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Re: Vanderkam finds Arabic numbers on Isaiah scroll

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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