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Vanderkam finds Arabic numbers on Isaiah scroll

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  • Wieland Willker
    Have a look at: I have put this online, for some days only: http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vanderkam.pdf (copyrighted material, do not forward) The article
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 13, 2004
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      Have a look at:

      I have put this online, for some days only:
      http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vanderkam.pdf
      (copyrighted material, do not forward)

      The article appeared in the "Kansas City Star", Sat, Jun. 12, 2004

      I think, these are just accidental spots, scribbles. Especially the "x"
      does not seem to be associated with the "3". I think it's nothing (just
      my offhand judgment).

      Best wishes
      Wieland
      <><
      ------------------------------------------------
      Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
      Textcritical commentary:
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
    • Jack Kilmon
      ... From: Wieland Willker To: Sent: Monday, June 14, 2004 1:51 AM Subject:
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 14, 2004
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Wieland Willker" <willker@...-bremen.de>
        To: <textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, June 14, 2004 1:51 AM
        Subject: [textualcriticism] Vanderkam finds Arabic numbers on Isaiah scroll


        > Have a look at:
        >
        > I have put this online, for some days only:
        > http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vanderkam.pdf
        > (copyrighted material, do not forward)
        >
        > The article appeared in the "Kansas City Star", Sat, Jun. 12, 2004
        >
        > I think, these are just accidental spots, scribbles. Especially the "x"
        > does not seem to be associated with the "3". I think it's nothing (just
        > my offhand judgment).
        >
        > Best wishes
        > Wieland
        > <><

        I think its all about nothing also. There are lots of marks on the scrolls
        and even if some are recent, there are explanations other than the silly
        medieval thing. The original scroll scholars were NOT very careful about
        maintaining the integrity of the scrolls nor conserving them. The Isaiah
        scroll bounced around for about 6 or 7 years before Yadin bought it.

        Jack
      • James R. Davila
        I ve just replied to some of the claims of the article on my weblog, PaleoJudaica. Go to:
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 14, 2004
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          I've just replied to some of the claims of the article on my weblog,
          PaleoJudaica. Go to:

          http://paleojudaica.blogspot.com/2004_06_13_paleojudaica_archive.html#108720376298688206

          Jim Davila

          >Have a look at:
          >
          >I have put this online, for some days only:
          >http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vanderkam.pdf
          >(copyrighted material, do not forward)
          >
          >The article appeared in the "Kansas City Star", Sat, Jun. 12, 2004
          >
          >I think, these are just accidental spots, scribbles. Especially the "x"
          >does not seem to be associated with the "3". I think it's nothing (just
          >my offhand judgment).
          >
          >Best wishes
          > Wieland
          > <><
          >------------------------------------------------
          >Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
          >mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
          >http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
          >Textcritical commentary:
          >http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >


          --




          Dr. Jim Davila
          Lecturer in Early Jewish Studies
          St. Mary's College
          University of St. Andrews
          St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9JU
          United Kingdom
          Tel.: +44 1334 462834
          Fax.: +44 1334 462852
          jrd4@...
          http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_sd/jrd4.html
          http://paleojudaica.blogspot.com
        • Harold P. Scanlin
          The subject line on this thread is probably quite misleading. A careful reading of the quote from Vanderkam does not say that he agrees with the thesis
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 14, 2004
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            The subject line on this thread is probably quite misleading. A careful reading of the quote from Vanderkam does not say that he agrees with the thesis presented in the Kansas City Star article. I do not have firsthand knowledge of Jim’s views, but unless he wants to lend his support to the thesis it should be made clear that he is not expressing his agreement.

             

            Some of us have spent long hours on the phone with the author(s) only to find that our opinions are clearly misrepresented in their publications. Incidentally, the hypothesis regarding medieval markings has been put forward by them in the popular press for many years now, although the Arabic numerals notion is relatively recent. The academic community has carefully considered these scribal anomalies and has offered plausible evidence for their early occurrence. To my knowledge Altman and Crowder have yet to offer any response to these arguments.

             

            Harold P. Scanlin

            41 Waldheim Park

            Allentown, PA  18103

            voice  610-791-9146

            fax  610-791-0439

            harold.scanlin@...

