Masoretic text (MAZ-a-RET-ik) (MT)-the traditional Hebrew Bible, as preserved and transmitted by Jewish scholars, known as masoretes (from the Hebrew word masorah, tradition), during the Middle Ages. Masoretes standardized traditions of punctuation, pronunciation, accentuation and divisions of the consonantal text of the medieval Hebrew Bible. The MT is today the accepted text of the Hebrew Bible.

Samaritans (seh-MEHR-i-tenz)—a religious sect, living in Samaria, that developed independently of the spiritual leadership of Jerusalem some time after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.E. The Samaritan scripture includes only the Pentateuch and not the Prophets or Writings.

Talmud (TAHL-mood)—a collection of Jewish laws and teachings, comprising the Mishnah (a compilation of laws collated by Rabbi Judah the Prince about 200 B.C.E.) and the Gemara (a commentary on the Mishnah). There are two Talmuds. The Palestinian Talmud was completed in the mid-fifth century; the Babylonian Talmud, completed in the mid-sixth century, became authoritative.