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Re: orion Several

Dear Mark Dunn,
Yes, C14 tests measure the age of the leather or papyrus. And some old
surfaces could have been used. But  a large, old stockpile is not likely,
because it is not economical. Having to stipulate such an unknown deus ex
machina hardly makes the one-generation proposal more plausible.  And the
later dates of surfaces are not explained away.
	You appear to dismiss rather lightly the continuity of the
archaeology, the hands, the ancient historians, the nature of the texts
themselves (including "sectarian" characteristics [e.g., opposing temple
administration] and variant Biblical mss), and the long history of
development of several texts (as seen, e.g.,  in Serek ha-yahad copies and
in the growth of the psalter [which Peter Flint's new book addresses]).
	On the relative value of the mss to some ancients--texts which
include prophecy applied dramatically to their own time--you appear to
argue against yourself. You compare the mss to old stuff ignored in an
attic, yet also as the product, the source of their livelihood (though
selling secret Essene teachings seems problematic, and Sadducees and
Pharisees would perhaps be a difficult clientele). Are they practice
exercises cast off, or, as you propose elsewhere, items so precious that,
when faced with a "calamity" great effort supposedly went into transporting
and hiding them?
	You wrote "Who said Herod wanted to obtain these books?" Fair enough.
	I would ask in return: Why resist the probability that these mss
were produced (and accumulated) over a long time to a large extent by
Essenes living at various places including Qumran, as much interwoven or
confluent evidence indicates? From whence comes this great persistant
desire to have the mss shipped to Qumran at some instant in time, rather
than allowing that they accumulated there rather more gradually?
Stephen Goranson      goranson@duke.edu