USU 1320: History and Civilization
©Damen, 2013
A Guide To Writing in History and Classics
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This is not the same as saying the text of the Bible has never changed since this time. For one, disputed interpretations of text and the centrality of certain passages over others are constants in Bible-based religions. Past a certain point, this is inevitable since Biblical passages contradict each other—they aren't, after all, a coherent and comprehensive collection of ancient Hebrew scriptures—and that forces believers to choose between them. For another, Hebrew writing involves a script in which vowels were originally not included. That's why God's name JHWH as revealed in Exodus is written variously as Jehovah, Yahweh and the suffix -iah seen on the end in many Hebrew names (Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Hezekiah). Because vowels weren't added to JHWH until much later, the Hebrew text of the Bible entailed a certain fluidity of text it wouldn't have had otherwise.

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