Talk:Masoretic Text

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Older comments[edit]

Do we really need to link to a (as yet uncreated) new article on the Masoretes themselves? I think it would be Ok to have just one article on them and their work. RK 13:18, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)

If you check out wikipedia a bit more thoroughly, you may find that there are many links to articles which have yet to be created. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo-stick 13:34, Sep 7, 2003 (UTC)

The old Hebrew text was written in continuous script, without any breaks. -- This is a tradition that is not accepted by modern scholarship. All the earliest known fragments of Hebrew have separated words (usually by small marks rather than by spaces). There are other things in this 1903 passage that are no longer accepted also; I'll come back with some references when there is time. --zero 14:29, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)

One thing missing is the introduction of nikud. Another is the issue of textual variation within the masoretic textual family. --zero 14:29, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)

The old Hebrew text was written in continuous script, without any breaks. The division into words, books, sections, paragraphs, verses, and clauses (probably in the chronological order here enumerated); the fixing of the orthography, pronunciation, and cantillation; the introduction or final adoption of the square characters with the five final letters (comp. Numbers and Numerals); some textual changes to guard against blasphemy and the like; the enumeration of letters, words, verses, etc., and the substitution of some words for others in public reading, belong to the earliest labors of the Masorites. -- This paragraph is problematic from the point of view of modern scholarship. The first sentence reports a tradition that is not supported by archaeology (see Naveh, Israel Exploration Journal 23 (1973):206-208). Many of the other things, for example the division into verses, open and closed sections, and books, predate the Masoretes as we now know from the Dead Sea Scrolls. The adoption of the "square characters with the five final letters" (presumably the script derived from Aramaic that is still used) also predated the Masoretes. On the other hand, the Masoretes certainly standardized these things, and they did introduce the cantillation marks (nekudot). I deleted the first sentence, but the rest still needs revision.

Since no additions were allowed to be made to the official text of the Bible, the early Masorites adopted other expedients... That is also problematic because it supposes that there was in fact an official text before the Masoretes established one. The majority view today is that the Masoretes sought to establish an official text out of a more chaotic situation, even though they drew on a rich tradition. Evidence for this is that even centuries after the Masoretes had finished their task there were still many scrolls in circulation that contained significant variations. I didn't change anything in the article (yet). --zero 10:15, 10 Sep 2003 (UTC)

A difficulty in bringing the 1903 text up to date is that it uses the word Masorete to refer to people from pre-Talmudic times (say 1st century) whereas the modern usage is to only use the word for the period from about the 5th or 6th century onwards. I'm not sure of the best way to handle this issue. --zero 07:16, 14 Sep 2003 (UTC)

The following is discussion and belongs on the Talk page rather than in the article itself. Btw, the "Modern work" mentioned near the top is not at all modern but is just traditional apologetics brought slightly up to date. --Zero 13:31, 31 May 2004 (UTC)

With all due respect, the name "Palestine" should bed corrected to Israel and/or Judea because there never has been a country officially named "Palestine" as this was the final insult given to Israel and Judea by Roman emperor Hadrian after the his conquest of the area in 135 A.D./C.E. "Palestine" is Latin for "Philistine", the only people that Israel could never conquer. To call Israel by this insulting name "validates" Hadrian's insult. As the LORD promised Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob/Israel, He would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:22, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Modern studies[edit]

Note: here is a good link on Modern work:

Before direct research on the Aleppo Codex:

  1. Heidenheim & Baer
  2. CD Ginsburg's editions of the Hebrew Bible and its masoretic apparatus
  3. BHK and BHS based on the Leningrad Codex (as well as the Dotan edition)

Since direct research on the Aleppo Codex became possible:

  1. The research of the late Professor Moshe Goshen-Gottstein on the authenticity of the Aleppo Codex, and its identity as the most perfect exemplar of the masoretic text ever created by hand.
  2. The extraordinary history of the Aleppo Codex
  3. Various editions of the Hebrew Bible based on the Aleppo Codex from the Breuer school (scholars include Rabbi Mordecai Breuer and Dr. Yosef Ofer)
  4. The monumental project Miqraot Gedolot ha-Keter, halfway through completion at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, which presents (for the first time in history) the text and mesorah of the Aleppo Codex. The missing parts of the codex are reconstructed using a slightly different method than that of the Breuer school.

