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Re: [ANE-2] Palaeography of Qumran manuscripts

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  • Peter T. Daniels
    Mr. Doudna (and apparently Mr. Cross before him) has overlooked a basic human factor in paleographic dating of manuscripts. Any individual scribe can have a
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 2, 2007
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      Mr. Doudna (and apparently Mr. Cross before him) has overlooked a basic "human factor" in paleographic dating of manuscripts. Any individual scribe can have a career lasting 40 or more years, and that scribe's handwriting -- especially the basic shapes of the letters -- will not change appreciably over the decades.

      Mr. Doudna seems to compare letterforms across media -- pen and ink, incised on stone, engraved in coin dies -- as if the materials and techniques used in writing had nothing to do with the shapes of letters.

      Has Mr. Doudna (or Mr. Cross before him) taken up a pen and learned to write (NOT DRAW!!) the letters found in the variety of manuscripts at hand? Such a practice would show fairly easily which letterforms can have developed out of which others, making the _sequence_ of letterforms, though not the absolute dating, fairly clear.

      ***
      As for the business practices of Mr. Doudna's publisher, a ready solution to this problem is at hand. If authors will not submit manuscripts to publishers that do not respect the need for publications to achieve wide distribution, then those publishers will either amend their practices or go out of business.
      --
      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...



      ----- Original Message ----
      From: GREG Doudna <gdoudna@...>
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 1:05:10 AM
      Subject: [ANE-2] Palaeography of Qumran manuscripts



      I have posted "Appendix A: Palaeography and the Dating of Individual
      Qumran Manuscripts" , published in 2001 in my _4Q Pesher Nahum: A Critical
      Edition_, at:

      http://scrollery. com/AppendixAPal aeography. htm

      Until now the only access to this appendix has been to pay $190.00
      for _4Q Pesher Nahum_ on Amazon (or several tens of dollars less
      at other sellers such as Eisenbrauns or Dove), or obtain it through the
      cumbersome process of interlibrary loan. The $190 price is set
      by Continuum, not by me, and I do not receive a penny of it.

      After I was first denied permission by Continuum to post this on
      my website and was given to understand that decision was final,
      I submitted a second request to Continuum through channels
      used by publishers to purchase permission to reprint. That is, I filled
      a formal request that publiisher Greg Doudna be allowed to
      republish on a website, at Continuum's normal rates, an extract of
      work by Greg Doudna. This did result in recent days in Continuum's
      permission for me to post this extract of my work on my website, normal
      charges waived.

      Continuum has also refused up to now to have _4Q Pesher Nahum_ made
      accessible on Amazon's "Look Inside" program, whereby checking footnotes
      in my book would be accessible online to those who cannot afford
      $190. So much for the argument that the reason we, the producers of
      scholarship, sign over copyrights (and not licences) to our work is so that
      publishers will make our work accessible.

      Robert Kugler wrote in his review of _4Q Pesher Nahum_ in
      _The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures_ that the arguments in the appendix
      on palaeography alone in _4Q Pesher Nahum_, "if we accept them,
      are so different as to necessitate a sea change in how we think about
      the scrolls". I am happy that this portion of my work is now
      better able to be accessed.
    • GREG Doudna
      Peter, I haven t overlooked that individual scribes can have a career lasting 40 years or that different media can affect shapes of letters. My argument is a
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 2, 2007
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        Peter, I haven't overlooked that individual scribes can have a career
        lasting 40 years or that different media can affect shapes of
        letters.
        My argument is a negative one against Cross's certainty
        (with Cross invoking both of the assumptions you name among
        others) as to pinpoint datings and 1st century CE datings for formal
        hands in Qumran texts.
        And it is not Cross himself who is my actual target as much as
        Cross acolytes today, aka Qumran scholars, who uncritically assume
        everything Cross laid out in palaeographic dating is true to the
        year and call absolute dates based on Cross's charts "data".
        Cross I can forgive for not being perfect from the starting gate
        on his absolute dates; forty years later and scholars citing Cross
        as if he is the pope on this is less forgivable.

