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Re: Are 1000 scribes too many? was Re: DSS Scribes
On Sun, 10 Nov 1996, Asia Lerner wrote:
> 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.
Hardly! Golb compares a military colony where most were presumably
illiterate to a religious community (at least he should acknowledge the
consensus he critiques) where most were presumably literate. And, let's
put to rest the idea that any serious Qumran scholar thinks *all* the
manuscripts were written at Qumran. To give the most obvious examples,
some of the texts were written before there even was a Qumran settlement
(e.g., 4QSam). What is more, if one understands the usual construction
of the Essene hypothesis then one also understands that Qumran was not
the only Essene community in the world where manuscripts might be
produced. Once this is understood, I fail to see how the multiplicity
of scribes is -- by itself -- a compelling argument ...