Also need to include: What is a keter or a taj. Separate articles on cantillation, section divisions, special letters and signs, and other unique features of the masoretic text.

The image[edit]

The image caption is way out of date. There are earlier copies of the decalogue (10 commandments) in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and plenty of earlier examples of the square script. --Zero 11:50, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Thanks Zero. I reworded it and would appreciate if you or anyone else could provide a better image. Humus sapiens←ну? 20:21, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

The image is not of a Masoretic text, but rather pre-Masoretic. The Masoretes devised the systems of vocalic and prosodic pointings (nequdot and teʽamim), which are clearly absent here, because they are 9 centuries posterior to the Nash fragments). If one wishes to include a Masoretic fragment (which includes the pointings, layout, and Masoretic notes, the magna/gedolot and parva/qaṭanot), there are many examples from the Cairo Genizah, as well as from the Aleppo codex, which would be more appropriate. I think a comparative group of images may be useful, including examples of Babylonian/Yemenite supralinear pointing.Jerchower 14:21, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Aleppo Codex[edit]

What is the meaning of and evidence for "possibly the first ever complete copy of the Masretic Text in one manuscript"? If it is merely a reflection that it was a bound codex rather than a collection of scrolls, that meaning does not come through clearly. --Zero 05:19, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

It means what it says - the first time that the Hebrew Bible was written in one bound codex. That was the view of Moshe Goshen-Gottstein (I'll try to find a reference). There are earlier codices with parts of the Bible, for example the whole Torah or whole Prophets. Its significance is that one man annotated the whole Bible in a consistent manner. RachelBrown 09:47, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
Please find the citation and clarify the wording. The word "manuscript" does not imply "codex" necessarily, and there is a difference between material bound together (which could have multiple writers) and material prepared by one writer (which may be in the form of a bundle rather than bound together). Aren't there older traditions of individuals who wrote out the whole Tanach by themselves? --Zero 10:17, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
I've made a x-ref to the Aleppo Codex article. I'm not aware of these traditions and presumably Goshen-Gottstein rejected them. RachelBrown 12:14, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

Tiqqune Sopherim[edit]

Scholars like Professor Lawrence Schiffman and Nehemiah Gordon (Karaite) strongly disagree with the idea that the Tiqqune Sopherim were actually changes within the Tanach text (with Nehemiah the context of discussion was the Tetragrammaton), and assert that the popular Christian David Ginsburg-->Bullinger concepts are simply a misunderstanding of the Massorah. Good articles on this controversy are sparse, few and far between. The Wiki article does leave open a good amount of nuance and interpretation, however it would be nice, albeit difficult, to give some focus on the actual controversy about evidences on whether the scripture text itself was ever changed. I would be happy to share my resources, few as they are. Example "Prof Schiffman wrote in response to the Bullinger emendations claim.. "In vol.4 Ginzberg correctly translated the heading of the first list, for the Pentateuch, as "Lord occurs twelve tines in the Pentateuch........ this is not a list of textual variants but rather a list of the times ad-onai is used when it is clearly an equivalent (in meaning) to the shem ha-meforash." 04:09, 19 November 2005 (UTC) Shalom, Steven Avery, Queens, NY

Missing Hebrew text=[edit]

I've inserted a couple, by painstakingly cutting from Hebrew_alphabet, i.e. "three times the Pentateuch has the spelling אל where the reading is לר. " I'm going to bed now, but the source I used was the original Jewish Encyc article, Google cache, here: [1]

There's a lot missing from this article, perhaps someone more familiar with Yods and Alephs can check it out. Rich Farmbrough 23:34, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Middle verse[edit]

The text says "Thus (Leviticus 8:23) is the middle verse in the Pentateuch". As far as I know, the Talmud (Kidushin 30a) says that v'hitgalach (Leviticus 13:33) is the middle verse, while the masorah says the middle verse is Leviticus 8:8 (which btw is correct). So where is this "Leviticus 8:23" from? --Zero 02:33, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

unknown second C. text[edit]

why does the first paragraph compare the Masoretic text to unknown/lost text?--CorvetteZ51 12:42, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Septuagint older[edit]

The masoretic text is not the most ancient version of the Tanakh. Get over it and stop writing apologetics. 10:35, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I am chronicling and removing intentionally vague language.

