Since its first publication (Venice 1524-25) the title Mikra'ot Gedolot has been applied to the classic edition of the Hebrew Bible together with its Masorah, the Aramaic Targum and standard medieval commentaries.
Bar-Ilan University has undertaken the enormous task of publishing a completely revised edition of Mikra'ot Gedolot, in which apart from the correction of thousands of flaws of the previous and current editions, substantive improvements have been introduced, to the benefit of all Biblical students and scholars. We have pleasure in listing the most important of them as follows:
1. The biblical text and the Masorah are based on the Aleppo Codex, as corrected, punctuated and annotated by Aaron Ben-Asher, the master of the Masorah, this being the most accurate manuscript ever copied.
2. An apparatus called "Ein Ha-Masorah” adjoins the Masorah, including place references, making its terminology readily comprehensible for the first time.
3. Our edition of the Aramaic Targumim and the commentaries is based on a meticulous comparison of the best extant manuscripts.
4. The selection of medieval commentaries in this edition is the most comprehensive of all time.
5. To enable the contemporary reader to find his way through the commentaries with greater ease, they have been printed in square characters and clearly punctuated. All quotations from biblical and rabbinic literature are given their correct reference.
The edition is elegantly printed and bound. The first and third volumes include a comprehensive introduction to the edition as a whole, indicating its guidelines and innovations.
This work was planned and edited by Prof. Menachem Cohen of Bar-Ilan University, the Director of the Project of Mikra'ot Gedolot 'Haketer', and an authority in the field of textual and Masoretic research of the Bible and medieval exegesis.
From the Critics
“… the editor and the publisher deserve great praise for the many outstanding illustrations which accompany the introduction. The detailed treatments often are illuminated by remarkably clear reproductions of the actual manuscripts and printed editions”.
(Association for Jewish Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Vol. XX, No. 1, 1995)
“… This edition sets a new standard for accuracy and accessibility which guarantees that it will become the standard text for the study of the bible and its major commentators for the generations to come.”
“… Not only was a tremendous amount of energy invested by Prof. Cohen in producing as accurate a text as possible, conforming to the highest scholarly standards, but the aesthetic side of this enterprise was also given its due. The pages of the text are pleasing to the eye. The layout is generous, the texts exceptionally readable, and the volume a pleasure to hold.”
(Hebrew Studies, 36, 1995)