LHB is the first Hebrew database Logos has offered that includes ‘root’ form tagging, making it easy to search for words that are derived from the same root, or to find constructions where a verb and a noun that share the same root are used together. The root analysis also follows HALOT fairly closely, so that HALOT can be used to help understand the groupings. HALOT differs from BDB in that some words will have a noun as the ‘root’. For example, it is unlikely that the word for ‘stone’ derived from the verb meaning ‘to kill someone with stones,’ so, following HALOT, LHB has ‘stone’ as the ‘root’ form. There are many words where the root form is uncertain, and in these cases LHB will list multiple choices. There is also a nested hierarchy: Bethlehem comes from bayith and leḥem, while leḥem comes from laḥam. By tagging multiple roots, it is possible to search for all the words that derive from leḥem without grabbing everything that derives from laḥam, while searching on the root laḥam will be more inclusive.

Kethiv/Qere System

LHB includes full analysis of the Kethiv/Qere system. This is a system where a word in the main line of the text is given the vowels of another word, whose consonants are put in the margin. The word in the margin is what is to be read aloud (the Qere). Reasons for this system are varied, for example: some K/Q pairs indicate places where an archaic written form (K) could be easily misinterpreted, so a ‘modernized’ form is read aloud. In other places, this is used to smooth over words that were not deemed appropriate for a worship setting. And so on. This means that the manuscript of L contains two forms: a hybrid form that has consonants of K with vowels from Q (with some transformations necessary, for example, a qibbuts will be used to stand in for a shureq to avoid having to change the consonantal text with a waw), and a Q consonant-only form in the margin. LHB includes the hybrid form found in the manuscript, reconstructs the vocalized Q form by applying the vowels from the hybrid form with the marginal consonants, and a reconstruction of what the vocalized K form might have been (which is a more subjective exercise). A variety of sources were consulted on the Kethiv reconstructions, the main ones being the lexicons (mainly HALOT, but occasionally BDB), Robert Gordis’ The Biblical Text in the Making: A Study of the Kethib-Qere (consulted later in the process, but with plans to do a more systematic comparison in a future update) and older editions of the Westminster Hebrew Morphology (WHM, the morph database behind the BHW), which was probably the first database to include reconstructions of the K forms.

Stephen Miller

Sydney, Australia

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 28 2015 4:53 PM

Great info. Thanks for posting this! This helps tremendously.

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

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