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Thanks, Greg, for your response. Some comments on yours and those of Fred
C. and Ian H.:
I did not write that all Qumran mss were deposited in 68 CE. Some may have
been done so earlier. Are you suggesting that all the Qumran inkwells
arrived at Qumran just before 68? Copying of mss at Qumran does not
require that all the cave mss were copied at Qumran; just some. One
major purpose of copying is for distribution. For a group spread over
several locations--like the Essenes--sending copied texts away is normal.
Also, the 800+ mss recovered are obviously not the complete original
collection. Surely some mss probably (almost necessarily) came from
elsewhere. We disagree on the relative merits of Prof. Golb's methods.
Best wishes in your on-going research.
To Ian H. (responding with some hesitation, having read ioudaios):
Qumran was not abandoned for 30 years in the first century BCE. Jodi
Magness persuasively argued in Dead sea discoveries 2 (1995) 58-65
that is was abandoned from 9/8 BCE for from one to a few years. You
call Qumran a farm. If, for conversation's sake, we say that is so,
would that exclude the possibility of writing (beyond on farming)?
To Fred C. It has already and repeatedly been shown that the
documents do overlap the time the ruins were inhabited. Can we agree
that Qumran was inhabited for at least most of the first century BCE and
for at least most of the first century Ce till 68 or so? The published
AMS dates known to me are entirely consistent with these dates, assuming
some texts (including earlier ones) were brought to Qumran. The dates
overlap in an unmistakable--one would have thought--manner.
I do not recall using the phrase "quasi-monastic" though I
would not consider it a priori outrageous (whether one defines a
monastery on analogy with Buddhist, Christian, or Philo's two uses
of the term in DVC). What I *have* written lately is that, e.g., Sir
A. Gardiner in the 1930s --i.e. before Qumran discoveries-- in J. of
Egyptian Archaeology called the ancient Egyptian "houses of life"
scriptoria. In other words, one does not need to have a monastery in
order to have a scriptorium.
I think De Vaux's mistakes are sometimes mistakenly interpreted.
IMHO, the main mistakes involve dating. See the Magness article, if you
wish, noted above, and recall his Period Ia datings *sans* pottery.
In short, wishing neither maximalist nor minimalist "correctives"
to masquerade as the most probable history, I conclude that a concentration of
inkwells which apparently is the highest known in the region in the second
temple period indicate that considerable writing happened at Qumran.
Some of that writing went into the caves nearby. For the connection see, eg,
the pottery analysis of Magness, the path analysis of H. Eshel and M.
Broshi, etc. They know the evidence well.
Sincerely, Stephen Goranson UNC-Wilmington
home: 706 Louise Circle J, Durham NC 27705