  • "... dates from the tenth century, but there are many earlier fragments that appear to belong in the same textual family."
If you take "fragment" to have its usual meaning then this is so vague as to be meaningless. Also this implicit definition of "textual family" seems to be a backhanded way of saying that although the Septuagint is older than the Masoretic Text, the Masoretic Text is somehow representative of something which is also really old, so it's OK that the Septuagint is older. However, this is probably not true. If you have evidence for this then put it into the article.
  • "For example, amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls and fragments found at other places in the Judean desert, there are some which differ from the Masoretic Text in only about 1 letter of each 1000 letters."
This is an attempt to say that the Dead Sea scrolls substantiate claims of the Masoretic Text's ancient pedigree. This is blatantly false: see here or here. The next sentence: "Of course, there are also fragments showing a much larger difference" is the only true one but it is very vague and clearly a failed attempt to make the entire paragraph more acceptable.

So I am removing these phrases altogether. 23:45, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

There are older translations than the Septuagint. The Septuagint has been raped by many people. You are a fool to believe what people call the Septuagint today is what it orignally was. The Roman Church has openly admitted of raping it in ~300CE. There is no edition of the Septuagint which is older than the Masoretic Text.

Not to comment on any of the above but to say the first link says plainly "[Note that this is an essay written by an undergrduate at Mattersey Hall Bible College. It is therefore not appropriate to cite it directly as a source.]" Dougweller (talk) 08:13, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

What is meant by stichs?[edit]

The section 'Numerical Masorah' uses the term 'stichs.' I'm not sure what it's refering to in that context. Could someone who knows add a Wikilink? Thanks. -- Tmhand 23:30, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Nash Papyrus[edit]

How can a papyrus from the second century BCE contain a portion of the Masoretic Text when the Masoretes date from the seventh century CE onward?-- 17:15, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

This particular text is much older. The article says "It was primarily compiled, edited and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes between the seventh and tenth centuries CE" - but that doesn't mean that it all was written from scratch at that period. ←Humus sapiens ну? 10:38, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
What existed before the work of the Masoretes—the documents they worked from—isn't the Masoretic text. The form they put the documents into by compiling and editing them is the Masoretic text. That's the point of the definition. ← 20:05, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

The age/legitimacy of Masoretic[edit]

"The Biblical manuscripts found in the Qumran, are distributed as follows: 60% Proto-Masoretic texts, 20% Qumran style manuscripts, 10% Nonaligned texts, 5% Proto-Samaritan texts, and 5% Septuagintal type texts. Further more, the Qumran style manuscripts have their bases in the proto-Masoretic texts. The Masoretic type texts were dominant in the time of the Hasmonean period (about 160 B.C.E.). - Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls by Shiffman

"...Most of the texts that vary from the Masoretic (4 LXX manuscript fragments, for example, dating to the 1st and second century B.C.E.), come from cave 4. This is the cave where the texts were not preserved carefully in jars. It is conjectured, that cave 4 was a geniza for the depositing of texts that were damaged or had textual errors." - Gretchen Haas

It is a blatant lie that the DSS support the LXX. For one, whatever Septuagint the learned Jews translated for Ptolomy (they ONLY translated the five books of the Torah, all other books were translated by who knows who with who knows what credentials) never made it long into the Christian era, as even the early Christian fathers rejected the numerous editions that had been tampered and edited into what was their present condition.

The facts show that 60% of the DSS are proto-masoretic, while another 20% - Qumran style scripts - were also proto-masoretic based. The Greek Sep. texts found in Qumran are a measly 5%, and as Gretchen Haas says, most of the texts that diverge from the Masoretic come from cave 4, which were not preserved as the other majority of the DSS texts were, but had the characteristics of a burial of bunk texts.

I am not an editor, so I ask that someone legitimately signed up add whatever of this isn't already in the article. Don't allow it to be taken over by fanatics twisting and contorting the facts.


History of the Antecedents of the MT[edit]

I have a problem with the article at the moment. It's headlined Masoretic text. But mainly it's about masorah -- because mostly it's derived from the old JE article on masorah. (And it really out to have an acknowledgement tag to that effect at the bottom).

