Despite its recondite subject, Eugene Ulrich's "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Developmental Composition of the Bible" is one of my favourite books given how it pulps fundy beliefs on the composition of the OT. This passage is an elegant demonstration of this fact.
Fundys often appeal to Qumran as proof that the OT once written was preserved with meticulous accuracy over 2500 years. There's no doubt that the MT we have closely resembles proto-MT text forms at Qumran, but what Qumran shows is that variant literary forms of books existed.
As Ulrich notes, "variant literary editions for half or more of the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible existed in Jewish circles at the birth of Christianity and rabbinic Judaism." (p9). Furthermore, some of these variants predate the MT or are more reliable.
Getting back to the image at the start, I find it fascinating that the MT of Chronicles is based on a non-MT text of Samuel. As Ulrich says, "the Masoretic Chronicles is non Masoretic with respect to its source." I wonder what fundys think of that. Oh right...
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