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Re: Are 1000 scribes too many? was Re: DSS Scribes

>With respect to the suggestions by Moshe Schulman and others as to
>the putative "high turnover" of residents in Qumran:
>What we are witnessing here is a classical example of the ad hoc
>embroidery on an hypothesis that has no other function than to "save
>the appearances", i.e., to make room in the hypothesis for data which
>are uncongenial to it. The example used by Thomas Kuhn in his fine
>study of *The Copernican Revolution* is the addition of cycles and
>epicycles to the planetary motions specified by Ptolemaic astronomy,
>after observation showed that the strict Ptolemaic model was unable
>to account for planetary movement in detail. Such an adjustment made
>it possible to continue to adhere to the Ptolemaic scheme, but at the
>cost of making the model more complex than the competing theory of

Fred there is a very big difference between speculations about the population
of scribes in the community and observable phenomenon which contradicts a held
theory. I don't believe that there are any eyewitnesses around who can tell us
for certain what the community was like there. Since that is the case,
everything we discuss is just guesswork. There are various theories, and
problems with them all. I have yet to see a mathematical formula relating
population size to # of scribes, that you or anyone can say that reasonable
questions are 'embroidery'. I would think it reasonable to assume that some of
the scrolls were written outside of that community, but there is no data that
can give a certain answer to that question. Nor do I know of any way of
assuring a correct answer to the question of 'Who wrote the scrolls'?

>Here we have a single didactic "given" which a number of scholars are
>unwilling to abandon, namely the idea that whatever society dwelled
>in the settlement was responsible for the production of the scrolls
>found in the caves. At every turn, new information makes this view
>increasingly problematical--not, I hasten to say, impossible. But at
>the moment it is astonishingly complex, and I urge scholars to ponder
>whether it is worth adhering to, or whether it might not be a better
>idea to rethink the basic model.

There are many possible theories that can be made to deal with the data (and
the interpretations of that data). But truthfully, we shall never know which
is the truth (Unless there is found a scroll of some sort that describes the
community and the daily life of it.)

   |            /\           |                         |
   |       ____/_ \____      |                         |
   |       \  ___\ \  /      |                         |
   |        \/ /  \/ /       |     Moshe Shulman       |
   |        / /\__/_/\       | mshulman@ix.netcom.com  |
   |       /__\ \_____\      |                         |
   |           \  /          |                         |
   |            \/           |                         |