To Read or Not to Read?: Translating the Qere/Kativ

TRANSLATING THE QERE/KETIV IN MODERN ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

by Tim Hegg
This is a paper dealing with the technical issues of the Masoretic text and the scribal notes. These notes show certain words that are written in the text (ketiv) that the scribes say should be read differently. This is noted by the scribes by placing the word to be read (qere) in the margin. Hegg looks at 18 instances in which the Hebrew word לא (“not” or “no”) is written in the text but the scribes instruct the reader to read לוֹ (“belonging to him”). Hegg then collates 10 English translations to discover whether they follow what is written in the text or what the scribes have substituted in the margin.
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This article was initially presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.