Thursday, November 09, 2006

1863 Hebrew account of the Aleppo Codex, כתר ארם צובה

In Moshe H. Goshen-Gottstein's important article "The Authenticity of the Aleppo Codex" in Textus: Annual of the Hebrew University Bible Project, Vol. 1 (1961) he notes (pg. 3, note 5) that this famous codex was first publicized by R. Jacob Berlin in the first volume of the Hebrew periodical Libanon (הלבנון) f1863. pg. 23. Goshen-Gottstein noted that copies of this periodical were "extremely rare," but luckily the Early Hebrew Newspapers project is available, via the JNUL.

And here it is, or some of it at any rate (also cf. pp. 31 and 76 of the first volume from 1863).

Goshen-Gottstein wrote that "No manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, apart from those discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls, has been the subject of so heated a discussion as our Codex. Ever since information about it was published" above.

The controvery itself (What exactly is the codex? Who wrote it? What is its signifigance? Was it the text used by the Rambam? Is it really a Ben Asher text? The Ben Asher text?) has since been mostly settled since 1961, in no small measure to Goshen-Gottstein himself.

Incidentally, Ha-levanon was the first Hebrew newspaper in Jerusalem; its editor was Yehiel Brill.

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