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orion hermetically sealed caves
[From James Harding, University of Sheffield]
Fred Cryer's point that we should not imagine that the Qumran caves
were left untouched for the past 1900 years is true enough-but on the
other hand,do we have concrete evidence that the 11 text caves were
in fact visited between the fall of Qumran and the arrival of the Bedouin in
1947? How reliable is the letter of Timotheus I? Which caves are
in question there-the 11 text caves or others of which we are unaware?
Whilst we should not fall into the trap of imagining the text caves
were "hermetically sealed", we have to recognise that we can only
work with the evidence we have and the texts that remain.