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Are 1000 scribes too many? was Re: DSS Scribes

On Thu, 31 Oct 1996, Moshe Shulman wrote:

> I have a problem understanding the problem. Since these scrolls were written
> over a period of time, I would expect that there would be many different
> handwrittings. 

Golb actually gives a specific example of what would be considered a
reasonable number of scribes. He refers to what I understand to be a
research by his student of a find of manuscripts in the island of
Elephantine, upper Egypt, dated to the 5th century, which presumably
makes it a comparable environment. 

The number of inhabitants of this community is given as "perhaps fifty
times the estimated number of "sectarians" who have been claimed to live
at Khirbet Qumran (inner quotations in Golb's text). Nevertheless, they
relied upon only a dozen or so scribes. And this total served over a
period of three or four generations." [pages 97-8 in the '95 ed. of "Who
wrote..."] Its hard to do a simple mathematical projection, but if we
ignore the difference in population and simply multiply the "dozen or so
in three generations" by 4 (giving a period of 12 generations, = 300
years) this gives us 48 scribes, a number smaller by far than that which
can be deduced from the different handwritings of DSS.

	Regards,	Asia