Now that's all fine up to a point -- obviously, masorah is an important part of the story and maintenance of the Masoretic text.

But for an article on Masoretic text, for me there's a huge gap in the article at the moment: namely, what is the scholarly opinion on the roots of the Masoretic text -- what was the history of what became the MT, in the centuries before the Masoretes? The article seems to me very weak on this at the moment. It also makes the article really disorientating, to suddenly get thrown into the story of masorah, without really discussing what had happened to the text before they started, and what pre-existing traditions they were building on and augmenting.

At the moment we have:

The Talmud (and also Karaite mss.) states that a standard copy of the Hebrew Bible was kept in the court of the Temple in Jerusalem for the benefit of copyists; there were paid correctors of Biblical books among the officers of the Temple (Talmud, tractate Ketubot 106a). This copy is mentioned in the Aristeas Letter (§ 30; comp. Blau, Studien zum Althebr. Buchwesen, p. 100); in the statements of Philo (preamble to his "Analysis of the Political Constitution of the Jews") and in Josephus (Contra Ap. i. 8).

from the JE; to which has been added

Another Talmudic story, perhaps referring to an earlier time, relates that three Torah scrolls were found in the Temple court but were at variance with each other. The differences were then resolved by majority decision among the three (p. Taanit 68a, Tractate Soferim 6:4 etc).

What else can be added about the antecedent history of the MT text? The anon editor above noted the high proprtion of proto-Masoretic texts at Qumran.

The JE used also to say, but it hasn't been included here:

finally, from the fact that there seem to have been no differences of readings between Pharisees and Sadducees, it may be concluded that the Scriptural text, at least as much as then belonged to the canon, was already fixed, at the latest, about 200 B.C. and perhaps a century earlier.

Here is more on the prevailing view in 1903, from an article I was looking at on the then newly-discovered Nash Papyrus, which for the first time was a Hebrew document that showed close affinities with the Septuagint, rather than the MT [2]

We can trace the consonantal text of our printed Hebrew Bibles back to the time of Aquila of Sinope, to the time of the revolt of Bar-Cochba. From that time onwards there has been but little serious change in the Hebrew text of the Canonical Scriptures as accepted by the Synagogue... In other words, [the Nash Papyrus] is a relic of Jewish religious literature earlier than the age of Rabbi Akiva, who died in the year 135 A.D., and who was the founder of the accurate study of the Hebrew text...
The Massoretic text of the Bible, based as we believe it to be upon the spelling of a MS. of about 135 A.D., represents a mixture. It often preserves the archaic spelling of an earlier age, as is natural in a copy of any ancient writing: on the other hand, many spellings represent the usage of the second century A. D. ... The differences between our Papyrus and the Massoretic text show that the scrupulous care to preserve the words of the Law accurately, which prevailed among the later Jews, was not universally taken in the first century AD and preceding ages. Does the text approved by Aquila and the Massoretes, or the text of the Nash Papyrus and the Septuagint, more nearly represent the text of Exodus and Deuteronomy as (shall we say) Ezra left it? I am afraid, after all, that in this instance I must vote for the Massoretic text. So far as the Decalogue and the Shema’ go, the Massoretic text appears to me the more archaic and therefore the more genuine. In these passages the Massoretic text reads to me like the scholarly reproduction of an old MS. which happens here to contain no serious errors, while the Nash Papyrus is not the scholarly reproduction of a MS., but a monument of popular religion, giving a text of the Commandments with the grammatical difficulties smoothed down.

But I need to do more searching to see whether this is still the scholarly view today, with so much more archaeological material uncovered; and to flesh out more of the story.

As I understand it at the moment, the main stages seem to be

  • Second Temple era and earlier
Various different texts in circulation and being copied perhaps a little haphazardly.  ?A central official reference text at the Temple in Jerusalem. LXX translation based on a substantially different Hebrew text.
  • Destruction of the Temple, and Rabbi Akiva
Much more emphasis on textual integrity. The principle that a single error makes a Torah scroll invalid.  ?The old official reference text destroyed.  ?A new reference text established, and disseminated, with much greater strictures on preserving its accuracy
  • Masorah and the Masoretes (7th century onwards).
Variations have still crept in, but rather few. Increasingly sophisticated systems of error control developed. The different schhols, and their editions.

