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Re: orion Cave 7 Fragments

Vernon Chadwick asked about C14 dates for cave 7 fragments, commenting that
O'Callaghan's suggestion that some might be NT (New Testament) fragments
had not been disproven. Several folks (rightly, IMHO) challenged that
comment as misleading, since no reasonable evidence had been adduced to
support the thesis.

At 18:16 97/11/14 -0500, Prof. Chadwick replied:

>Wow... sorry.  I had no idea that this was such a wild assertion!  I agree
>with the fact that the burden of evidence would lie with O'Callaghan et al.
>I personally do not assert that the tiny fragments are in fact NT, but I do
>suggest that this cache of documents is quite distinct and possibly not
>deposited/composed at the same time or by the same parties as the scrolls in
>Caves 1 and 4.  That was the intended thrust of my (rather hastily) composed
>post.  But I would ask why you would consider this suggestion so insane,
>meriting analogy to your green cheese moon.  Is it irresponsible to consider
>that documents dating from possible the late 1st century CE might have been
>deposited in Cave 7?  Please tell me what makes you consider this scholar's
>suggestion so ridiculous.
>Best Regards,
>Vernon Chadwick
>Charlotte, NC

I wonder if the O'Callaghan proposal has not side-tracked what is a
legitimate question: is there any C14 data on the cave 7 fragments? (I
honestly don't know - this is not my field). Similarly, does the
archaeological evidence allow for a later deposit in this cave than in others?

A late 1st century C.E. date for cave 7 would not, of course, prove that
the Greek texts were NT fragments (surely there are dozens of other
possibilities). But, IF such a date were established it would be
interesting for scrolls research, no?

Paul Sodtke
London, Ontario