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177. The Divine Name in the DSS (Part 2) with Emanuel Tov

Episode 177

The Divine Name in the DSS (Part 2) with Emanuel Tov

For three months Emanuel Tov and his wife, Lika, have been resident at the Lanier Theological Library in  Houston (2023-24). 

I cannot express what an honor it is to have them present in our library.  Every day Tov sits reading and studying in the alcove featuring the library of Florentino Garcia Martinez. 

Professor Tov joined David Capes on The Stone Chapel Podcasts to talk about how scribes in the desert community of Qumran wrote the divine name in the scrolls.

Who Is Emanuel Tov?

Emanuel Tov is the emeritus J. L. Magnes Professor of Biblical Studies at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.  Born in Holland during the Nazi occupation, he emigrated to Israel in 1961. 

He earned his PhD at Hebrew University under the supervision of Shemaryahu Talmon and Frank Moore Cross. 

Tov is perhaps best known for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls. For almost 20 years he was editor-in-chief of the International Dead Sea Scrolls Project. 

Under Tov’s guidance, the project published 33 volumes of DJD, Discoveries in the Judean Desert (Oxford).  He has also written on the textual criticism of the Old Testament (Hebrew and Greek, see below). 

His wife, Lika, is a wonderful artist who creates art often imaging the Dead Sea Scrolls.  You can see her artwork at Emanuel and his wife have three children and four grandchildren. 

The Divine Name in the Dead Sea Scrolls

One feature of the Dead Sea Scrolls that fascinates scholars involves scribal habits.  That is, the way scribes copied and wrote the biblical and non-biblical scrolls at Qumran. 

The scribes who wrote the scrolls had several unique habits.  One had to do with the ways they expressed the unspeakable, ineffable name of God. 

Only a small percentage of the scrolls are written in Greek.  Most are written in Hebrew.  In this podcast Tov and Capes discuss how scribes wrote the divine names, especially YHWH, in the Greek  scrolls. 


Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible: Revised and Expanded Fourth Edition (2022)

The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (2015)

More Resources

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