             

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Jack Kilmon [mailto:jkilmon@...]
            Sent: Monday, June 14, 2004 5:19 AM
            To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Vanderkam finds Arabic numbers on Isaiah scroll

             

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Wieland Willker" <willker@...-bremen.de>
            To: <textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, June 14, 2004 1:51 AM
            Subject: [textualcriticism] Vanderkam finds Arabic numbers on Isaiah scroll


            > Have a look at:
            >
            > I have put this online, for some days only:
            > http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vanderkam.pdf
            > (copyrighted material, do not forward)
            >
            > The article appeared in the "Kansas City Star", Sat, Jun. 12, 2004
            >
            > I think, these are just accidental spots, scribbles.  Especially the "x"
            > does not seem to be associated with the "3". I think it's nothing (just
            > my offhand judgment).
            >
            > Best wishes
            >     Wieland
            >        <><

            I think its all about nothing also.  There are lots of marks on the scrolls
            and even if some are recent, there are explanations other than the silly
            medieval thing.  The original scroll scholars were NOT very careful about
            maintaining the integrity of the scrolls nor conserving them.  The Isaiah
            scroll bounced around for about 6 or 7 years before Yadin bought it.

            Jack



          • Wieland Willker
            ... careful ... The article states: he was startled recently when he noticed what appeared to be the Arabic numerals 3 and 2 written between lines and in
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 14, 2004
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              > > http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vanderkam.pdf
              > The subject line on this thread is probably quite misleading. A
              careful
              > reading of the quote from Vanderkam does not say that he agrees
              > with the thesis presented in the Kansas City Star article.

              The article states:
              "he was startled recently when he noticed what appeared to be the Arabic
              numerals "3" and "2" written between lines and in the margins of the
              documents supposedly written more than 2,000 years ago."When could that
              have been put on there?" the veteran scholar wondered ..."

              If the article is not misrepresenting VanderKam's views, then he
              apparently thinks that there are Arabic numerals. What really struck me
              was that I immediately thought, "no, that's nothing, just scribble or
              blots", but that he, respected scholar VanderKam thinks otherwise.


              Best wishes
              Wieland
              <><
              ------------------------------------------------
              Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
              mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
              http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
              Textcritical commentary:
              http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
            • Wieland Willker
              J. VanderKam replied to me: I of course think that Altman s views are nonsense, and I did not say what I am apparently quoted as saying. I did say to Altman
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 14, 2004
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                J. VanderKam replied to me:

                "I of course think that Altman's
                views are nonsense, and I did not say what I am apparently quoted as
                saying. I did say to Altman that some marks to which he directed my
                attention resemble Arabic numerals but I added that this resemblance
                did not mean they were in fact Arabic numerals and that the only way
                to check would be to look at the manuscript itself, not just at
                photographs. I firmly believe that the Isaiah scroll dates from ca.
                100 BCE."

                Best wishes
                Wieland
                <><
                ------------------------
                Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
                mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
                http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/
                Textcritical commentary:
                http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
              • James Davila
                I ve posted another response from VanderKam, saying essentially the same thing with a little additional information, plus some of my own analysis of what
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 14, 2004
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                  I've posted another response from VanderKam, saying essentially the
                  same thing with a little additional information, plus some of my own
                  analysis of what Altman and Crowder did and how it shows the
                  irresponsibility of the media. All here:

                  http://paleojudaica.blogspot.com/
                  2004_06_13_paleojudaica_archive.html#108722885103448785


                  On Monday, June 14, 2004, at 05:59 pm, Wieland Willker wrote:

                  > J. VanderKam replied to me:
                  >
                  > "I of course think that Altman's
                  > views are nonsense, and I did not say what I am apparently quoted as
                  > saying. I did say to Altman that some marks to which he directed my
                  > attention resemble Arabic numerals but I added that this resemblance
                  > did not mean they were in fact Arabic numerals and that the only way
                  > to check would be to look at the manuscript itself, not just at
                  > photographs. I firmly believe that the Isaiah scroll dates from ca.
                  > 100 BCE."
                  >
                  > Best wishes
                  > Wieland
                  > <><
                  > ------------------------
                  > Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
                  > mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
                  > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/
                  > Textcritical commentary:
                  > http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >



