Christian D. Ginsburg

Christian David Ginsburg at the British Museum, circa 1911.

Ginsburg moved to England after completing his education at the Rabbinic College in Warsaw, where he was born. He worked for the British Museum and the British Library, and in 1870 he was appointed to the revision committee for the English version of the Old Testament. His life’s work culminated in the publication of the Masorah in three volumes between 1880 and 1886. The Masorah is a collection of textual criticism of the Hebrew Scriptures, written between 600 and 900 C.E. by Jewish scribes in the margins or at the end of texts. It includes notes on writing features, the occurrence of certain words, variant sources, and pronunciation. 


The application of critical models of scholarship to a text.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

Also called the Hebrew Bible, those parts of the canon that are common to both Jews and Christians. The designation "Old Testament" places this part of the canon in relation to the New Testament, the part of the Bible canonical only to Christians. Because the term "Old Testament" assumes a distinctly Christian perspective, many scholars prefer to use the more neutral "Hebrew Bible," which derives from the fact that the texts of this part of the canon are written almost entirely in Hebrew.

Related to the rabbis, who became the religious authorities of Judaism in the period after the destruction of the second temple in 70 C.E. Rabbinic traditions were initially oral but were written down in the Mishnah, the Talmud, and various other collections.

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