This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

Issue Features
View this issue online as it looks in print
Reason and Revelation Volume 32 #1

Hebrew Vowels and Bible Integrity


If the Hebrew language originally had no vowels, how do we know we have the Old Testament text as God intended?


It is true that the Hebrew alphabet originally had no vowels. For many centuries, Jews wrote the language without any vowels. But that did not mean that there was any doubt or irresolvable uncertainty about the meaning of the words. When Jews grew up learning their language, just like Americans, they grew up learning how to pronounce words and how to write them. The only reason vowels (which are actually a system of points [dots] and other diacritical markings) were invented was so that Jews who did not speak Hebrew (like the Hellenistic Jewish widows of Acts 6) and non-Jews would be able to pronounce the words. The most widely used pointing system was developed by the Masoretes between A.D. 600-1000 (“The Masoretes and…,” 2002; “Aaron ben…,” 2010). Working primarily in the Palestinian cities of Tiberius and Jerusalem, as well as in Babylonia (modern Iraq), these Jewish scribes/scholars were meticulous in their efforts to preserve the Hebrew text in their transcriptions (known as the Masoretic text). We now know they did an outstanding job, because as the Dead Sea Scrolls (discovered in the 1940s) have gradually been examined, it has become apparent that the condition of the Hebrew text in the second half of the first millennium A.D. was virtually the same as reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls that date back to the first century B.C. Like the New Testament, the text of the Old Testament has been preserved to the extent that Christians may be assured that they are in possession of the Word of God as He intended.


“Aaron ben Moses ben Asher” (2010), Jewish Virtual Library,

“The Masoretes and the Punctuation of Biblical Hebrew” (2002), British & Foreign Bible Society,

Copyright © 2012 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, excepting brief quotations, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558

Web Store

Defending the Faith Study Bible

We are very excited to announce the NEW AP Defending the Faith Study Bible now available.

Featured Audio


Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio