Jewish scribe, Shlomo Washadi, writing the Torah on parchment. c. 1934 Library of Congress
Excerpt from theTorah.com: An important criterion that can be examined for the MT (Masoretic text) group and not for most non-MT texts is to what extent the scribes changed the texts from which they were copied. This cannot be examined for most texts since we do not know their Vorlagen (i.e., the texts that preceded them from which the scribes were copying), but for the proto-MT texts we think that we know a little more. After all, since these texts display the same text as the medieval MT, by implication they copied their Vorlagen precisely. –Emanuel Tov, professor emeritus of the Bible, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
Professor Emanuel Tov
Gary: The claim made by some Christians, including Church Father Justin Martyr in the early to mid second century, that Jews deliberately deleted Jesus out of their Bibles, is false! It is true that some Jews (the Greek speaking, “Hellenized Jews”, living in the diaspora) stopped using the Greek Septuagint in the last half of the first century, but we do not know why they chose to do this. Was Christianity so large and such a threat to Jews in the first century that they would abandon their choice of preferred scriptural text? I cannot answer that, but to me, it is dubious. To me it is much more likely that Jews in the diaspora (Jews living outside of Palestine) fell in line with the textual choice of Jews in the homeland (what was left of Judea and Galilee). And the Jews in the homeland had selected the proto-Masoretic text, not because they had abandoned the Septuagint, but because the proto-Masoretic text had always been the text of the sole surviving religious leadership group in Palestine: the Pharisees, later called, rabbis.
So the question remains: Which text more accurately reflects the original manuscripts, manuscripts which are no longer accessible to us today? If the Pharisees had been using the proto-Masoretic text for centuries before Jesus, who had been using the Hebrew ancestor text of the Greek translation, the Septuagint, other than Greek speaking Jews in the diaspora, such as in Egypt, where the Septuagint had been translated? Were the priests of the Temple using this Septuagint ancestor text or were they using the proto-Masoretic text? Does anyone know???