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Re: Vanderkam finds Arabic numbers on Isaiah scroll

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  • 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 1 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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