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orion More DSS oxidization
From: Tom Simms <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 21:41:39 AST
On Wed, 29 Apr 1998 13:04:18 -0400, jwest@Highland.Net writes:
>Crowder asks what unique circumstances may have led to just a few fragments
>being oxidized. How do we know only a few have been oxidized over the
>centuries? How many fragments are now available in color plates? How many
>have been examined? What circumstances have attended their storage? How
>have they been handled? These are questions Tom Simms asked but which have
>not been answered.
I've lurked quietly, waiting for those who have custody of the
scrolls and their fragments spoke up. I'll ask again.
There's another question: how certain are you that, given the dates
of the scrolls, scribes rigidly followed halakha. Rabiinic sources
argue that is so but Qumran is not of Rabbinic times. Halakha was
for those serving in the Temple and for those in their ranks while
serving. The people were from one extreme to the other in follow-
ing the standards of Leviticus. Are we sure how long those stan-
dards had been adopted?
>In short, these fragments MAY NOT be the only ones that have suffered
>oxidization. Further, such arguments as posed by Crowder and Goranson may
>turn to bite them- for if they maintain that scribes did indeed use colored
>inks, why are there no other examples? (every question is a two edged sword
>which may return to cut the questioner).
When I saw that question raised, I turned a page in my Atlas of Ancient
Egypt and saw a color photo of a beautiful 19th Dynasty papyrus of The
Book of the Dead prepared for a Lady Anhai (p. 199). The illustration is
done in black, red, white and green. The Rubrics (as their name implies)
and the chapter headings were done in red, both being sidelined in red.
All four colors are bright and unfaded on the buff papyrus.
However, if "points", which only supposedly became the norm hundreds of
years later, are on the DSS scripts, then answers to my questions should
be even more forthcoming. I, for one, once I learned that castor oil was
used to brighten the orthography, can also consider that scholars might do
their own "pointing". For a good many years the texts were considered the
possession of those doing the translations and editing. I would presume
that editors doing their work would "mark up" their "copy" under those
circumsrtances. Why not tell us if that's so?
>I will state it simply. The fragments we have been discussing have suffered
>oxidization or some other natural process. Other fragments may have
>undergone the same process- we simply do not know. They may have been
>destroyed. They may have only been photographed in black and white. They
>may now be lost (as many fragments are!). Those who argue for scribes using
>colored inks must, by virtue of the fact that it is their thesis, give a
>reason why. We wait....
I'll state it even plainer: The scrolls are in the public domain
NOW. No more waiting...tell us and quickly! Were these artifacts
"marked up"? Are any missing?
(Thanks, Jim, for unwittingly supplying my venue for a soundoff.)
>Jim West, ThD
>Quartz Hill School of Theology