But I need to still find more links to see whether that is right, and better understand the evidences this story is based on. Jheald 21:30, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Some more glosses on the history:

Gretchen Haas Comment[edit]

Gretchen Haas comment under "Second Temple period":

Furthermore, according to Haas, most of the texts which vary from the Masoretic type, including four of the Septuagint type manuscript fragments, were found in Cave 4. "This is the cave where the texts were not preserved carefully in jars. It is conjectured, that cave 4 was a geniza for the depositing of texts that were damaged or had textual errors."

seems to imply that some of the finding in cave 4 have "textual errors". However, 90% of all dead-sea scrolls came from this cave as the "Dead_Sea_scrolls" article says:

It is by far the most productive of all Qumran caves, producing ninety percent of the Dead Sea Scrolls and scroll fragments (approx. 15,000 fragments from 500 different texts), including 9-10 copies of Jubilees, along with 21 tefillin and 7 mezuzot.

I propose further clarification of the comment or the removal of it since it essentially says that a good portion of the dead-sea scrolls have "textual errors".

--Sfozra (talk) 00:35, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I guess that Hass means "were judged at the time to have textual errors", but that isn't too clear. Another source of confusion: the fragments which match the (later standard) Masoretic text most accurately were found in Cave 4 too. Zerotalk 02:07, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't know about textual errors per se, but according to the Oxford Companion of Archaeology, "While some of the Qumran biblical manuscripts are nearly identical to the Masoretic, or traditional, Hebrew text of the Old Testament, some manuscripts of the books of Exodus and Samuel found in Cave Four exhibit dramatic differences in both language and content." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:45, 3 April 2010 (UTC)


I removed two statements that were added today that said the Hebrew word mesorah was related to the word for Zodiac.[3] The source was a copy of the King James Bible. Per WP:REDFLAG, "exceptional claims require high-quality sources." — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 04:50, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Edits of July 23[edit]

On July 23, an editor made significant changes to the first paragraph: [4] I reverted the changes because, overall, the new language is poorly written and confusing. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 02:19, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

photo should be rotated[edit]

I don't know how to rotate the photo of the Nash papyrus; would someone who does do it? It looks a bit odd on its side and distorted as it is. Alex Roberts (talk) 03:49, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Ben Asher family ... Karaites?[edit]

I removed the following statement, tagged as unsourced since July, 2011: Many[who?] believe that the ben Asher family were Karaites.

If anyone can support it with a reliable source, feel free to put it back, in which case it should probably go in an earlier section. Davidhof (talk) 19:30, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Good to see at least one other editor interested in these issues. I believe I have seen sources that "think" that Ben Asher "could have been" a Karaite, though retracking my steps in last coming across it may take some time. In any case, until I am able to do that, the article as is will not suffer too much. These sources would be tracked down in Karaite history, and that is what I was referring to above, when I wrote "these issues." If you are not all interested in Karaite history, just please disregard my comment. warshytalk 22:15, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I have some sources for and against this theory and will add something soon. Zerotalk 04:10, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

The article on Ben Asher himself, which certainly needs a lot of additional work here, has the exact sentence that I now added to the ben Asher section. But I have added here a new source that should help in the future improve also that article (ben Asher). warshytalk 23:08, 2 January 2013 (UTC)


I'm concerned with a sentence right at the beginning- "Though the consonants differ little from the text generally accepted in the early 2nd century (and also differ little from some Qumran texts that are even older), it has numerous differences of both greater and lesser significance when compared to (extant 4th century) manuscripts of the Septuagint,...". How do we know the consonants differ little, for how do we know what was generally accepted in the 2nd century? (The later references to Qumran and the Septuagint at least give us something to compare with) - (talk) 08:13, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

See the discussion later in the article of Aquila and Theodotion. Aquila in particular is considered to have been created as a deliberately very very literal Jewish translation from Hebrew to Greek, to correct what the Jewish community had come to see as errors in the LXX, that had been adopted by the Christians. From Aquila and Theodotion it is therefore believed one can gain a very good idea of what was the generally accepted Hebrew text in the early 2nd century. Jheald (talk) 22:05, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Multiple citations needed[edit]

