The Leningrad Codex (or Codex Leningradensis) is the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, using the Masoretic Text and Tiberian vocalization. It is dated 1008 CE (or possibly 1009) according to its colophon. The Aleppo Codex, against which the Leningrad Codex was corrected, is several decades older, but parts of it have been missing since 1947, making the Leningrad Codex the oldest complete codex of the Tiberian mesorah that has survived intact to this day.
In modern times, the Leningrad Codex is significant as the Hebrew text reproduced in Biblia Hebraica (1937) and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1977). It also serves scholars as a primary source for the recovery of details in the missing parts of the Aleppo Codex.
In his wisdom, Yehowah has seen to it that his Word, the Bible, has been preserved until modern times. The diligent work of scribes throughout the ages has been involved in its preservation. The most meticulous of these were the Masoretes, professional Hebrew scribes who worked from the sixth to the tenth century C.E. Ancient Hebrew was written without vowels. Over time, this increased the danger of losing the proper pronunciation as Aramaic replaced Hebrew. The Masoretes developed a system of vowel points to add to the Bible text in order to indicate the correct pronunciation of Hebrew words.
Significantly, the Masoretic vowel points in the Leningrad Codex allow for the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton—the four Hebrew consonants making up the divine name—as Yeho·wah’.
Of course, we already know it’s Yehowah. But it’s nice to know it’s in the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible. Click here for a review.