                  Dr. Jim Davila
                  Lecturer in Early Jewish Studies
                  St. Mary's College
                  University of St. Andrews
                  United Kingdom
                  jrd4@...
                  http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/academic/divinity/jrd4.html
                  http://paleojudaica.blogspot.com
                • Bryan Cox
                  Forgive me if this has already been mentioned, but I seem to remember reading this same article or something very similar in the Dallas Morning News a year or
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 14, 2004
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                    Forgive me if this has already been mentioned, but I seem to remember
                    reading this same article or something very similar in the Dallas
                    Morning News a year or so ago.

                    If my link below works, one can find the article I believe I read
                    online at the Dallas Morning News website. Unfortunately, one must
                    register and pay a small fee to read the article. If the link does
                    not work, the information from a search on their website states the
                    following:

                    http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_action=list&p_topdoc=21

                    > Headline: Symbols raise doubts about scrolls' age
                    > Relevance: 24
                    > Writer: NEIL ALTMAN, DAVID CROWDER
                    > Published: May 11, 2002
                    > Page Number: 4G
                    > Word Count: 867
                    > Edition: SECOND
                    > Summary: Scattered through some Dead Sea Scrolls are Western
                    > letters and numbers that are causing some scholars to
                    > rethink the assumption that the scrolls were written
                    > before Christian times.
                    >
                    > "It creates suspicion when you see Western letters and
                    > numbers on manuscripts attributed to a Jewish sect that
                    > existed before the birth of Christ," Peter Pick, former
                    > dean of Arts and Sciences at California's Columbia Pacific
                    > University, said after looking at anomalies such as a....

                    Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/

                    I suppose that I rolled my eyes when I read it, thinking there could
                    be any number of reasonable explanations for the arabic (or seeming
                    arabic) numerals and other signs. However, if this is not just
                    another attempt to discredit ancient artifacts, more scholarly
                    analysis would be intriguing.

                    By the way, Wieland, I am glad to see this website pick up where the
                    TC-List left off. As a hobbyist, I am glad for an interactive place
                    to come, read, share, and ask questions about one of my favorite
                    subjects, textual criticism. Thanks for beginning this list.

                    Bryan Cox
                    Plano, Tx
                    http://dreamwater.org/bccox/index.html

                    --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Wieland Willker"
                    >
                    > The article appeared in the "Kansas City Star", Sat, Jun. 12, 2004
                  • Roger Pearse
                    ... As a complete amateur, may I offer a thought at a tangent? I recognise that it is irritating when urban legends get started in this way. But can we not
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jun 26, 2004
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                      --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Bryan Cox" <b_coxus@y...>
                      wrote:
                      > Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/
                      >
                      > I suppose that I rolled my eyes when I read it, thinking
                      > there could
                      > be any number of reasonable explanations for the arabic (or seeming
                      > arabic) numerals and other signs. However, if this is not just
                      > another attempt to discredit ancient artifacts, more scholarly
                      > analysis would be intriguing.

                      As a complete amateur, may I offer a thought at a tangent? I
                      recognise that it is irritating when urban legends get started in
                      this way. But can we not make something of it? After all,
                      somewhere in all this is the raw human desire to learn, directed at
                      ancient manuscripts. I would like to see the study of ancient and
                      medieval manuscripts have a much higher profile than it does, and be
                      much better funded. They say there is no such thing as bad
                      publicity, after all.

                      Rather than us grumbling about the bad reportage, would someone with
                      lots of letters after his name like to write to this journal?
                      Compliment them on their interest in the topic of the study of the
                      scrolls, express hope that they will run more articles, refer to
                      interest in manuscripts in pop-culture (think of Buffy, Charmed),
                      and suggest that some more stuff would be nice. Mention, in a non-
                      combative way, that in fact the 'numbers' are probably just tricks
                      of the photographic process; but that more eyes looking can only be
                      a good thing.

                      I know we risk a rush of cranks -- but so what? So long as we don't
                      look like a bunch of jerks determined to exclude the public, any
                      publicity would be good. Wouldn't it?

                      All the best,

                      Roger Pearse
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