        On letter forms developing out of others through writing and
        relative sequencing, I have little problem with Cross's or
        Yardeni's work in this area for Second Temple scripts,
        which was not the issue of my critique.

        All I am showing is that Cross's claimed evidence for 1st CE
        absolute dating isn't there on palaeographic grounds, for
        Qumran texts. I suspect you do not have an argument
        with this actual conclusion; thanks for underscoring the point.

        On a separate point, David Stacey has convinced me that my
        references in the appendix to pre-31 BCE dating of the locus 89
        bowls (and writing on one of the bowls), where I relied on de Vaux
        and Magness may be in error and that (contra de Vaux and Magness)
        those bowls may not be earlier than 31 BCE. This is not because
        of the dating of the bowl type itsself (Bar-Nathan's type J-BL5)
        which were found in both late Hasmonean and Herod the Great
        contexts (then zero 1st CE at Jericho according to Bar-Nathan).
        It is because of a separate argument of Stacey's, revisionist in
        terms of prevailing published interpretations but well-argued and
        forthcoming in DSD, that argues that the rooms where the bowls
        were found were not built until the time of Herod the Great.
        (Bar-Nathan herself on grounds independent of Stacey's
        argument but in agreement with Stacey's conclusion on this point,
        dates the Qumran locus 89 bowls specifically to the first half of
        Herod the Great's reign.) Nothing substantive about my argument
        is changed, but I will modify the way it is worded in future editions
        in light of the ever-changing information coming out concerning Qumran's
        archaeology.

        http://scrollery.com/AppendixAPalaeography.htm
        (Also see the section "The Creation of 1st Century C.E. Palaeographic Dates
        for Qumran Texts" at
        http://scrollery.com/Legacy_of_Error_in_Archaeological_Interpretation.htm )

        Greg Doudna

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      • Andrew Fincke
        Greg, You want to push the clock back to Albright? His epochal work on the Nash Papyrus - A Biblical Fragment from the Maccabaean Age: The Nash Papyrus , JBL
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 4, 2007
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          Greg,
          You want to push the clock back to Albright? His epochal work on the Nash Papyrus - "A Biblical Fragment from the Maccabaean Age: The Nash Papyrus", JBL 56/3 (1937), 145-176 (available on line at www.sbl-site.org) concludes that the document is no older than 325 BC (pp. 156-157) and no younger than 245 AD (157). The specification to the "Maccabean Age" - as pp. 159-162 shows - is speculative. Trever, who knew little about Hebrew paleography and found himself in war-torn Jerusalem with an ancient manuscript of Isaiah from cave 1 on his hands, used his knowledge of Albright's article and a slide of the papyrus to date the scroll for his first edition. See John Trever, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Personal Account, Eerdmans 1965, 24. Haven't we progressed a little from there in the way of paleographical analysis of handwriting?
          Andrew Fincke

          GREG Doudna <gdoudna@...> wrote:


          Peter, I haven't overlooked that individual scribes can have a career
          lasting 40 years or that different media can affect shapes of
          letters.
          My argument is a negative one against Cross's certainty
          (with Cross invoking both of the assumptions you name among
          others) as to pinpoint datings and 1st century CE datings for formal
          hands in Qumran texts.
          And it is not Cross himself who is my actual target as much as
          Cross acolytes today, aka Qumran scholars, who uncritically assume
          everything Cross laid out in palaeographic dating is true to the
          year and call absolute dates based on Cross's charts "data".
          Cross I can forgive for not being perfect from the starting gate
          on his absolute dates; forty years later and scholars citing Cross
          as if he is the pope on this is less forgivable.

          On letter forms developing out of others through writing and
          relative sequencing, I have little problem with Cross's or
          Yardeni's work in this area for Second Temple scripts,
          which was not the issue of my critique.

