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Re: orion Hirschfeld; E. Tov on scribes; etc.

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E. Tov's work on scribes is rather more nuanced and substantial than the
quotation below might imply, as are other issues--e.g., canons, text
interpretations, Samaritans, Essenes overall compared to the number at
Qumran, "impression," "fancy," and so on--which need not be jumbled
together with what could be seen as rhetorical frippery.
	Tov recently contributed "The Scribes of the Texts Found in the
Judaean Desert," in _The Quest for Context and Meaning: Studies in Biblical
Intertextuality in Honor of James A. Sanders_, ed. C.A. Evans & S. Talmon
(Leiden: Brill, 1997) 131-52. Contrary to efforts to divorce the Qumran
scrolls from the Qumran site and the community inhabitants (there and
elsewhere), Tov concludes about the Qumran community, for example, that
"...undoubtedly some of the texts were copied by that community." (p.143)
	By the way (without having reread lately the articles by K. Clark,
B. Metzger, A. Lemaire, et al.-- so this may have been raised before), is
it possible that the locus 30 table, which, apparently, was reconstructed
with a frame of modern lumber, was reconstructed at an incorrect height?

Stephen Goranson

>But thatīs the interesting part of what I have called the "great elastic
>Essene hypothesis", Jack-- namely the fact that only a fraction of the
>collection are what might be termed *sectarian* texts, even by Emanuel
>Tovīs careful examination of texts bearing evidence of what he terms
>"Qumran Hebrew and scribal praxis", which demonstrates at most ca. 120-130
>"sectarian" texts. So the smallest portion of the ca. 850 texts is used to
>define the main body of material, and those responsible for assembling such
>a heterogeneous body are assumed to have been the authors of the
>"sectarian" materials. And yet there are no signs in the "Biblical" texts
>of deliberate interpolations, such as were performed by the Samaritans in
>smuggling "Garizim" into their version of the Pentateuch in numerous
>passages. So our Qumran "sectarians" turn out by the same token to be
>*fundamentalists" with respect to the wording of the Biblical texts which
>they are supposedly in disagreement with on many issues...I canīt free
>myself from the impression that these "sectarians" only exist for the sake
>of the hypothesis, and people keep redefining them, either as pan-"Essenes"
>(Hartmut Stegemann) or mini-"Essenes" (Joseph Patrich) as their fancy
>strikes them. This is not historical methodology in any form that is
>acceptable today-- though it is not different from the methodologies
>current in Old Testament and ancient historical research  back in the
>best regards,
>Fred Cryer