The masoretes were a group of Jewish Bible scholars who compiled a system of critical notes on the external form of the Biblical text, and who effectivly determined the precise text of the Bible in the Jewish community. See the article on the Masoretic text for a full discussion of their work.

Their system of notes represents the literary labors of innumerable scholars, of which the beginning falls probably in pre-Maccabean times and the end reaches to the year 1425 CE.

See also: Masoretic text