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Re: orion Newsday piece
I think I may be the guy referred to below (Para. 6). While I am not in
Oslo (although there IS an Oren family of Norwegian background in this
city), I did say that a number of teenagers with good Hebrew backgrounds
read it that way.
The real question is: to whom does the phrase belong? If to "Isaiah" (i.e.
a pre-exilic Israelite author), consider Deut 32:8 where the variants (see
BHS)make YHWH a son of Elyon. Individuals that have fathers surely have
mothers. In other words, we would have a reference to a pre-henotheistic
Israelite religion in which El and YHWH had not yet become the same god. Of
course, the Isaiah scroll is the oldest copy of Isaiah and thus best
evidence (other things being equal) as to the "original text".
Suppose the alternative--that the reading originated at Qumran. Well, a
major theme of much scholarship has been the links betweeen Qumran and the
later Gnostics (Nag Hammadi & all that). They of course thought of YHWH as
an evil god (a logical conclusion, one supposes, from the destruction of the
Temple)but also equipped him with a mother. Perhaps, the mother came before
the evil in this tradition.
There is, by the way, a certain fitness about this matter not being in the
edition published by Yadin. He was a Zionist of Ashkenazic Jewish descent.
Neither modern Hebrew nor traditional Ashkenazic Hebrew distinguishes alef
from ayin: "from" from "mother of". From his viewpoint, this is an easy
spelling error to make. But it seems clear that this was NOT the case in
2nd Temple and Mishnaic Hebrew so that a scribe, however poorly educated,
who spelled phoenetically would get this right.
At 12:45 AM 12/18/97 -0500, you wrote:
> I've been admonished for posting the Newsday html piece on the list. My
>apologies. Asia Lerner requested it and I saw the return address was the
>one we used to use in posting (pre panda), so I thought it would go to an
>administrative address -- not the list. Didn't mean to impose on any one.
> While I'm here, I will say Mr. Altman and I shall be responding to Dr.
>Goranson and the red ink issue, here and elsewhere. But if I am not
>mistaken, the fragments with red ink shown in color in DJD for the first
>time are not really identified with anything other than PAM numbers that
>refer to the photos themselves. The DJD series and the new book on red ink
>in the scrolls were not published until 1996, which is 49 years and change
>after the first discoveries of the scrolls, Cross' 1956 article
> We relied on some pretty good people for that information, and there will
>more to say. Two questions, though: Was the Egyptian use of cinnabar at
>any time remotely close to the period when the scrolls were supposed to
>have been written? We are told not. And, we understand the red ink in the
>scrolls is not cinnabar. Is that significant?
> As for Mr. West, out here we'd just say que no tiene madre. But I will
>only wonder aloud why, if the scrolls are so indisputably reliable, the
>Jewish Bible publishers are not making the changes that publishers of the
>Christian versions of the Old Testament are?
> The scrolls are, after all, Jewish texts treasured by the Jewish state.
>We have only checked with the top English-language publisher of Orthodox
>and Conservative Jewish religious texts in North America. So I will ask,
>have the Hebrew Bibles published in Israel have been altered on the basis
>of the DSS? A sixth book of Moses, anyone?
> I recall no one really dispensed with the "mother of God" reference we
>heathens stumbled upon at 7:11 in the Isaiah scroll, especially after the
>message from the writer in Oslo who said two 12 year olds had easily read
>it that way. Are we stupid to ask who could possibly have been writing
>about the mother of God in 200 BCE?
> Well, if that's not enough, Mr. Altman and I now have an article being
>published here and there on the Son of God text, 4Q246, quoting one rabbi
>as saying, "I am convinced that a Jew of that time (25 BCE) didn't write
>this. It's not a Jewish way to refer to a messiah, and I don't believe a
>Jewish source would ever use that phrase." The phrase, of course,
>referring to the son of God.
> Having said far too much, I will say one thing more toward Mr. West: I
>learned my Latin as a teenager in a school where our translation
>assignments came not only from Caesar's letters but from the inscriptions
>and letters at the Foro romano, two buses away. Adesso, basta.
> David Crowder
> El Paso