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Re: orion "small sites"; "first Dead Sea Scroll"; etc.

Prof. Goranson's remarks on CD are well made. IMHO, it is still 
inappropriate to think of CD (i.e. MSS A and B) as a  'Dead Sea 
Scroll'/'Qumran' document at all since a 'complete' recension (cf. 
MS A) of this text has not been found at Qumran and the court is 
still very much on the question of the community for which CD was 
intended. To say that the community/ies of CD is/are related to the 
community/ies of the 1/4/5Q Serekh ha-Yahad material is not tantamout 
to saying that CD is a Dead Sea Scroll, though it does raise 
important questions about the status of CD as an 'Essene' document. 
What research is currently being done on the status of CD as a 
Karaite document, or as a document which Karaites would have found 

James Harding
Department of Biblical Studies
University of Sheffield

> Date:          Mon, 23 Feb 1998 09:15:09 -0500 (EST)
> To:            orion@mscc.huji.ac.il
> From:          Stephen Goranson <goranson@duke.edu>
> Subject:       orion "small sites"; "first Dead Sea Scroll"; etc.
> Cc:            goranson@duke.edu
> Reply-to:      orion@mscc.huji.ac.il

> Sometimes small phrases are worth a close look. E.g., Fred Cryer's use of
> "small sites,"  as if Pliny wrote that of Essenes. The plural, as already
> noted, was added recently. As to the "small," a quick check of the Pliny
> text and the Vermes/Goodman translation of it turns up no such indication.
> Rather, they are a "people" [gens] joined by a "throng of newcomers" which
> is "daily re-born in equal number." People are said to "stream in in great
> numbers." This was said to obtain for "thousands of centuries." While this
> may be exagerration  ;-) ,  when describing what text Pliny copied, "small"
> appears inappropriate. So the "small sites" were neither small nor sites,
> according to Pliny.
> 	Another phrase which, though I suppose invented with good and
> understandable intentions, I would question: calling Cairo Damascus the
> "first Dead Sea Scroll." While, of course, CD is greatly important in
> Qumran studies--and the recent conference materials on Orion are of quite
> considerable interest--CD was not the "first" recovered Hebrew text, as it
> was preceded by Ben Sirah; it was not from the "Dead Sea"; and it , being a
> codex, is not a scroll. This reminds me of remarks about the "Holy Roman
> Empire" (by Voltaire) and Harold Bloom's comments somewhere about "Freudian
> literary criticism."
> Best wishes,
>  Stephen Goranson
> goranson@duke.edu