I will be placing citation needed tags for multiple sections in the article. There seems to be plenty of content on the article that need these tags. — JudeccaXIII (talk) 20:56, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Translated from what???[edit]

The masoretic had to be translated from the septuagint as there was no other full OT's in existence (the DSS were still buried in Qumran caves unless someone believes this is what the masoretes had then they hid them in the caves LOL) where do we add this as it is never mentioned and is important. Sellingstuff (talk) 07:33, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

The evidence is that other copies existed that have since been lost. Some of the DSS texts are so close to the Masoretic text that it is impossible that that there was any translation between them. Zerotalk 07:37, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Other copies of different languages of the OT? What scholars say there was another OT in existence that has since been lost? What do you mean about 'impossible that there was any translation between them'? Sellingstuff (talk) 07:45, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

The Biblical texts in the DSS are predominantly in Hebrew, and the Masoretic text is in Hebrew. The two text families are so similar (at least for some of the DSS texts) that there must be a continual path of Hebrew texts between them. It is not possible that they are independent translations from another language. As for texts in use between the DSS period and the Masoretic period, the details are unknown but the Talmuds for example are full of references to such texts. Zerotalk 10:21, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Please provide a reference for ' there must be a continual path of hebrew texts between them' and 'It is not possible that they are independent translations from another language" from some scholars. The DSS are in aramaic and the masoretic in hebrew so they are different languages let alone the alleged hypothetical proto hebrew of the original OT manuscripts so the DSS are irrelevant. Its impossible for the masoretic translation to be anything like the alleged hypothetical proto hebrew of the original OT as no such manuscripts were in existence 700-1000 AD which means the masoretic was translated from the septuagint making it secondary in authority to the septuagint if not completely worthless. Sellingstuff (talk) 12:17, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Most of the biblical texts among the DSS are in Hebrew, and only a minority in Aramaic or Greek. That's also true of the fragments found at Massada. You can find plenty of sources at Dead Sea Scrolls. You can also look here for a brief description. Since you are basing your argument on a false premise, it isn't valid. Zerotalk 19:44, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

The DSS wiki page says 'assyrian block script'

which then goes here and says its aramaic

How about we add a section of "proposed text for translation" and add 'The masoretic may have even been translated from the septuagint' and then whatever arguments you have about the DSS/Massada etc. Sellingstuff (talk) 00:22, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

You don't seem to know the difference between language and script. This is a serious error. And the article is not for our arguments, see WP:V. Zerotalk 00:31, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

There is no section on the sources it was used to translate from, how about starting one and sourcing things for what you said about DSS etc. Also what references are there in the talmud for information about the translation? Sellingstuff (talk) 01:12, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

@Sellingstuff: Sorry, but you're being clueless.
Compare eg History of the Hebrew alphabet: "Following the Babylonian exile, Jews gradually stopped using the Hebrew script, and instead adopted the "square" Aramaic script (another offshoot of the same family of scripts). This script, used for writing Hebrew, later evolved into the Jewish, or "square" script, that is still used today."
Or eg Paleo-Hebrew alphabet: "It began to fall out of use by the Jews in the 5th century BCE when they adopted the Aramaic alphabet as their writing system for Hebrew, from which the present Jewish "square-script" Hebrew alphabet descends."
What changed was the way the alphabet was written, not the language. The DSS were written in Hebrew (predominantly). The Masoretic Text was written in Hebrew. There was no need for translation. Before the 5th century BCE Hebrew was written in Paleo-Hebrew script. Later (by the time the DSS were written) it was written using the squarer Aramaic alphabet. The script used by the Masoretes is a direct descendent of that squarer Aramaic alphabet (and can be used to write either Hebrew or Aramaic, just as present-day "Latin" script can be used to write either English or French).
I hope this helps clear things up. Jheald (talk) 16:07, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. No one claims the masoretic was translated from the DSS though do they? The question is what was the masoretic translated from, if a scholar believes an existing hebrew text then they have to believe that they/it got lost after the translation 700-1000 AD, but i cant find any sources saying this, nor any sources saying scholars believe an unbroken chain of hebrew texts existed from 200 BC or whenever up until the masoretic translation.Sellingstuff (talk) 20:59, 12 January 2015 (UTC)