(This question is also asked here on history.SE for a different perspective.)

Considering that variations have occurred in the Torah's text over time (I think the Gemara may mention events where a few scrolls were found and they averaged out the differences for a new scroll?), and there is a Gemara that says what the middle letter of the Torah is but it's off by a few hundred letters (and that Gemara says we are not expert on the missing and added letters), and when you see a quote of a possuk in the Talmud you often see spelling differences from what the actual Torah has (mainly in terms of the letter vav), and the Septuagent has differences from our text, and the Dead Sea Scrolls has differences from our text, and so on. Now, I know that the Yeminite and Sfardic and Ashkenazic Torahs are remarkably similar, but I do not know at what point they were the same before the differences occurred. So when was the manuscript from which all Jews of the world standardized the Torah? I heard it was sometime around 1000 CE but I can't remember the source.

  • What makes you think there ever was such a manuscript?? – Double AA Jan 1 '14 at 21:18
  • @DoubleAA Well I remember reading somewhere or someone telling me that there was such a manuscript that became standardized. It would make sense anyway to help explain how it is now for all intents and purposes uniform. That's the best I can do, and I'm asking because I don't know everything so you're welcome to answer if you have special knowledge on the presence or lack of existence of such a manuscript. Thanks for your help! – Uncle Jan 2 '14 at 0:25
  • After some Googling, I may be thinking of the Leningrad Codex, and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masoretic_Text#Fixing_of_the_text might be relevant. But I need help understanding the origin or basis of our unified Masoretic Text today, if it dates back to a specific manuscript or if old manuscripts are only that and not the basis of later ones. – Uncle Jan 2 '14 at 0:36
  • See also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleppo_Codex I don't really understand what you want to know though. – Double AA Jan 2 '14 at 0:42
  • @DoubleAA You can rephrase my question like this: At what point in history did all or virtually all Torahs match letter for letter what we use now? – Uncle Jan 2 '14 at 0:58

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