MASORA, MASSORAH mə sôr’ ə (מַסּוֹרָה, tradition). A collection of critical annotations made by Heb. scholars, called the “Masoretes,” to establish the text of the OT. Since the Heb. alphabet originally had only consonants, the Masoretes evolved a vowel system for the purpose of pronunciation. To safeguard the traditional transmission of the text, the Masoretes wrote notes in the margins of MT MSS. The Masoretes began their work c. a.d. 500, and continued it almost to the time of the invention of printing. The Masora was produced and preserved by the Masoretes.
G. L. Archer, A Survey ofIntroduction (1964); O. Eissfeldt, The Old Testament: An Introduction (1965).