I have been accused by Dr. Edward Breuer of plagiarizing the main idea of this post from his book The Limits of Enlightenment. Without further ado I hereby credit him and his excellent book and apologize for any anguish I caused.
In 1771 German Bible scholar Johann Salomo Semler (1725-91) produced a German translation of R. Eliyahu Bahur's (Elias Levita) מסורת המסורת titled Übersetzung des Buchs Massoreth Hamassoreth.(Semler was the editor; the translation itself was done by an apostate Jew called Christian Gottlob Meyer; Meyer also eventually translated Moses Mendelssohn's prospectus to his Bible translation, the עלים לתרופה into German.)
Fortunately this edition of Massoreth Ha-massoreth is now available online (link).
A sample of the book:
Following the title page we find the following dedication:
Semler dedicated this to Moses Mendelssohn, a man he greatly admired. As a fellow Aufklärer, he assumed that Mendelssohn shared his views of modern Bible scholarship, the מסורת המסורת representing a key component of the modern view, namely that the nekkudot and te'amim were late additions to the Bible text (at least the graphic symbols, if not what they represented). In fact, Mendelssohn did not. He vigorously upheld the dominant Jewish traditional view that they were old (from Ezra, if not from Sinai). In Mendelssohn's Introduction to the Torah, the אור לנתיבה he defended the antiquity of the points and accents, citing the work of R. Azariah min ha-Adumim (de' Rossi) who was the foremost Jewish rebutter of Bahur's thesis (see here for a sample of that - in English - from 1860).
Paranthetically, it is worth pointing out that when I bring this up many are surprised Mendelssohn would uphold the more traditional, non-critical view - especially as Bahur's view would seem to cost nothing. But this is based on a misunderstanding of Mendelssohn's approach to the Bible (and the assumption that Bahur's view costs nothing!). Perhaps Mendelssohn was non-traditional, but his overall approach was not that of contemporary 18th century Biblical scholarship, but more closely resembled the peshat oriented exegesis of those rishonim who concentrated mainly on peshat.
In Semler's introduction he explains that he shares (so he believed) with Mendelssohn the struggle to rid the people - Christian and Jew alike - of superstitious sort of beliefs about the Bible. It is true, one might suggest, that Mendelssohn's peshatian orientation could be seen as closer to Semler's than whatever the superstitious Bible beliefs among Christians and Jews which Semler had in mind. But given the true nature of Mendelssohn's views about the Bible, views which actually ran counter to almost every modern and enlightened work about the Bible, it would seem to be ironic that this book specifically should be dedicated to him. It just goes to show how people can give off mistaken impressions.