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Re: [ANE-2] Two Qumran articles

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  • Jack Kilmon
    I was one of the first few people in the Western World to see two of the Dead Sea Scrolls. They were photographs of the Great Isaiah Scroll and Habakkuk
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 30, 2009
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      I was one of the first few people in the Western World to see two of the
      Dead Sea Scrolls. They were photographs of the Great Isaiah Scroll and
      Habakkuk Commentary shown to me in the spring of 1948 by Professor Albright
      in his office at Johns Hopkins University. At the time I was a small boy
      interested in Semitic paleography and the great man took some time to
      explain to a precocious small boy the difference between the alefs of the
      Isaiah and Habakkuk scrolls and what 50 to 100 years difference there could
      be in a script. Although I continued throughout my life a passion for ANE
      scholarship, my academic interests were in another area. Some background
      out of the way, I must still admit, unless there has been some recent
      compelling evidence, that I have yet to be convinced of a relationship
      between the scrolls and the Qumran site.

      Since there is an interesting range of scholars that I respect in this
      forum, particular a few directly involved I would be interested in an
      outline of the archaeological evidence interpreted for that connection as
      well as positions against that connection....to sort of bring myself to
      date.

      Thank you,

      Regards,

      Jack Kilmon
      San Antonio, TX

      --------------------------------------------------
      From: "dastacey62" <DAVID.STACEY63@...>
      Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 5:48 AM
      To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [ANE-2] Two Qumran articles

      > When Khirbet Qumran et `Ain Feshka Vol 2 was published in 2003 it was
      > noticeable that the conclusions of Gunneweg and Balla, `Neutron analysis
      > of scroll jars and common ware' (pp. 3-57), were markedly different from
      > those of Michniewicz and Krzysko, `The provenance of scroll jars from
      > Qumran in the light of archaeometric investigations' (pp. 61-99).
      > Michniewicz has this year published a more detailed report Qumran and
      > Jericho Pottery: A Petrographic and Chemical Provenance Study (published,
      > in English, by Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland). He admits that `it
      > must be emphasised that the conclusions formulated by the two teams were
      > entirely different' (p. 25). He states that `Balla and Gunneweg's
      > conclusions are corroborated neither by information about which elements
      > were taken for statistical interpretation and which determined the
      > division particularly strongly..... nor by the reference data or
      > statistical computation' (p. 26). Much of the book is taken up with
      > chemical and geological data on which I have no expertise to comment.
      > Amongst his conclusions, however, are that `it is certain that the clays
      > of the upper part of Wadi Qumran were not the raw material of which the
      > examined ceramics were made' (p. 140), and that `even assuming, after
      > Magen and Peleg, that the Wadi Qumran deposit was indeed used for pottery
      > making, it should be stressed that this is not a raw material dominating
      > among the Qumran vessels' (p. 139. However he also states that `there are
      > no clues that would allow even a part of the vessels to be ascribed to a
      > workshop in Jericho or Qumran' (p. 142). As several kilns and wasters have
      > been found at Qumran (and one small kiln in Jericho) this must mean that
      > he has yet to discover a local source of clay. From the published data, it
      > does not seem that he sampled the Lissan marl on which both Qumran and
      > Jericho are built.
      > He states that it is `highly probable' that the clays of Petrographic
      > Groups II and III came from outcroppings in `Trans-Jordan, especially
      > between the northern Dead Sea and Zarga and Eastern Samaria i.e. the north
      > eastern part of the West Bank e.g. in Wadi Far'ah, Wadi el Malikh...' (p.
      > 138). This is in the same general area as quarries (including the large
      > underground one recently discovered by Adam Zartal) that are thought to be
      > the provenance of the sandstone ashlars, column drums and capitals
      > integrated into the Hasmonean and Herodian Palaces at Jericho, and at
      > Masada, Rujm el Bahr etc. Does anyone know if kilns have been found in
      > that area, or are we to assume that the clay was shipped to Qumran
      > possibly together with building stones?
      >
      > In Cathedra 131 (March 2009, in Hebrew) Gideon Avni makes an objective
      > and wide-ranging look at the cemetery at Qumran and concludes that it can
      > not be assigned to any particular group but that it was used not only by
      > those who lived at Qumran but also by nomadic people who visited the area
      > perhaps before the Hasmonean period but certainly through the late Roman,
      > Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.
      > David Stacey
      > Independant scholar
      > UK
    • RUSSELLGMIRKIN@aol.com
      Jack, What do you mean by a relationship between the scrolls and the Qumran site ? If you mean, were the scrolls caves connected with the Qumran site, some of
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 4, 2009
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        Jack,

        What do you mean by "a relationship between the scrolls and the Qumran
        site"?

        If you mean, were the scrolls caves connected with the Qumran site, some of
        the caves were located in the marl plateau immediately below the Qumran
        buildings. There appears to have been a trail from the building complex to
        these caves, which could be accessed from above. Additionally, some of the
        pottery types are similar, so an argument exists that at least some of the
        scrolls were in the possession of the occupants of Qumran and/or deposited
        by them in the caves.

        If you mean, were some scrolls copied at Qumran, the jury is out.