          All I am showing is that Cross's claimed evidence for 1st CE
          absolute dating isn't there on palaeographic grounds, for
          Qumran texts. I suspect you do not have an argument
          with this actual conclusion; thanks for underscoring the point.

          On a separate point, David Stacey has convinced me that my
          references in the appendix to pre-31 BCE dating of the locus 89
          bowls (and writing on one of the bowls), where I relied on de Vaux
          and Magness may be in error and that (contra de Vaux and Magness)
          those bowls may not be earlier than 31 BCE. This is not because
          of the dating of the bowl type itsself (Bar-Nathan's type J-BL5)
          which were found in both late Hasmonean and Herod the Great
          contexts (then zero 1st CE at Jericho according to Bar-Nathan).
          It is because of a separate argument of Stacey's, revisionist in
          terms of prevailing published interpretations but well-argued and
          forthcoming in DSD, that argues that the rooms where the bowls
          were found were not built until the time of Herod the Great.
          (Bar-Nathan herself on grounds independent of Stacey's
          argument but in agreement with Stacey's conclusion on this point,
          dates the Qumran locus 89 bowls specifically to the first half of
          Herod the Great's reign.) Nothing substantive about my argument
          is changed, but I will modify the way it is worded in future editions
          in light of the ever-changing information coming out concerning Qumran's
          archaeology.

          http://scrollery.com/AppendixAPalaeography.htm
          (Also see the section "The Creation of 1st Century C.E. Palaeographic Dates
          for Qumran Texts" at
          http://scrollery.com/Legacy_of_Error_in_Archaeological_Interpretation.htm )

          Greg Doudna

          __________________________________________________________
          From photos to predictions, The MSN Entertainment Guide to Golden Globes has
          it all. http://tv.msn.com/tv/globes2007/





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        • GREG Doudna
          Andrew, Yes and no on pushing the clock back to Albright. Typological development analysis doesn t need to go back at all from the brilliant current work of
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 4, 2007
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            Andrew,
            Yes and no on pushing the clock back to Albright.
            Typological development analysis doesn't need to go back at all
            from the brilliant current work of Yardeni (which significantly supercedes
            the earlier Albright and Cross's work).
            I want to push the clock back on "Herodian formal" hand *dating* however
            to pre-archaeology of Qumran, rewind back to there
            and then work forward independent of the archaeological assumption which
            entered 1952 that the Qumran scroll deposits were 1st CE and ended
            in terminus 70 CE.

            To reinforce the importance of this point for the question of Qumran
            text datings:

            (a) there is no serious radiocarbon scientist who says that existing
            radiocarbon data alone proves some Qumran texts are as late as 1st CE.

            (b) In 2002 in my Brown U. conference paper I challenged the archaeologists
            there to declare whether the common language of the cave text
            deposits as 1st CE was an archaeological fact on archaeological grounds
            (and then identify those grounds). It is four years since then, and no
            archaeologist
            has yet stepped forward with a claim or response of "yes, Qumran text
            deposits
            in the caves as late as 1st CE are a fact--not speculation, not a possible
            scenario,
            but a fact-- on archaeological grounds alone."

            In both of the above cases, it appears people are relying on the alleged
            proof from palaeography for the perceived certainty for Qumran cave
            texts as late as 1st CE.
            All perception of proof on this point goes back to palaeography; all Qumran
            palaeographic datings in use today go back to Cross 1961;
            all Cross 1961 1st CE palaeographic datings go back to the effect of
            de Vaux's and Harding's early 1950s announcements that all text deposits
            in the caves were *archaeologically* proven to be 1st CE ending 68 CE.
            That is the essential chain of the logic.

            Greg Doudna
            Bellingham, Washington

            Andrew Fincke wrote:
            "Greg, You want to push the clock back to Albright? < . . . > Haven't we
            progressed a little from there in the way of palaeographic analysis of
            handwriting?"

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