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We're glad you're here. If you are just getting to know the Common Text Project (CTP), we hope you will find the following description and sample content engaging. As you explore, the CTP team will be working in the background, carrying out research and writing articles on selected textual issues in the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament.

Purpose

The purpose of the Common Text Project is to provide support for Bible translators and Bible translation consultants as they meet with text-related questions in the Hebrew Old Testament, questions that all but force us to make textual decisions. We base many of our translations on the traditional Hebrew (Masoretic) text but nevertheless encounter some textual difficulties and sometimes wonder which textual variants to adopt. Which ones reflect the original? The question can be difficult to answer at the translation desk, and we might wonder if it is necessary for each of us to decide independently.

Independent textual decisions (something of a norm up to now) have led to inadvertent textual variety, as the textual decisions behind one translation have differed from those behind another. By working out textual problems jointly it will become possible for us to base multiple translations on precisely the same text.

Goal

Thus, the Common Text Project seeks to establish and make available to translators a single set of well researched solutions to recognized textual issues in the Hebrew Old Testament.

Addressing textual issues proactively will have the additional benefit of speeding translation, as translators and consultants will no longer have to spend time deciding difficult questions of text in relative isolation.

Process

  1. Translators, consultants, scholars, and other contributors will identify and submit textual issues.
  2. The CTP team will collate and describe the pertinent textual data, analyze the textual relations involved, and post articles.
  3. On this website, those with user accounts will be able to view all published CTP articles.

Involvement

You are invited to read through the sample articles. If you wish to go deeper, please write to us and request an account, indicating in your message the username that you would like to have on the site. After logging in you will be able to view all the published CTP articles (there are currently ten).

Sample Articles

Description
MT
Gen 4:8plus, ... said to Abel his brother 'let us go to the field' and when ...וַיֹּ֥אמֶר קַ֖יִן אֶל־הֶ֣בֶל אָחִ֑יו נ׆ וַֽיְהִי֙ בִּהְיוֹתָ֣ם בַּשָּׂדֶ֔ה וַיָּ֥קָם קַ֛יִן אֶל־הֶ֥בֶל אָחִ֖יו וַיַּהַרְגֵֽהוּ׃
1 Sam 1:24'three bulls' v. 'a three-year-old bull'וַתַּעֲלֵ֙הוּ עִמָּ֜הּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר גְּמָלַ֗תּוּ בְּפָרִ֤ים שְׁלֹשָׁה֙ וְאֵיפָ֙ה אַחַ֥ת קֶ֙מַח֙ וְנֵ֣בֶל יַ֔יִן
Prov 3:10'with plenty' v. 'with grain'וְיִמָּלְא֣וּ אֲסָמֶ֣יךָ שָׂבָ֑ע
Isa 53:11plus, see 'light'יִרְאֶ֣ה נ׆ יִשְׂבָּ֔ע