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tc-list Shem-Tob & Qumran

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  • James Trimm
    ... James Trimm ============================================== He who seeks will not cease until he finds, and having found he will be amazed, and having been
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 8, 1998
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      >Date: Tue, 08 Dec 1998 21:03:14 -0500
      >To: roots@egroups.com, roots@...
      >From: "James D. Tabor" <jdtabor@...>
      >Subject: [roots] Re: Shem-Tob & Qumran
      >
      >Good post James Trimm,
      >
      >I too was sorry to see this issue of VJ bulletin and how he was playing so
      >fast and loose with the facts. I would add one IMPORTANT point...Even
      >Bohan and Even BoCHan are NOT even the same words in Hebrew...
      >
      >One is a place name from Joshua 15:6, and is the Stone of BOCHAN (spelled
      >with a Chet) the name of a person, son of Reuben, but also meaning
      >THUMB...and that marker indeed looks like a thumb sticking up, just north
      >of Qumran...Maybe the guy was tall and called "the thumb" as a knickname,
      >and the rock got his name.
      >
      >The other word is Even Bohan (spelled with a Hey), the Smooth Stone or
      >touchstone (used in Isa 28:16), an entirely different word.
      >
      >To confuse the two is like maintaining that the words "car"and "cat" are
      >the same in English...after all, only one letter difference!!
      >
      >James Tabor
      >
      >You are welcome to post this where ever you like...
      >
      >At 01:09 AM 12/8/98 -0600, James Trimm wrote:
      >>
      >>All,
      >>
      >> An old rumor about the Shem-Tob Hebrew text of Matthew seems to be
      >>circulating again, and it seems I am destined to set things straight.
      >>
      >> The rumor is that a Hebrew version of Matthew has been found at Qumran.
      >>The full-blown version of the rumor claims that the Shem-Tob Hebrew version
      >>of Matthew originally came from Evan Bohan at Qumran.
      >>
      >> The source of the rumor is an article that appeared in Vendyl Jones'
      >>Institute of Judaic-Christian RESEARCHER newsletter Dec. 1991:
      >>
      >> FROM PAGE 10:
      >>
      >> Now comes the question of an ancient manuscript of the
      >> book of Matthew called the Even Bohan Text. It is also
      >> called the Shem-Tov text. George Howard, Professor of
      >> Religion at the University of Georgia, published a book
      >> on this text by Mercer University press in 1987. There
      >> are several copies of this text around, but gaining access
      >> to the original text of Evan Bohan without revision is
      >> impossible. Paleographic specialists have dated the
      >> original in the last quarter of the first century C.E.
      >> The letter styles are the same as the Qumran so-called
      >> secular scrolls. Modern scholarship, however, attempting
      >> to attribute the scroll to Ben-Tov himself who was
      >> active between 1350 and 1400 C.E....
      >>
      >> ...Why would Ben-Tov use a paleographic style of
      >> the Qumran period to write a text in the middle ages?
      >> Why is that original not available? Why do all the editors
      >> say that there are numerous mistakes that they had
      >> to correct? Why do the editors not just publish the
      >> text and let the public see the original? Why must
      >> they "doctor it up" and add entire sections? For example,
      >> the Evan Bohan text does not contain the first two
      >> chapters of Matthew. Does this not perhaps relate
      >> to Jerome's statement concerning the Ebionites who
      >> follow only Matthew's gospel and reject Paul's writings
      >> altogether? Is that original Even Bohan text perhaps
      >> the Ebionite document of Matthew which Jerome said
      >> was without the first two chapters?...
      >>
      >> ...why is the Ben-Tov gospel of Matthew called the
      >> Even Bohan text? Is it not logical to assume that it
      >> was found at Even Bohan?...
      >>
      >> FROM PAGE 15
      >>
      >> ...Now, let's look back to the Even Bohan text of Matthew.
      >> To summarize, the first observation is that the Ben-Tov/Even
      >> Bohan text did not contain the first two chapters of Matthew.
      >> Like Mark, it opens with the ministry of John the Baptist,
      >> or Yochanan Ben-Zachai. That means that the classic
      >> marginal notation, "Omitted by more ancient authorities."
      >> really means, "This passage was added later by the monks."
      >> That is to say that the monks monkeyed with the text.
      >> All the revised forms of the Even Bohan/Ben-Tov texts
      >> are admittedly filled in by the editors because so much
      >> was missing that is in "our" Matthew....
      >>
      >>OK now let me set the story straight. To begin with I have nothing against
      >>Vendyl Jones personally. In fact I have known Vendyl for over ten years.
      >>However in this case I have to disagree with some things Vendyl has said.
      >>
      >>1. No published paleographic analysis of any Shem-Tob manuscript has
      >>concluded that the text is written in any Qumran type script. I have
      >>examined a photograph of at least one manuscript page of a Shem Tob
      >>manuscript and it is written in the same script as the DuTillet Hebrew
      >>manuscript of Matthew (which I have a complete facsimile of), a script
      >>common to the middleages. Vendyl asks why Shem-Tob would use a Qumran
      >>script. No one knows what scrpt Shem-Tob himself used because his original
      >>manuscript is lost to history, only copies of it remain to us.
      >>
      >>2. Shem-Tob's Matthew manuscript was not called "Evan Bohan." Shem-Tob
      >>wrote a polemic treaty against Christianity (or perhaps the Nazarenes) in
      >>one part of this book he transcribed the entire text of Hebrew Matthew, in
      >>sections, each section followed by a polemic against it. The term "Evan
      >>Bohan" was the title of the entire Polemic book and not just of the text of
      >>Matthew which Shem-Tobe transcribed in sections in just one part of that
      >book.
      >>
      >>3. I am unaware of any extant Shem Tob text which lacks the first two
      >>chapters of Matthew. George Howard did not add them. If a later editor
      >>altered Shem Tob's original work in this way, then he also mangaed to alter
      >>it so early on that not one manuscript exists which was coppied from a text
      >>which lacked the first two chapters of Matthew. I can only conclude that
      >>Vendyl believes that the text Shem Tob held was the original of Matthew and
      >>that Vendyl also believes that Matthew originally lacked the first two
      >>chapters, so Vendyl has perhaps assumed that the Hebrew copy Shem Tob had
      >>must have lacked them as well. However there is no evidence that the
      >>Hebrew Shem Tob text at any stage lacked the first two chapters of Matthew.
      >>
      >>3. Jerome did not say that the original Hebrew Matthew used by the
      >>Ebionites lacked the first two chapters. Jerome did mention having a
      >>Hebrew Matthew which he often identified with the Goodnews according to the
      >>Hebrews, but he claimed to have obtained it from the Nazarenes, not the
      >>Ebionites, and he in fact quoted from its first two chapters. Vendyl must
      >>be thinking of Epiphanius who quotes from an Ebionite text of the Gospel
      >>according to the Hebrews also identified with the original of Matthew.
      >>Epiphanius does quote this text as beginning with the ministry of Yochanan
      >>(John the Baptist) however he also says that this Ebionite text "is not
      >>altogether complete, but adultrated and mutilated" However of the Nazarene
      >>Hebrew version of Mathew he says that they have it "quite complete in the
      >>Hebrew."
      >>
      >>4. There are no editors that admit altering or adding to the Shem-Tob text
      >>(although Munster admits doing this with the Munster Hebrew Matthew text in
      >>places where his copy was damaged, but that was not a Shem-Tob text).
      >>George Howard did not add anything. The only editors before this were
      >>scribes in the middle ages, and if they added two chapters there is no
      >>record of it.
      >>
      >>5. Vendyl asks "Why is the original not available?" - The original of
      >>what? The Original of Shem-Tob's book Evan Bohan was lost centuries ago.
      >>There was no effort by Shem-Tob to preserve his Hebrew manuscript of
      >>Matthew except by copying it into his book. The original is unavailable
      >>because it has been lost for centuries.
      >>
      >>While I think Vendyl is mistaken about some of these things let me add:
      >>
      >>1. I would love for him to be right, at least about a Qumran origin for
      >>Shem Tob's Matthew.
      >>
      >>2. I have nothing against Vendyl. In this case I just think he got some
      >>facts wrong and presented some of his theories as if they were established
      >>facts.
      >>
      >>3. I continue to believe that Shem Tob is an important Hebrew text
      >>representing a descendant from the original Hebrew and would be interested
      >>in any data supporting Vendyl's claims that may be forthcoming.
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>James Trimm
      >>==============================================
      >>He who seeks will not cease until he finds,
      >>and having found he will be amazed,
      >>and having been amazed he will reign,
      >>and having reigned he will rest.
      >> - The Goodnews according to the Hebrews
      >>==============================================
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      James Trimm
      ==============================================
      He who seeks will not cease until he finds,
      and having found he will be amazed,
      and having been amazed he will reign,
      and having reigned he will rest.
      - The Goodnews according to the Hebrews
      ==============================================
      The Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism:
      PO Box 471; Hurst, TX 76053; USA
      http://www.nazarene.net
      A nonprofit organization supported by freewill offerings
      ==============================================
      E-mail discusion groups: Nazarene Judaism; Messianic Judaism;
      Yahwism; Lost Tribes; Book of Enoch; Semitic Origin of the
      New Testament; Prophecy, Sabbatarian & b-Aramaic.
      Subscribe at: http://www.nazarene.net
      ==============================================
      Essene Forum: Essene website, listserver & links:
      http://www.nazarene.net/essene/essene_forum.htm
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