Textual Traditions of the Old Testament*

CHTH G105 C02 or OT 6ZT6

A study of the various scribal traditions which preserved the Old Testament with attention to the disciplines of textual, redaction and canonical criticism. The variety of ancient witnesses to Old Testament texts will be analyzed and evaluated for their contribution to the establishment of the original text of the Old Testament, to the elucidation of the development of the texts of the Old Testament, and to the role of particular texts and manuscripts as canonical texts.


  • To have a thorough knowledge of the character and development of the full spectrum of ancient scribal traditions which preserved the Old Testament text with special attention to Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Latin sources;
  • To have a thorough knowledge of the historical and social contexts in and for which the various works were originally translated;
  • To know the canons of lower (textual) criticism;
  • To understand the relationship between lower and higher criticism and identify the ambiguity in the distinction between them.


  • To gain a deeper appreciation for the role of scribes and translators in the preservation of the Bible;
  • To locate oneself within this enduring tradition;
  • To appreciate the impact of ancient textual forms on communities of faith.


  • To learn how to access the textual witnesses to the Old Testament text;
  • To refine one’s ability to work sensitively with the ancient scribal traditions, for the purposes of textual, redaction, and canonical criticism;
  • To develop clear and creative presentations (written and oral form) of the textual traditions of the Old Testament.