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Re: "Josephus" inkwells?
>David Crowder wrote:
>> With all this talk of Josephus and his inkwells ...
>> 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
>> off Josephus' pen?
> Surely there is no serious (amateur or professional) scholar who thinks
>that Josephus wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? All this because of a seal found
>name of Joseph? Joseph was a very common name in the 1st century. There
>100,000 Josephs (including Caiaphas, Jesus' young brother, Barnabas,
>Arimathea) in Palestine and perhaps 300,000 ben-Josephs. Is the seal inscribed
>with Mattatyahu ben Yosef, which was Josephus name at the time of the Roman
> Was Josephus about 300 years old when he died? He would have to be to have
>written the corpus of the DSS.
Good points. Even if this Josephus turns out to be THE Josephus (and given
the number of Josephs and bar Josephs, this is not likely--of course,
Josephus himself did say he spent some time with the Essenes) it is an
impossibility that he wrote all of the DSS. During the short time Josephus
spent with the Essenes (at most 3 years according to his work "The Life of
Flavius Josephus", where he notes that he spent the years from age 16 to 19
exploring 3 different Jewish sects), it is unlikely that he wrote anything
for use by the community. Of course, that does not mean that he could not
have studied the scribal arts, just that it is unlikely that he would have
his own ink well or written a major scroll.
> Your point on the Isaiah scroll is well taken, David, but even more pregnant
>is the issue of it's age (125-100 BCE).
This definitly is out of Josephus' time.
> There seems to be a common belief that the DSS were all placed in the
>Judean Desert caves at one time in 68-70 CE. It is much more likely that
>were used as genizehs for over a century...and not necessarily just by Essenes.
I tend to agree that at least some of the caves might have been used as
geniziahs, especially cave 4.
Gretchen A. Shapiro Haas