This study, based on a careful examination of hundreds of authoritative rabbinic writings, offers a very different picture of the textual reality of, and the rabbinic beliefs about the Torah. B. Barry Levy explores exactly how perfect or imperfect these rabbis thought the text to be. He demonstrates conclusively that many of the same rabbinic figures whose teachings inform other contemporary Orthodox doctrines were quite open about the fact that their Bible texts, even their Torah scrolls, were not completely accurate. Moreover, though many of the variations are of little exegetical significance, these rabbis often acknowledged that, textually speaking, the situation was beyond repair.

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