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Re: inkwells and Pliny
Dear Stephen (Goranson),
You seem to be putting a lot of stock in these inkwells.
If, as I'm led to believe, the site of Qumran was, along with other sites
along the Dead Sea in the first century BCE, a farm and not a specifically
religious community, a farm during the time the documents were being written
which was later abandoned for thirty years, it seems unlikely that all those
dss were written down on the farm only to be taken away -- would they have
left them there? -- and returned at a more tranquil time. The inkwells seem
to me to be a red herring. Perhaps some letters were written at the site,
but in all likelihood the dss weren't. You should know by now there are over
a hundred hands involved in the writing, more than is likely at such a site
as Qumran, more probable for Jerusalem.
Imagine: there were thirty-six copies of the Psalms identified, twenty-nine
of Deuteronomy, twenty-one of Isaiah. Would our hypothesized community of
say two hundred need so many copies of each? It seems exaggerated to me.
Again, I think these documents didn't arise at Qumran and had little direct
connection with the inhabitants of the site.
I may be wrong of course, but that's how the evidence falls for me.