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1660); L. Cappellus, Critica Sacra (Paris 1650; 2d ed. Halle, 1 7 7 5 1786); Richard Simon, Histoire critique du VT (Paris 1680 and Rotterdam 1685; repr. Frankfurt 1969); idem, A Critical History of the OT (London 1682). After the middle of the seventeenth century there appeared a great many treatises on the text of the Bible, though it should be recognized that in this and the following century the borderline between genuine philological analysis and theological discussion was often vague. The three aforementioned works, as well as many works by Bauer, Buxtorf, Glassius, Hottinger, Houbigant, Kennicott, Rosenmiiller, and de Rossi, contributed much to the development of the critical view of the biblical C: Beginnings of Critical Inquiry 17 text.

Therefore the research before 1947 was based on texts of the Bible that had been copied 1200 years or more after the composition of the biblical books. At the same time, one should remember that scholars did not use only Hebrew sources. They also relied on manuscripts and early papyrus fragments of the ancient translations, especially of the Septuagint (

A special word of thanks is extended to Fortress Press, which has accompanied my work on this edition for the past two years. Mr. D. was a source of constant encouragement and he guided the work from the first stage of my contact with the press onwards. The copy editor of the press, Ms. Lenore Franzen, carefully read the manuscript and found many an inconsistency. The first stage of the translation was prepared during my research stay at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1989-90.

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