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Levi; Kaufman; Doudna; new book
1) Michael Stone and Robert Kugler, thanks very much for your excellent
posts! (And I apologize for the sloppiness of mine.) In my view your
exchange shows e-mail/orion at its informed best. Now, if you could
agree on yod or dalet (xsyh or xsdh) , all the better. Prof. Stone, if it
is not impertinent of me to ask, could you, some time at your convenience,
check the actual fragment in order to see if Rob's description of the
"crease in the leather" made a dalet seem a yod in the photos?
You two (not to mention Jonas) obviously know Aramaic much, much, much
better than I. It may be that I'm more familiar with the history of
scholarship on the etymology of Essenes. J. Scaliger, E. Schurer, F. Cross--
great scholars all--and many others, in my view are wrong and mislead
historians with their proposal for etymology of Essenes. (Scaliger changed
his mind later.) I hope this one--possible--appearance of the root in
Western Aramaic does not help perpetuate this four-century old error.
(I leave aside my muddled question on your translations untill I have
all the texts spread out before me.) Anain, thanks to you both.
2) David Kaufman, since you asked, it was in your 5 Oct post that you wrote
"There is no possible way of knowing this." ("this" = my "Some of the
writing went into the caves nearby.") I feel we may, for the time being,
have reached diminishing returns on our exchange on "Isaiahites." I see
no evidence for two (or three) etymologies for Essene (or Ossene or Sampsaean
or "Nazarene" or various town-name gentilics.) On a more positive note, I
would really like to know your views on the new Scholars Press book by G.
Bohak, mentioned by Prof. Kraft. It's on Joseph and Aseneth and has a big
bibliography on Egypt temple, etc. (It does not include the particular
work by P. Riessler--which, embarassingly, I misspelled before, noting its
unlikely Akkadian etymological proposal.) Also, have you seen the interesting
essay by Peter Richardson in a festschrift (Sheffield, I think) on
archaeology and Therapeutae? Thanks.
3) Greg Doudna. Thanks again. Oh well, close, but no cigar. I appreciate
much of your information. But, negotion-wise, I still find you clinging
to Golb's refusal to see inkwells as scribal evidence and Golb's fixation
on jerusalem as the "obvious" source. Also, besides E. Eshel's new ostracon,
cf. the several ostraca mostly unpublished (now assigned to E. Puech)
including one with many lines (illegible in the Brill microfiche photos,
mostly). I already noted the fire and water at Qumran and lack of
casemate walls as weakening the expectation of finding reed pens or
writing surface in Qumran ruins. I think Jodi Magness did good work on
the pottery link. I think H. Eshel and M. Broshi did good work on the paths
links., etc. Tov's scribal schol evidence is significant, as you say, but
it is not the "only" evidence. Why do some folks look at one type of
evidence (whether coins, AMS, internal text references, etc.) only?
Good day, sir.
4) The new dead Sea Scrolls book by M. Wise, M. Abegg and E. Cook is
indeed out. Pages 26-34 = "A New Proposal for Scroll Origins." I have not
had time to read the whole book yet, but this section seems to be (on
first reading) to include some questionable assertions, as well, of course, as
much intelligent analysis, which one might have come to expect from them.
The oppose the "standard model" (in a former incarnation known as the
"consensus view." This rhetoric is not ideal, in my view. E.g., I accept
as Essene some Qumran texts, but I do not accept Jonathan I as wicked
priest, so I fit neither in the "standard" nor their "new model."
The discussion of sadducees and "the umbrella term 'Essenes'" is not
reliable, in my view. (p. 33). They present 3QCopper as a list of
treasures "from Herod's Temple," which I doubt. Discussions of whether
Essenes are marginal/mainstream/sectarian etc. (p. 28) would do well to note various and changing perspectives, self-definitions, and the evolution of the
terms minut and hairesis. P. 24 note: does the yahad ostracon mention a
"horse " (as they report) or a "house"? (An honest question; I don't know.
It would likely be premature to record other early reactions. I do
assume the book will repay careful study and I'm happy to have a copy to
Stephen Goranson UNC-Wilmington