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Re: One Thousand Scribes

Greg Doudna wrote:
> A final comment on the implications of the large number of
> scribes represented in the Qumran texts: let us get OUT of
> our heads this notion of a community _writing its own texts_,
> whether at Qumran or anywhere else.  That is not what the
> material evidence of these many scribes and so few duplicate
> works indicates!  What is in evidence is the remains of a
> collection, a library, in which texts were
> purchased or obtained from other sources.  Someone collected
> copies of many things.  The contents of this collection may
> well yield much information about the interests of the owner(s)
> of this library.  But the picture I see is a collection over
> a period of time from many sources, and then a one-time
> stash of this library in the caves at Qumran as a hiding.
> There is no reason at all to locate this library at Qumran
> _prior_ to the deposition of the texts in the caves.  This is
> one of those logical leaps that simply does not logically
> follow.
> One of the Qumran texts in the caves explicitly tells of a
> hiding of resources from Jerusalem and gives a first-person
> reference which may help identify who was behind the whole thing.
> I refer to 3Q15 3.9 and the hiding of "my garments", which
> appears to point to a high priest from Jerusalem.
> Greg Doudna
> gd@teol.ku.dk

But is this not exactly what Norman Golb proposes in his "Who wrote the
Dead Sea Scrolls"?

There seems to me to be nothing new in the proposal of a stash of
documents at one time, with the possible exception that Greg has not
mentioned a reason why such documents would have been hidden away. Golb,
by consequence, proposes that the reason stems from the Roman siege of
Jerusalem during the war. One other thing needs to be pointed out,
however. Mention has been made of a High Priest from Jerusalem, perhaps
responsible for the hiding away of the documents (viewed cryptically as
"my garments" in 3Q15). Does this not lend credibility to the notion
that the scrolls originated in the Temple Library?

I would agree however that there is a danger in viewing the presence of
the ruins at Qumran as a necessary part of the "Qumran equation."

Marcus Wood
Department of Theology
University of Durham