Skip to main content

The fixed and textually authoritative written form of the Hebrew Scriptures. Also the basis of many Christian Old Testament translations.

During the transmission of the consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible (as evidenced, e.g., in the ), eventually different schemes for marking vowels and other aids to the reader were devised. The Tiberian system came to dominate (leaving the competing Babylonian and Palestinian systems to fall into disuse), and its whole set of textual apparatus (vowel markings, accentuation, and marginal notes) is known as the "Masorah" (sometimes "Massorah").

This is the form of modern printed Hebrew Bibles, and sometimes the terms "Hebrew Bible" and "Masoretic Text" (= MT) are used interchangeably.

There is a wealth of information about the text contained in the full Masorah, a well as an arcane system of notation (replete with abbreviations) in both Hebrew and Aramaic. Mastery of this material is matter of devoted and specialist study.

For detailed overviews, see: