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FW: Old Caves and Young Caves: Two Qumran Collections?

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  • Wieland Willker
    I m forwarding the post below, originally sent to the PAPY list. It adds a new facet to the mystery of the Qumran scrolls, if the proposed distinction proves
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 6, 2005
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      I'm forwarding the post below, originally sent to the PAPY list. It adds a
      new facet to the mystery of the Qumran scrolls, if the proposed distinction
      proves true.

      Best wishes
      Wieland
      <><




      -----Original Message-----
      From: The papyrological bulletin 'PAPY@...'
      [mailto:PAPY@...] On Behalf Of Daniel Stoekl Ben Ezra
      Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 3:51 PM
      To: PAPY@...
      Subject: [PAPY] Old Caves and Young Caves: Two Qumran Collections?


      Dear colleagues
      I hope to have found a proof that the Qumran scrolls cannot belong to one
      and the same collection (see the abstract below) and started to *speculate*
      about an explanation for this "fact."

      While the article has been accepted for publication by Dead Sea Discoveries,
      the print version will still take some time to get published in print. I
      would nevertheless like to share the discovery with other interested
      scholars in the field, and I am most grateful to the editors for the
      permission to prepublish a short version online, in the hope to stimulate,
      already now, further attempts to embed this new problem and its possible
      ramifications in the discussion. Hopefully, the problems raised in the paper
      (e.g. reliability of paleographical dating) are general enough to be of
      interest also for the subscribers of the PAPY-list (I have already launched
      discussions on G-Megillot, Ioudaios and ANE).

      Please excuse therefore my boldness to invite you to take a look on an
      abbreviated version currently located on my (improvised) website
      (http://www.geocities.com/shunrata). It is also available at the Nordic
      Qumran Network website (http://www.nnqs.org/symposiums.html#dsbe) to whose
      organizers I am most grateful.

      Sincerely
      Daniel Stoekl Ben Ezra

      ABSTRACT: Old Caves and Young Caves: Two Qumran Collections?

      An examination of the average age of the scrolls of each of the Qumran caves
      shows a huge gap between the "old" caves 1 and 4 (average age between 37 and
      44 BCE) and the "young" caves 2, 3, 5, 6 and 11 (average age between 5 and
      25 CE). A statistical analysis proves that the manuscripts from caves 1 and
      4 cannot come from the same collection as those found in caves 2,3,5,6 and
      11 (p<0.0001 for a Kruskal-Wallis test, similar numbers for a series of
      T-Tests), at least not as random samples. The scenario that all or most
      caves served as emergency hiding places for the Qumran collection around 68
      CE has therefore to be discarded or fundamentally modified.
      Devorah Dimant has shown that the caves are intimately connected by
      genre and "Sectarianism." Most probably, therefore, the "old" caves 1 and 4
      represent the manuscript collection of the same group as the "young" caves
      2,3,5,6,11 but at an earlier point in history. Assuming Qumran was destroyed
      by fire around 4 BCE, caused most probably by an attack (Jody Magness), I
      try to address the question how manuscripts older than that fire survived.
      I therefore suggest the following scenario: cave 4 was an emergency
      hiding / library / depository around 4 BCE, and the mss from cave 1 were
      hidden also at that time. The young caves 2,3,5,6,11 represent the Qumran
      library at the second attack and fire around 68 BCE. Cave 4 either served as
      "stacks" during period II or was a kind of Geniza, therefore we find some
      but not many CE mss in cave 4. If the old manuscripts from cave 4 were
      already mutilated around 4 BCE, this could explain why they remained in that
      cave during period II.


      Daniel Stoekl Ben Ezra, Ph.D.
      Mandel Scholar
      Scholion - Interdisciplinary Research Center in Jewish Studies Rabin
      Building 1112 Hebrew University, Mount Scopus 91905 Jerusalem ISRAEL

      +972-2-58.80081

      website: http://www.geocities.com/shunrata
    • Jeffrey B. Gibson
      ... FWIW, the poster s thesis has already been examined on the ANE List. Jeffrey -- Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon) 1500 W. Pratt Blvd. Chicago, Illinois
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 6, 2005
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        Wieland Willker wrote:

         I'm forwarding the post below, originally sent to the PAPY list. It adds a
        new facet to the mystery of the Qumran scrolls, if the proposed distinction
        proves true.
        FWIW, the poster's thesis has already been examined on the ANE List.

        Jeffrey

        --
        Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
        1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
        Chicago, Illinois
        e-mail jgibson000@...
         

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