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RE: Vanderkam finds Arabic numbers on Isaiah scroll

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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