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orion AMS; oral torah; alterum
1) The proposal that the scrolls were deposited before 63 BCE has
reappeared on the list. I'm no AMS expert, but on reading several
articles in Radiocarbon and 'Atiqot, the proposal appears not possible.
Of 19 Qumran texts tested, 5 have 2-sigma (95%) ranges which are
entirely after 63 BCE and an additional 5 (plus a patch from 4Q22) have
ranges which are partly after 63 BCE. Using a handy chart which Greg
Doudna distributed at SBL Nov. 1995, if one draws a line at 63 BCE,
almost half of the date ranges appear after, later than 63 BCE. I'm no
statistical expert, but that's not insignificant.
2) "Oral torah" as explained by Martin Jaffee and by standard reference
books, e.g., "Oral tradition (Jewish)" in Anchor Bible Dictionary, has a
different meaning than the one used by Y. Ben-David on orion. For
earlier times, Josephus describes Sadducee views of Pharisee traditions.
(Karaites, similarly, reject oral torah.) The modern invention of
pseudo-Sadducees seems not to have been helpful.
3) Finally, correcting myself :-) I should have noted that
"alterum" is usually taken to imply that Ein Gedi and another place were
destroyed. If so, it's likely Jericho, if one accepts the proposal of an
error by a copyist [spelled right this time]. Or Jerusalem. Or another
place, specific or generic. If it is Jericho, which one is it?
"Biblical" Jericho (Tel es-Sultan) or Roman Jericho (Tulul Abu
el-'Alayiq)? A quick check of a few translations did include one that
supported my previous description. Philemon Holland (1601): "Now, they
say, it [i.e., Ein Gedi, singular] serveth for a place only to inter the
Submitted for consideration, Stephen Goranson