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Re: orion More DSS oxidization

As a lay person (i.e. professional in a field other than DSS) who subscribed
to this dialog in order to eavesdrop while gathering bibliography, I've
really been amused by this topic, but waiting for this very question.  What
took all of you so long to start demanding that those who have daily access
to the Scrolls join your argument?

I, too, would like to know what is going on.  Silly me, I suspect the
answers may be "some of all of the above" but I've never been closer to the
scrolls than the Israeli Museum's web page.  I'm counting on y'all to keep
me up to date on this fascinating aspect of your study.

Because it does matter.  If the authors (or librarians) of the Scrolls
themselves wrote with color, their minds become a little more open to us all.

Thank you all for continuing my education.

Mary F. Byrkit
Portland, OR

>From: Tom Simms <tsimms@mailserv.nbnet.nb.ca>
>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?
>Tom Simms
>(Thanks, Jim, for unwittingly supplying my venue for a soundoff.)
>>Jim West, ThD
>>Quartz Hill School of Theology