Benjamin Williams1
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  • 1 Kings College London
The 1525 Rabbinic Bible and How to Read It: A Study of the Annotated Copy in the John Rylands Library
in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Daniel Bombergs 1525 edition of the Rabbinic Bible is a typographical masterpiece. It combines the text of the Hebrew Bible with Aramaic Targumim, medieval Jewish commentaries and the Masoretic textual apparatus. As testified by the numerous copies in the libraries of Jewish and Christian readers, this was a popular edition that remained in demand long after its publication. This article examines why and how readers studied the 1525 Rabbinic Bible by analysing the annotated copy now in the John Rylands Library (shelfmark: R16222). This particular copy furnishes detailed information about the reading habits of past owners, including early-modern Ashkenazi Jews and nineteenth-century English Hebraists. Studying how it has been used sheds light on why readers selected this edition and how they studied the apparatus and exegetical resources that Daniel Bomberg placed alongside the biblical text.

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