The Scope of the Transmission of the Pentateuch in the Second Temple Period

Hila Dayfani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay examines the variants that were caused by the interchange of letters bearing graphic similarity between the Masoretic text and the Samaritan Pentateuch. Through a paleographic analysis of the shapes of the interchanging letters, it aims to carefully propose a paleographic framework for the interchanges. This process reveals that the scribal activity in the transmission of the Pentateuch increased after the middle of the second century BCE, reaching its peak in the middle of the first century BCE. This essay discusses the significance of these findings in light of further material and textual evidence for the role that the Pentateuch played in Second Temple Judaism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-313
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Ancient Judaism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Copyright 2022 by Hila Dayfani.


  • Masoretic text
  • Pentateuch
  • Samaritan Pentateuch
  • graphic similarity
  • paleography
  • scribal activity
  • transmission process


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