[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

orion Re: ORION Variations

Stephen G, your questions from 10-14-97 got lost in cyber-space
and just turned up. Sorry for the delay.


   >Even Qumran copies of torah books are not identical.

Why should we expect them to be? That's modern expectations speaking.
We cannot have a canon (official group of texts) before it is formed.
We can have some of the books that may later appear in a canon, e.g.
Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Psalms.

If the texts were dictated by "memory men and women," these elite
specialists remember in fuller detail the parts that are of import-
ance to their particular group. From the 27 documents at Q, Deut.
was very important, but what parts are important to each group will
vary as will the exact wording.

In annals and chronicles from later periods, there are tremendous
differences in length and detail in the entries. For example: The
entry in Chronicle A (The Parker) for 1066 is one line; the entry
in Chronicle C for 1066 runs two good sized paragraphs. William's
takeover was not very important - yet - to the chronicler of A; it
was of great importance to the chronicler of C. (And, yes, there is
quite a bit of evidence that chronicle entries were dictated to the

(Lest someone claims "later societies," I'll see if I can find back
the name of the person who is working on this subject in Ancient
Greek and Roman histories. She was at Gronigen with me... her name
will be on the program.)

   >If some books gradually became canonical would you
   >predict a transitional time when an author/scribe division would
   >not be clearly adhered to?

I don't see how we could tell.

   >Would you predict a time in which canons
   >of how to scribe the canon were in formation?

Change that to "would" to "could" and define what is meant by
canon. If by canon you mean official status either sacred or
secular at a given time, the answer is Yes. This is a *very*
repetitive pattern throughout the world and throughout recorded

   >If canonicity takes time, would that account
   >for the "lack of evidence" of identical mental and physical
   >authorhood (since the original author(s) of a canonical text would
   >likely be gone by the time it was declared canonical)?
Never thought about it before, but I'd have to say yes, this would be
a primary reason.

   >Are you
   >saying we can determine the type of political authority of a group
   >based on the physical characteristics of its scribed canonical

If by canonical you mean official, of course we can distinguish affili-
ated groups from one another by their writing systems. As of now, we lack
sufficient information from Qumran to fill more than a very few of the

   >You've indicated signs of dictation. But do you still allow
   >that copying by sight and that authoring-and-scribing of
   >"non-Biblical" texts are not excluded and probable at Qumran?

I have never said there were no copied texts. Q11Ps, for example, is
a copy. It's the scribes-as-authors that is extremely unlikely, not
impossible, but... the two acts require different mentalities and
different training.



PS: For Mark Dunn: we have a great deal of evidence from later
periods as to the length of time it takes a pro to write a document.
An unadorned Isaiah or Psalter would require anywhere from 3 weeks
to 6 or more months. (Scriptorium scribes had other duties.)

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