Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). The "Sepher
Mugah" was probably at least as old. At least one of these two MSS. was in
existence in Muhammad's time. From Jewish comments on them we know that they contained
the same books as the present Hebrew Bible. Of later Hebrew MSS., which are copies of more
ancient ones, we have not a few.
If it be asked what has happened to the older MSS., the answer which the Jews
themselves give is that, when worn out with being read in the Synagogue, it was customary
to place them in the Genizah ("treasury" or "storehouse").
After a time, when some distinguished Rabbi died, a worn-out MS. used often to be buried
with him. On other occasions, after most carefully copying these ancient MSS., it was
customary to burn them with all reverence, lest they should be put to some unsuitable use.
If we now turn to the Septuagint Greek version of the Old Testament, the very existence
of which bears witness to that of the Hebrew text from which it was translated, we
actually possess several MSS., which were written many years before the Hijrah, and which
therefore existed in Muhammad's day as they still exist. We proceed to mention the
principal of these:
I. Codex Sinaiticus
الْسّينايُ), written in the fourth or at the beginning of the
2. Codex Vaticanus
(الواطيقاني), written in the fourth century, perhaps early in that
3. Codex Alexandrinus
(الإْسكندري), written in the middle or end of the fifth century.
4. Codex Cottonianus
(القُطّوني) of Genesis, written in the fifth or sixth century.
5. Codex Ambrosianus
(الاّمبروسياني), written about the first half of the fifth century.
All these MSS. of the Greek Old Testament were actually in existence in Muhammad's
time. If any scholar therefore wishes to know what the Torah,