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War Scroll

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 12:57:20 -0500
From: RGmyrken@aol.com
To: msorion@olive.mscc.huji.ac.il
Subject: Re: War Scroll/Gmirkin

Let's see if the discussion group is back on line!

>  Re Grmikin (sic) on 1QM. I'm not sure that dating the weaponry etc dates
>  Scroll other than in terms of a terminus a quo. I think some manoeuvres
>  clearly reflect guerilla warfare and Maccabean traditions, but I wouldn't
>  on that ground date it to the 2nd century.
>  Philip R Davies
>  Department of Biblical Studies
>  University of Sheffield
My article, "Roman Weaponry and the War Scroll Reconsidered" is primarily
concerned with dating the Battle Serekh series at 1QM 2-9.  All evidence is
consistent with this material reflecting a second century BCE Roman military
manual, probably earlier than later in that century.  Technically speaking,
this only establishes a terminus a quo for 1QM, as you say.  However, given
that 1QM 2-9  appears to be later than the rest of the document (other than
the introduction), this also effectively establishes a terminus ad quem,
unless one wanted to take the position that someone in the 1st century BCE/CE
wrote 1QM utilizing a Roman manual dated by a hundred or more years.
 Josephus describes the Jewish army of 66-70 CE as organized along the lines
of the contemporary Imperial cohort legions, not along the lines of earlier
Republican maniple legions we see in 1QM.  So I think at this point the
burden of evidence lies on those who would argue for a later date for the
composition of 1QM 2-9.  Indeed, 1QM 1 also appears to reflect 1st century
BCE political realities, and I think we are agreed this introduction was the
last addition to the book.

I realize your book on 1QM dates certain sections of 1QM 10-19 later than
2-9.  Other than yourself, has anyone else adopted this position?  Given the
extremely primitive tactics seen in the later columns, which appear to
reflect the early Maccabean army (priot to 164 BCE), I personally can't see
them post-dating columns 2-9.

Also, you envisioned an extended redactional process in which 1QM was
piecemealed together in stages from the time of the Maccabean Wars down to
the first century CE, when you suggested (following Milik) that the War
Scroll took final shape in the turbulent decades leading up to the Jewish
War.  This position no longer seems tenable in light of the paleography of
4QM3 (pre-Herodian, ca. 100-50 BCE) or indeed that of 1QM itself (early
Herodian, ca. 50-1 BCE).  Have you modified your views on the textual
evolution of 1QM since your 1977 book?

Russell Gmirkin