        If you mean, were the scrolls authored at Qumran, the best evidence in my
        opinion indicates that they were not, with minor exceptions. Early scrolls
        scholars leapt to the conclusion that since the scrolls were found near
        Qumran, therefore Qumran was the center of the scrolls sect, founded by the
        Teacher of Righteousness, location where the scrolls were authored, etc.,
        based on "scientific" archaeological reasoning (to quote de Vaux). Such
        arguments did represented neither sound archaeological reasoning nor sensible
        scrolls scholarship. To note only three contrary indications, (1) The few
        scrolls that are dated to the first century BCE -- contemporary with the site
        of Qumran -- on unambiguous internal evidence, such as the Mishmarot and
        the Alexander Jannaeus text, contain no sectarian language. (2) The serekh
        scrolls are manifestly of a date earlier than the foundation of Qumran in c.
        100 BCE. This is most clearly demonstrated in the case of the War Scroll,
        which contains military tactics and historical allusions of from an
        earlier period. See my articles "The War Scroll and Roman Weaponry
        Reconsidered," DSD 3 (1996) 89-129; "Historical Allusions in the War Scroll," DSD 5
        (1998) 172-214, discussed extensively in Jean Duhaime, The War Texts: 1QM and
        Related Manuscripts (London: T & T Clark, 2004). (3) Hymns that are thought
        to have been written by the Teacher of Righteousness and which describe his
        living conditions in exile (1QH 14-16) do not resemble Qumran with respect
        to architecture, economy, climate, flora and fauna. The best evidence
        points to the sectarian scrolls as having been authored earlier and elsewhere.

        Best regards,
        Russell Gmirkin

        Some background
        out of the way, I must still admit, unless there has been some recent
        compelling evidence, that I have yet to be convinced of a relationship
        between the scrolls and the Qumran site.

        Since there is an interesting range of scholars that I respect in this
        forum, particular a few directly involved I would be interested in an
        outline of the archaeological evidence interpreted for that connection as
        well as positions against that connection..well as positions against tha
        date.

        Thank you,

        Regards,

        Jack Kilmon






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • goranson@duke.edu
        1) Russell Gmirkin made (on 4 Dec 2009) some mistaken assertions. For example, ... Gmirkin s claim is mistaken; for example, 4QpesherNahum is surely a
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 8, 2009
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          1) Russell Gmirkin made (on 4 Dec 2009) some mistaken assertions. For example,
          he wrote:

          > [....] (1) The few
          > scrolls that are dated to the first century BCE -- contemporary with the site
          > of Qumran -- on unambiguous internal evidence, such as the Mishmarot and
          > the Alexander Jannaeus text, contain no sectarian language. [....]

          Gmirkin's claim is mistaken; for example, 4QpesherNahum is surely a sectarian
          text, and Qumran scholars agree almost unanimously--a rare
          distinction--that it
          refers to crucifixions in the first century BCE, all (but one) specifying 88
          BCE.

          2) James C. VanderKam has an article in the latest Dead Sea Discoveries 16
          (November 2009) 416-432, "The Oath and the Community," that even further
          strengthens the match between the timing of the Essene oath described in
          Josephus War 2 and the oath described in some sectarian texts of Qumran.

          Stephen Goranson
          http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
        • RUSSELLGMIRKIN@aol.com
          My statement was that The few scrolls that are dated to the first century BCE -- contemporary with the site of Qumran -- on unambiguous internal evidence...
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 8, 2009
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            My statement was that "The few scrolls that are dated to the first century
            BCE -- contemporary with the site of Qumran -- on unambiguous internal
            evidence... contain no sectarian language." Pesher Nahum is not one of these.
            While Qumran scholars agree almost unanimously that it refers to
            crucifixions in the first century BCE, this consensus view happens to be dead wrong,
            based on a bad restoration of a key lacuna in the text by means of
            entirely circular historical arguments premised on a first century date. I've
            written two excellent, well-reasoned articles showing that the pesher was in
            fact written in spring 160 BCE (namely "Temporal Patterns in the Pesharim
            and the Restoration of 4QpNah 3-4 i 2-3" and "Demetrius I and Pesher Nahum").
            I submitted them to a prominent journal on the scrolls a couple years
            back, but unfortunately they were rejected in peer review, not because of any
            technical problems in the articles, but because the reviewer amateurishly
            opined that their content was too controversial. This is the sort of
            unconscious academic censorship that happens when you have an entrenched
            scholarly viewpoint.

            Eventually I plan to have my articles on Pesher Nahum, the Damascus
            Document and a few others published in book format. With the complete argument
            presented in a single volume, it should become clear that the true
            historical background of the scrolls is the Hellenistic Crisis and Maccabean War.
            Until then the scrolls field will have to limp along in its current dismal
            state, where Pesher Nahum is virtually the only text for which scholars
            imagine the historical issues have been satisfactorily resolved.

            Best regards,
            Russell Gmirkin

            1) Russell Gmirkin made (on 4 Dec 2009) some mistaken assertions. For
            example,
            he wrote:

            > [....] (1) The few
            > scrolls that are dated to the first century BCE -- contemporary with the
            site
            > of Qumran -- on unambiguous internal evidence, such as the Mishmarot and
            > the Alexander Jannaeus text, contain no sectarian language. [....]

            Gmirkin's claim is mistaken; for example, 4QpesherNahum is surely a
            sectarian
            text, and Qumran scholars agree almost unanimously-text, an
            distinction-distinct
            refers to crucifixions in the first century BCE, all (but one) specifying
            88
            BCE.







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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