Textual Examination of Sofer Marks of Sixteenth Century AD Scroll of the Hebrew Torah


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of Religion and Philosophy


The project would entail working with a very rare and important Torah scroll containing the first five books of the Hebrew Bible scroll format originally from Tbilisi, Georgia. It dates to the 16c.The codex is made up calf skin and contain 46 skins stitched together with 4-5 columns on each skin. It is unique both in its date and provenance. But what interests me most about this scroll is the way it has been edited over the centuries. It contains hundreds of careful edits, many called for by correctors with marks in the margins of the scroll. First, I propose to go through the scroll with great care and provide a detailed analysis of the scroll itself. Second, I have already identified three correctors in the first 20 columns. I propopse to analyze the remainder of the corrections and classify them into categories in order to gain a better understanding of this scroll and the editorial process.This analysis will help to understand how a biblical manuscript was composed, preserved, corrected and maintained over the centuries. Third and finally, I will organize my findings into manageably series of presentations for scholarly papers and publications.