Critique textuelle des textes bibliques

ltheo2452  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Critique textuelle des textes bibliques
4.00 credits
30.0 h

This biannual learning unit is being organized in 2022-2023
Main themes
The study of the Bible - c.q. the Old Testament - from the perspective of 
- its textual witnesses (Hebrew and ancient versiones)
- the history of transmission and its implications for theology
- the relationship between textual criticism and redaction criticism
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 - present the most important textual witnesses of the Bible, c.q. the Old Testament
2 - analyse a biblical - c.q. Old Testament - passage from a text-critical perspective
3 - demonstrate the mutual interaction between textual criticism and redaction criticism
4 - demonstrate how textual criticism is incompatible with a fundamentalist reading of the Bible
Until the development of book printing, there were no two identical copies of the Bible, i.c. the Old Testament. For centuries, variants in extant biblical manuscripts have been considered as contaminations of an original and reliable text; they were mainly evaluated as deliberate or erroneous changes by a copyist/translator.
Until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, the discipline of textual criticism aimed indeed at investigating these processes of modification during the textual transmission, in order to restore the ‘original’ text. From 1947 on, however, a radical revolution has been initiated with respect to the understanding of the compositional history of the Old Testament text: given the radical plurality and pluriformity of the extant texts, the idea of a single ‘original’ text of the Bible seems to be nothing else but an illusion.
The first part of the course – that mainly focuses on Old Testament textual criticism – will present the most important textual witnesses: the Masoretic text, the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch and the scrolls from the Judean desert. In the second part, the discipline of Textual criticism as such will be dealt with: what are its methods, and what is its impact on the reading and interpretation of the Bible? This will clearly demonstrate that a meticulous text-critical analysis is incompatible with a fundamentalist reading of the Bible.
Teaching methods
Lectures – personal reading – presentation by the student
Evaluation methods
- January session: oral presentation (25%); paper (75%)
- September session: oral presenation (25%); paper (75%)
Other information
Reader concerning the theoretical part of the course.
H. Ausloos, Human Activities Attributed to God in Deuteronomy MT and LXX, in C. Eberhart et al. (eds), Tempel, Lehrhaus, Synagoge. Orte jüdischen Lernens und Lebens – Festschrift für Wolfgang Kraus, Paderborn – Leiden, Ferdinand Schöningh – Brill, 2020, pp. 181-192.
H. Ausloos, “You Saw no Form When YHWH  Spoke to You at Horeb” (Deut 4:15). Antianthropomorphisms in the Greek Deuteronomy, in J. Cook – M. Rösel (eds), Toward a Theology of the Septuagint – Stellenbosch Congress on the Septuagint, 2018 (Septuagint and Cognate Studies Monograph Series, 74), Atlanta, GA: SBL, 2020, pp. 163-177.
H. Ausloos, Literary Criticism and Textual Criticism in Judg 6:1-14 in Light of 4QJudga, in Old Testament Essays 27 (2014) 358-376.
H. Ausloos & B. Lemmelijn, Faithful Creativity Torn between Freedom and Literalness in the Septuagint’s Translations, in Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages 40/2 (2014) 53-69.
H. Ausloos, Sept défis posés à une théologie de la Septante, in L.C Jonker – G.R. Kotzé – C. M. Maier (eds.), Congress Volume Stellenbosch 2016 (Supplements to Vetus Testamentum, 177), Leiden – Boston: Brill, 2017, pp. 228-250.
H. Ausloos, One to three... Some Aspects of the Numeruswechsel within the LXX of Deuteronomy, in M. Meiser – M. Geiger – S. Kreuzer – M. Sigismund (eds), Die Septuaginta – Geschichte, Wirkung, Relevanz (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 405), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018, pp. 202-214.
H. Ausloos, Caïn a-t-il dit quelque chose? Une analyse de Genèse 4,8, in H. Ausloos & D. Luciani (eds), Temporalité et intrigue. Hommage à André Wénin (Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 296), Leuven – Paris – Walpole, MA, 2018, pp. 9-21.
B. Lemmelijn, A Plague of Texts? A Text-Critical Study of the So-Called Plagues Narrative in Exodus 7:14–11:10 (Old Testament Studies, 56), Leiden – Boston: Brill, 2009.
E. Tov, Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. Third Edition, Revised and Expanded, Minneapolis : Fortress, 2012.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Theology

Master [120] in Biblical Studies