The   text   of   the   Old Testament   in  the  days  of the  Talmudists (100-500 a.d.) and the
Massoretes (600-900 a.d.) was the same as that which was translated by the Septuagint in
the third century b.c. The Samaritan text of the fifth century b.c., as well as the Targums
(paraphrases of the Old Testament from 500 a.d. on), the Mishnah (the collection of Jewish
tradition and oral laws from around 200 a.d.), the Gemaras of Babylon and Palestine
(commentaries on the text from around 200 a.d. for the Palestine and 500 a.d. for the
Babylonian — the Gemaras plus the Mishnah comprise the Talmud), and other documents
substantiate the position of the Hebrew text. Therefore all the translations to the Reformation,
and all the translations of and following the Reformation have utilized the same basic Hebrew
text — the Massoretic text.

The Massoretic text, however, since the turn of the century has not always been followed. The
American Standard Version departed from it in Deuteronomy 32:14; 1 Samuel 6:18; II Samuel
16:13; 11 Chronicles 3:1; 22:6; Job 37:9; Isaiah 30:32; 35:8; Ezekiel 46:9; Hosea 11:3; Amos 5:
21; Micah 3:5; and Hagai 1:5; according to Jack Lewis. The Revised Standard Version
departed from the Masoretic text approximately 600 times, including conjectural emendations
(guessing what was thought to be the text not utilizing the reading in any text or version
available, or in other words, making of their own text) in such passages as Psalm 2:11 and
Amos 6:12, as well as others. The New English Bible introduced an even greater number of
conjectural emendations (probable readings — though not in any manuscript or ver­sion),
generally feeling free to change the text at will: adding words, deleting words, substituting
words, changing the order of words, verses and entire passages. The New American
Standard Bible departs from the Masoretic text more often than did the American Standard
Version, including conjectural emendations, such as II Samuel 19:18. Conjectural
emendations are frequent in Today's English Version. The New International Version follows
the Masoretic text more closely than the Revised Standard Version, though departing from it
numerous times. The New King James Version follows the same textual basis as the King
James Version.

The Old Testament has been affected by the change in attitudes toward preservation of the  
word of God.