(Massora[h]; from Heb. Mas[s]oreth, literal meaning uncertain, perhaps tradition). Jewish critical notes on (consonantal) OT text, esp. Pentateuch; compiled ca. 6th-ca. 10th c. by Mas(s)oretes (Masorites); tried to preserve OT text accurately; verses (traditionally 23,203), words, and letters were counted; peculiarities were noted and classified; explanations of difficulties were transmitted orally from generation to generation at least till the 7th c.; questions of spelling were discussed; systems of vowel points developed; textual-critical apparatus was included, as was also division of the text into larger (sidra) and smaller (parashah) sections. See also Manuscripts of the Bible, 1.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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