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3984Re: [lxx] Division of the books in the Septuagint

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  • Robert Kraft
    Nov 3, 2013
      So I did a little homework, online, and discovered that Emanuel Tov has indeed discussed these issues -- see http://www.emanueltov.info/docs/books/scribal-practices1.publ.books.pdf, on Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts found in the Judean Desert, chapter 4 c, Length and Contents of Scrolls. He mentions actual scrolls from Egypt (e.g. Book of the Dead) running up to 44 meters, and possible Dead Sea scrolls up to 25-30 meters, but the more normal lengths are well under 20 meters (see his table 11). He reports the conjectures that if 4QKgs contained Joshua-Samuel-Kings, it would have been 20 meters long. The longest actual scrolls preserved from the Qumran caves are IQIsa and 11QT (Temple Scroll), although their actual lengths are not reported as such (but can be extracted from the figures given for number of columns, etc.).

      In short, there is no reason why the books of Samuel could not have been a single scroll at Qumran, or even part of a larger scroll. But this does not help us determine whether they were originally written as a unified composition, or how old the division into two books might be if it is not original.

      Bob Kraft

      On 11/3/2013 10:21 PM, Robert Kraft wrote:
      No arguing from this emeritus, Andrew. Just searching for information. Have you or anyone known to you done an estimate of how long such a scroll of 1+2 Samuel would have been? I suspect it would be among the longest scrolls of which we know, unless the letter sizes and general format were significantly different from "the average" (whatever that may be). The estimates (and actual survivals) I've seen place the length of a longish scroll at about 15 meters. Maybe Emanuel Tov has some information on this, relative to DSS materials. The estimates usually are based on Greek scrolls, often on papyrus. Hebrew on parchment might be significantly different. Of course, theoretically a scroll could be of infinite length, but practical considerations dictated otherwise.

      Bob Kraft

      On 11/1/2013 1:31 PM, andrew fincke wrote:

      Dear Bob,
      I won't be drawn into engaging an emeritus in argumentation.  The transition from 1 to 2 Samuel is not preserved, and I rely on Cross' analysis of the handwriting, ink and leather material (and the papyrus adhering to a great deal of the 4QSama fragments) in assigning the corpus to a single work by a single hand.  See DJD 17, 3 (Qumran Cave 4 12: 1-2 Samuel, Oxford, 2005 online at pluto.huji.ac.il/~tov).  Furthermore, the beginning of 1 Samuel is not preserved, and a little bit of hoi polloi with the text is required to bring the beginning to the top of column 1.  The end of 2 Samuel is also not preserved. 
      Andrew Fincke

      To: lxx@yahoogroups.com
      From: kraft@...
      Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 22:23:35 -0400
      Subject: Re: [lxx] Division of the books in the Septuagint

      Thank you, Andrew. I'm the one getting old (well, I guess we all are). I had forgotten the 4Q Sam\a material, which you have published in such detail (Brill, 2002). Is the transition from 1 Samuel to 2 Samuel preserved in the fragments, and if so, does it show any indication that a joining of two scrolls is being made? Is it possible to argue that the same copyist produced two scrolls, one of 1 Samuel and another in the same format of 2 Samuel? If not, would you want to argue that those "books" originated as one longish scroll in Hebrew, that was later divided? Or do you think two "original" scrolls were joined at some point very early in the transmission? (Obviously I haven't done my homework on this.) Very interesting!


      On 10/31/2013 1:32 PM, andrew fincke wrote:

      Forgive me, Bob!
      I'm getting old.   "So it is not a question of dividing -- the original productions were created in parts, each the length of the standard scroll" seems to be lacking something.  Maybe the server censored some words or phrases.   Furthermore, "So one might ask the question as to whether any edition of these materials ever treated the parts as a unity, abandoning the old distinctions?" is confusing.  The distinctions - you said earlier - were an invention of the codex, so LATE.  And I agree on the basis of the Dead Sea scroll 4QSama, which is - I assume - OLD in your frame of reference - and presents 1 and 2 Samuel as a single work.  What, then, do you mean by "old distinctilons?" 
      Andrew Fincke
      > To: lxx@yahoogroups.com
      > From: kraft@...
      > Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 01:07:03 -0400
      > Subject: Re: [lxx] Division of ! the books in the Septuagint
      > No, the four "books" of Samuel-Kings (aka "Kingdoms" in the Old Greek
      > anthology) are not the same as the two "books" of Chronicles (aka
      > "Paralipomena"). And the original question rests on a misunderstanding
      > of ancient technology before the invention of the "codex" in the first
      > century of the common era. The old Hebrew "books" began as scrolls, as
      > did the translations into Greek. So it is not a question of dividing --
      > the original productions were created in parts, each the length of the
      > standard scroll. When "scriptural" scrolls were collected into the
      > anthology we call Tanakh or Jewish Scriptures, or "Old Testament" or
      > whatever, the old scrolls received separate names such as Samuel 1,
      > Samuel 2, etc. So one might ask the question as to whether any edition
      > of these materials ever treated the parts as a unity, abandoning the old
      ! > distinctions? I doubt it. Compare the same situation with almost any
      > ancient text of any length, such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, or
      > Josephus' Antiquities and War, etc. The old scroll technology has left
      > its mark, even if we fail to recognize it.
      > Bob Kraft, UPenn Emeritus
      > On 10/30/2013 3:59 PM, James wrote:
      > > I think in the RC versions these bools are called Paralipomenon.
      > >
      > > (Paraleipomenon; Libri Paralipomenon).
      > >
      > > Two books of the Bible containing a summary of sacred history from Adam
      > > to the end of the Captivity. The title Paralipomenon, books "of things
      > > passed over", which, from the Septuagint, passed into the old Latin
      > > Bible and thence into the Vulgate, is commonly taken to imply that they
      > > supplement the narrative of the Books of Kings (otherwise known as I-II
      > > Samuel and I-II Kings); but this explanation is hardly supported by the
      > > contents! of the books, and does not account for the present participle.
      > > The view of St. Jerome, who considers Paralipomenon as equivalent to
      > > "epitome of the Old Testament", is probably the true one. The title
      > > would accordingly denote that many things are passed over in these
      > > books. The Hebrew title is Dibhere Hayyamim, "the acts of the days" or
      > > "annals". In the Protestant, printed Hebrew, and many Catholic bibles,
      > > they are entitled "Books of Chronicles".
      > >
      > > James
      > > .
      > > On 10/30/2013 2:58 PM, RichardToplan@... wrote:
      > >> The Hebrew bible originally had the books of Samuel I and II as one
      > >> book and Kings I and II as one book. A certain Jewish custom is quoted
      > >> in a work published in 1339. I saw an interesting explanation of that
      > >> custom. However, it assumes the division of the book of Samuel into I> >> and II occurred after that date. I am interested if t he date the
      > >> Septuagint divided it into two is known. The same question would be
      > >> asked in reference to the Vulgate.
      > >>
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