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Re: Isaiah errors

>   With all this talk of Josephus and his inkwells ... 
>   The great Isaiah scroll is chocked full of spelling and grammatical errors and
> is written in a such a crude style that it is hard to believe it the work of
> sober Jewish scribes. (Much less  Josephus himself).
>   "But no one knows what the grammar or the spelling were really like then since
> we have no examples," is the answer I have heard to questions about these
> obvious problems -- problems which NEVER seem to be mentioned. 
>   But  Josephus, as quoted by the Cross article in "Understanding the Dead Sea
> Scrolls," cited the Hebraica veritas dogma in the first century saying, "For
> although such long ages have now passed, no one has ventured to add, or to
> remove, or to alter a syllable; and it is an instinct with every Jew, from the
> day of his birth, to regard them as decrees of God, to abide by them, and if
> need be, cheefully to die for them."
>   So while it is good to wonder about an unstained inkwell, how do we explain
> the sloppy state of the Isaiah scroll in light of the words that actually rolled
> off Josephus' pen?  
>   David Crowder
>   El Paso

well the same sentiment is found time and time again throughout the
ages to the present-- for instance, kimhi says the same thing but that
didnt stop him from searching manuscripts and determining the better
readings-- even jesus said the same thing and it didnt stop him from
improving the text either-- but in fact jospehus is speaking of the
laws and he tells us in his presentation that he hasnt altered
anything except he has changed the order of presentation.-- in fact he
has altered alot more, i guess one has to know the meaning of
"alter"-- jospehus is refering to the deut injunction not to add or
remove anything of the  laws and there is a substantial literature on
how this term functioned in antiquity. shaye cohen has briefly
addressed the issue in his book but he presents bibliography as well,
if memory serves.