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Re: [ANE-2] Two Qumran articles

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  • 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 1 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






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    • 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 2 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 3 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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