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Re: Calendar, MMT

     The 'earlier' or 'later' quandry began with the eminent Solomon 
Zeitlin and his "The Dead Sea Scrolls and Modern Scholarship". It may 
never end if someone, somewhere, somehow really and finally dates the
scrolls themselves. Whatever the latest and greatest 'carbon dating' 
will suffice, presuming it does not 'eat' the scrolls in the process.
     Until that time the quibbling will continue. It will continue not
because of lack of scholarship, nor lack of purpose nor desire, but 
because, like Dr Zeitlin, we have only our past, and the work of 
others to use as a basis of our decision. Dr Zeitlin was eminent, but
dead wrong.
     Once the scrolls are really 'dated', all we will be able to say is
that the earliest version of so-and-so scroll is such-and-such BCE.
OK, at least this is something to work with. But, surprises may come
if, say, (and I'm NOT), that the earliest MMT is 800BCE?? What does this
do for our theories? What do we do next? We'll never know, until someone
takes the first step.
     I may not live that long, but I'd like to be there.
Dick Ferman

On Mon, 2 Dec 1996, philip davies wrote:

> Please, no more assertions about one Q text being 'earlier' or 'later' than
> another. We can date mss, and we can date bits of texts. But many Q
> compositions exist in multiple versions and are also composite. CD has 2
> lengthy mss and several fragments; MMT is a dubiously reconstructed text
> (say even its editors!) 'Earlier' and 'later' are not sensible words to
> use.
> Philip R Davies
> Department of Biblical Studies
> University of Sheffield