What is the מסורה?
The מסורה started in the times of Ezra Hasofer* & The Anshei Knesess Hagedolah. This continued for over a thousand years to the times of the Rabonon Saveroi and early Gaonim.
There are many parts to the מסורה.
Some parts of the מסורה,(there are more)
1) How many letters and words in each Sefer (Tanach)
2) The טעמים (known as the Trop)
3) The קרי & כתיב
4) Nekudos (How to pronounce)
5) Begin & end Pesukim & Parshios
6) How many times the word with the same
7) חסירות ויתירות (spelling)
8) Large & small letters
9) Similar words elsewhere in Tanach
10) When it's the name of Hashem and when not
Because of the מסורה, we have a uniform text of the Tanach, which both the Perushim & Tzedokim agree on.
Our מסורה is from the משומד
יעקב בן חיים אבן אדוניהו
Yakov ben Chaim and EliyahuBachur were both employed
as editors in the printing house of Danielle Bombergini.
Yakov ben Chaim edited the Seforim Bomberg printed.
Among them were the Shas Bavli & Yerushalmi
and the Mikraos Gedolos Chumash.
Yakov wrote an important and fabulous Hakdama** for the Mikraos Gedolos Chumash.
He also compiled and organized the Mesorah (Tanach) which was completely disorganized and almost impossible to read.
It is interesting, his co-worker Eliyahu Bachur praises
his work and curses him in the same sentence.
Eliyahu Bachur writes:
" I have never seen in any of the previous
Seforim such perfect, beautiful and organized work as was
done by the person whose name used to be
"Yakov, תהי נשמתו צרורה ***בצרור נקוב "
Yakov convinced D.Bomberg to allow him to print his
Mesorah in the Chumash.
Hence the only Mesorah we have today is from the Meshumad Yakov who compiled, organized and had it printed.
*They were called Sofrim because the counted the
letters, words, Pesukim and Parshios.(Ms.Kidushin)
** The original Chumashim had his name printed.
In the later prints, the name was removed and
replaced as הקדמת המעתיק
***A bundle with a hole (everything falls out.a play on words based on a Pasuk in Chagi