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Greek MSS at Qumran

-> From: HuldrychZ@aol.com
-> To: orion@pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il
-> Date: Sat, 30 Mar 1996 14:41:13 -0500
-> Subject: Archaic Hebrew in a Greek text
-> Friends,
-> I was looking at some papyrus fragments from Qumran (photos of
-> course!) and noticed that what appears to be archaic Hebrew script
-> is used for the tetragrammaton.  This of course occurs in Hebrew
-> texts, such as 1QpHab; but why in a Greek text?  And why were there
-> Greek texts at Qumran anyway?
-> Thanks for your help
It was during the Babylonian exile that the Hebrews developed the Hebrew
script used today. However, they continued to use the former orthography
whenever they wrote the tetragrammaton for emphasis, much as today we
would put important words in italics (or underlining/highlighting
words). And why not in a Greek text? Greek was an international language
of the time, like English is today. Since many Jews spoke Greek, and
only Greek (like those in Alexandria, Egypt) wouldn't this Dead Sea sect
want to disseminate their philosophy to a wider audience of Jews? In the
Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem one can see other documents found in the
area of the Dead Sea which were written in Greek, such as in the famous
purse of Babita in which were found the marriage contract of her
daughter-in-law written in Greek and in Aramaic.

Jonah Wahrman

(My apologies if this was posted twice. I used a comma instead of a
period in the e-mail address line after "mscc" and I got all kinds of
strange messages from various places telling me that my message could
not be forwarded. Imagine, just by lengthening the . to a , all hell
broke loose. I plead tiredness when I did that. Now, one can more easily
understand a scribe, having stayed up all night with a colicky baby,
coming to work the next day, sitting down to copy his assigned portion
of a scroll and....wham, bam. The scene now shifts to the present and
this scroll's text is being studied and compared to other similar texts.
Imagine the discussion now.)