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orion re: experts

At 08:24 AM 5/28/97 -0400, you wrote:

>As one who is no DSS expert but very interested in the topic, I joined this
>list to hear from the experts in the field.  What puzzles me is that we see
>so many (and such lengthy) disquisitions from persons who are not scholars
>in the field, yet we hear almost nothing from the many scholars, proficient in
>the relevant languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) whom I know to be working on

Perhaps because those engaged full time are engaged full time, and cannot
respond to every uninformed post or question.  Or perhaps because they
assume that those who join such a list know something about the field.
After all, it is not too much to ask that a person read the standard works
in a field before presuming to ask questions.

>Is it possible that those who are in a position to give us sound and valuable
>information at first hand from their personal research on the DSS texts
>are "scared off" this list by the second-hand, frequently unsubstantiated
>assertions of a few individuals who, despite their inability to read the
>actual texts, seem persuaded that they know more about it than the scholars do!

I don't think so.  I am not engaged full time in Scrolls scholarship- but
neither am I a dilettante.  But I scarcely think those who are full time
scholars are scared off!  They simply chose not to respond to silly posts.
When a serious question is asked you will notice that such luminaries as
Eugene Ulrich and F. Garcia-Martinez respond with the appropriate infortmation.

>If this is the case, what if anything can Orion do about it?  As a non-expert
>I certainly do not advocate that dilettantes be removed from the list; I do
>think, though, that our task as dilettantes is mainly to ask questions (and
>sometimes to point to likely connections with texts in our own fields of exper-
>tise) rather than to make dogmatic assertions based on either misinformation or
>disinformation as the case may be.

The first task of the dilettante is to read the material so that questions
can be framed in such a way as to receive an answer.

>Judith Romney Wegner
>Connecticut College


Jim West, ThD
Pastor, Petros Baptist Church
Managing Editor, The Journal of Biblical Studies