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Re: Bisectual Qumram

>Colleagues, wouldn't a simple explanation of the many hands simply be that
>over the course of ca. 200 years of existence of the Qumran community
>(waxing and waning through those years), a considerable number of
>individuals would have contributed to the community's scribal activities?
Dear Keith,

I personally wouldn't think so. You can't imagine 200 years of continuous
occupation of the site by the same people: it was abandoned for over thirty
years and not reconstructed immediately after some natural catastrophe. The
earthquake theory for the abandonment of the site circa 40 BCE, there would
be no reason to go away and return forty years later to rebuild: why not
rebuild immediately? So there is a lack of continuity. Assuming it was
relatives of the same bunch that came back, can you think of a scenario that
would explain the fact that all those documents, dated prior to the
abandonment, were found with no evidence of later additions -- possibly
other than the generally anomolous Copper Scroll?

The fact that well over a hundred scribal hands were involved in the writing
of the ds corpus indicates that many scribes only wrote one scroll. Given
the theory of a mini-scribal-school at Qumran, I find it hard to fathom the
strange activities of these scribes, for usually a scribe would copy many
texts in his lifetime.

Ian Hutchesson