MT and the “Oldest Text” of Jeremiah

Last week in our Hebrew syntax class we finished going through Jonah, and during the last few minutes of class we read through a passage in Jeremiah. At the end of class, a student raised  his hand and said,

“I heard that the oldest text of Jeremiah does not include certain messianic passages. Is this true?”

I told him I would put together some information over the weekend. The result: an introduction to the challenges associated with comparing the MT text of Jeremiah with that of the LXX and Dead Sea Scrolls. I’ve tried my best to keep this from being a “data dump.” The key points of each section are underlined. Hopefully, a bit of the complexity of the problem is presented, while keeping the discussion accessible to students with as little as two semesters of Hebrew.

Thanks to Abram K-J, Ryan Vasut, Matt Miller, and Jerod Harper for taking the time to look over and comment helpfully on an earlier draft of this handout.

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