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orion ORION: Variations

> There are, for example, cases of variable orthography
> within a single scroll. [Davies]

It would be far more interesting if there were _no_ orthographic
variants in a scroll.

The texts record speech, pronunciation. Scribes copying texts
write what they see; scribes taking dictation write what they
hear. There are differences in pronunciation from person to
person and from dialect to dialect, so they correctly wrote
what they heard.

>I asked about the definition of scribes, because I wondered
>if it included authors........I take it that ancient authors
>were very often scribes; are authors allowed to depart from
>the rules? [Davies]

We have no evidence that authors wrote their own texts. What
evidence we do have indicates precisely the opposite: that
authors dictated their works to scribes... though there are
exceptions.  Jerome, exceptionally, wrote his own works;
however, Jerome *was* a secretary, a trained scribe.

We must be very careful not to view the orthography among
the Qumran texts as unique, peculiar, or unexpected. It is
merely another example in a long and enduring tradition.


Dr. R. I. S. Altman                                  RISA@CONCENTRIC.NET      
Voice/FAX: 602-834-6640                                   XNK@DELPHI.COM