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orion Re: Chinese, 2nd Temple & more
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Dr. Goranson wrote earlier ... I must have missed the original post but
picked up some of the questions on a subsuquent quoting of it:
>>To David Crowder, I would ask whether he would explain why the proposed
>>characters for "god" appear next to texts not about God. Further, I would
>>ask if he recognizes now that numerous assertions made in the articles by
>>N. Altman in The Lutheran and in The Jewish Times were mistaken.
I hate to bail out on this, but I'm going to. Over the past five years,
I've gone back to the Xs and other markings in Isaiah and Order of the
Community, but to tell you the truth I haven't listed the locations along
with the contents of the text in the viciinity. Frankly it's easy enough to
do. The marks are there to see. I know there are some beside passages that
are clearly messianic, some by passages that don't seem to be and others
that some scholars have said aren't messianic at all when they have been
recognized as being so for, well, centuries. My partner in crime, Neil
Altman, could bend your ear for a week on this, but he's wiser than I and
stays away from computers, the Net and time-consuming (though interesting
and enlightening) lists such as this. In light of what is now known about
some of the marks, the fact that more than 10 of the marks have been
declared to be Chinese, probably Chinese or possibly Chinese, I think there
will be plenty of interest in sorting it out now. Maybe.
We've spoken to a number of people who have studied some of the most
striking symbols and concluded that the symbols and the text appear to have
been written at the same time and perhaps even by the same hand.
Richard Weis commented on this, though agreeing only partially from what
he saw, saying:
> There is a limit to just how far one can go in making statements from
>the published copies of Trever's color photos since the screening
>involved in the printing process ultimately causes the image to break
>down under higher magnifications. However, I would say that the ink
>of the marginal symbols is the same as that of the text for both
>1QIsa-a and 1QS, as is the pen width. As to hand, one cannot say
>directly since there are no common characters among text and
>marginalia from which one may form a judgment.
So the marginalia are not necessarily later, as in a different time or
It seems that would certainly raise some fascinating questions about the
authors, especially given the clumsy (non-native) appearance of the symbols
and the poor (perhaps, non-native?) quality of the Hebrew script, spelling,
grammar and the strange vocabulary itself. So many words in Isaiah, I
understand, are not Hebrew or Aramaic and attempts to translate them have
been very successful. It's all documented in a multi-volume study, the name
of which and the author I would not even attempt to a cite at this hour.
At times, I can't even spell Ahaz, but I am sure many here are familiar
with the set and the study.
I know that everytime these kinds of questions have come up (for years
and years), the responses are usually 1) C14, 2) Herodian script and 3)
Second Temple Judiasm ... end of argument.
But the reliability of Carbon 14 tests on these scrolls is hotly debated
And I understand there are other styles of writing, including a far more
practical cursive, from the Second Temple era that do NOT match the boxy
DSS script (I am in deep water here).
Finally, the theology, customs and rules expressed in the Temple Scroll
and Order of the Community are far from monolithic. Don't the Talmud and
Josephus both talk about the stringency of Jewish belief and practice
during this period? But the Judaism described in different texts of the DSS
body are all over the map. So where are the consistent strains that confine
these documents to the Second Temple period?
As for the errors attributed to Mr. Altman's articles in Lutheran and
Jewish Times, I am certain he would debate with you but I am not in a
position to do so.