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Re: Wall Street Journal/Golb Qumran misinformation

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  • dastacey62
    ... conviction that Qumran was a sectarian community [ Qumran is not a village or a group of houses; it is the establishment of a community…. for the
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 3, 2008
      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, goranson@... wrote:
      >De Vaux may not have used the term 'monastery' but his early
      conviction that Qumran was a sectarian community ['Qumran is not a
      village or a group of houses; it is the establishment of a
      community¬Ö. for the carrying on of certain communal activities' (de
      Vaux 1973: 10)] appears to have influenced some of the scientific
      analyses carried out at the site.

      Those who analysed some fragments of scroll material from cave 4
      concluded that `it may well be that the scroll materials were
      processed at quite different places and that later they were brought
      together at Qumran' (Poole and Read 1961: 120), which casts some
      doubt on the identification of a scriptorium at the site. Analyses
      aimed specifically at detecting evidence for leather processing were
      only carried out at Ein Feshka (Poole and Read 1961: 114-123).
      Although Poole and Reed contended that `in neither of the
      two `industrial' quarters has a tannery been recognised' they
      accepted that `many of the constituent rooms have pits, vats or
      cobbled floors (suggesting that wet work was carried out there)'.
      They recognised that water was a `valuable commodity' but concluded
      that it could not `have been spared for tanning purposes' and
      that `the community would have been too strict to permit' (Poole and
      Reed 1972: 151-2) tanning, a conclusion clearly influenced by the
      prevailing theory of a permanent sectarian community. Perhaps they
      should have stuck to their scientific guns and concluded that the
      limited water supply and the nature of the tanning process meant that
      it was unlikely that any `sectarian community' ever lived permanently
      at the site. Could it be that no search was made for industrial
      residues in the 'multiplicity of cisterns' at Qumran itself because
      of the belief that 'the settlers were obliged by rule to observe
      certain purification rites' (de Vaux 1973: 10)?

      De Vaux, R., (1973), Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls (OUP).

      Poole, J. B. and Reed, R., (1961), The `Tannery' at `Ain Feshka', PEQ
      93: 114-123.

      Poole, J. B. and Reed, R., (1972), `The Preparation of Leather and
      Parchment by the Dead Sea Scrolls Community' Pp. 143-168 in
      Kranzberg and Davenport (eds). Technology and Culture: An Anthology
      (New York).

      David A. Stacey

      > The article claims of de Vaux that "After reading the scrolls, he
      announced with
      > pride that they had been authored by an Essene sect and asserted
      that the sect
      > was the forebear of his own Dominican movement." Oh, when and where
      was such an
      > putative announcement? Let's quote, not myth and hearsay, but de
      Vaux in NTS
      > 1966 (p. 99 n.1 [cf RB 1966 p.229]) review of G. R. Driver's Scrolls
      > zealot-theory book: "...Driver often speaks of the 'monastery' of
      Qumran: thus
      > in 'quotes'. I am keeping the 'quotes', because I have never used
      the word when
      > when writing about the excavations of Qumran...."
      > De Vaux concluded an Essene connection after some excavation and
      > evidence; he was actually a relative late-commer to the Essene
      identity, years
      > after Sukenik, after Sowmy, after Brownlee, after Dupont-Sommer and
      others. In
      > RB 1959 p, 300 he cautioned *against* Bagatti's view that Dominus
      > ossuary inscriptions were Christian. Most Christian historians
      think Christian
      > monasticism started later, though scholarly discussion would need
      to include
      > debates about Eusebius' comments on Philo's De Vita Contemplativa,
      > includes the two earliest known uses of the Greek word monasterion
      25, 30).
      > Golb has misrepresented the history of scholarship on scrolls and
      the scrolls
      > themselves, many, e.g., according to Ada Yardeni, written by a
      single sectarian
      > scribe. Golb, and a many-named related online sockpuppet, offered
      > misinformation.
      > Stephen Goranson
      > For evidence of Qumran-Essene association:
      > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
      > http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122238636935776931.html
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