Plene Spelling and Defective Spelling in the Hebrew Bible The Question of Dating

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Joel Elitzur



It is commonly accepted that the spelling of the pre-exilic books of the Bible was generally defective like that of contemporary epigraphy, and that the matres lectionis were inserted into the original texts by scribes during the first half of the Second Temple period. This article argues that the orthography of the ancient books of the Bible was from its beginning similar to that of the MT . The difference between the current biblical spelling and the defective spelling of the inscriptions should instead be understood as a matter of different registers .

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