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Document Details :
Title: A Valediction to Moses W. Shapira's Deuteronomy Document
Author(s): SUCHARD, Benjamin D.
Journal: Bibliotheca Orientalis
Volume: 78 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2021
In his 2021 monograph The Valediction of Moses, Idan Dershowitz argues that the manuscripts offered for sale by Moses Wilhelm Shapira in 1883, generally considered to have been forged, were genuine and contained a pre-exilic source text of Deuteronomy he refers to as V. Based on Dershowitz’s new critical edition of the text, this paper examines the historical and philological evidence for this thesis. V’s literary dependence on the Masoretic Text can be demonstrated on text-critical and linguistic grounds, which makes a pre-exilic date of composition highly unlikely. An analysis of the historical, literary, and linguistic arguments presented by Dershowitz moreover shows that nothing in V proves its authenticity, while the orthography and certain linguistic features strongly support the identification of this text as a forgery produced between 1870 and 1880.