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Sv: orion Talmon and the Qumran "Library"

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Gorenson is of course correct in his evaluation of the various uses of the
term "library". Nevertheless, if the collection were originally someone's
reference collection which was transported to the caves, it then becomes a
dead archive. Palpably so, as it was never retrieved, and no measures were
taken to ensure the survival of the collection beyond the scroll jars in
Cave 1. 
Ashurbanipal's famous library in Kuyundjik consisted, as was shown long ago
by Parpola, largely of contributions from donors, who contributed mainly
tablets of which they happened to have surplus copies. As a result, the
collection ended up with the damndest assortment of chapter 7s, one-offs,
and whatnot, even though it as a whole is well representative of the
Mesopotamian literary "stream of tradition", as Oppenheim termed it. What
we have to explain in connexion with Qumran is why we find so many copies
of e.g. Deuteronomy or the Psalter, and so few copies of works that are
supposedly central to the interests of the people who have been conjectured
as the original collectors. For example, the individual pesharim are all

best regards,

Fred Cryer

> Fra: Stephen Goranson <goranson@duke.edu>
> Til: orion@mscc.huji.ac.il
> Emne: Re: orion Talmon and the Qumran "Library"
> Dato: 17, august 1998 22.03
> > ----------
> > Fra: 	Stephen Goranson[SMTP:GORANSON@DUKE.EDU]
> > Sendt: 	17. august 1998 22:03:30
> > Til: 	orion@mscc.huji.ac.il
> > Emne: 	Re: orion Talmon and the Qumran "Library"
> > Videresendt automatisk vha. en regel
> > 
> Dear Tyler Williams,
> 	 In response to your question (below), it might first be recalled
> that there is more than one sense of "library."  Two examples:  (from
> "A place set apart to contain books for reading, study, or reference" and
> "...a large collection of books, public or private." There have been, of
> course, many proposals, some of which, e.g., distinguish Cave 4 from
> others. Some uses of "library" in relation to Qumran are recent, e.g., H.
> Stegemann, _ The Library of Qumran..._ (1998). Sometimes writers who
> disagree on much else still use the term "library." S. Talmon in the M.
> Hengel festschrift (which you cite) gave the examples of F. Cross and N.
> Golb. Without endorsing Prof. Talmon's view in this case, I can report
> on pages 324-8 he rejected both the terms "genizah" and "library" when
> of Qumran mss. Talmon recognized that the term "Library of Qumran" "has
> wide acceptance." Talmon noted that a "library" can still be a library
> if not found in its original location. Then he wrote,"It is hard to
> visualize the ancient librarian who set out to assemble in an 'official'
> collection scores of exemplars of a given work, e.g., of the biblical
> of Psalms, much less of writings which give expression to quite
> even mutually contradictory views of religious substance." He then gave
> from literary sources examples of a general paucity of text copies. He
> discussed proportions of types of mss at Qumran and Masada. He concluded,
> "At Qumran, the assemblage is composed in part of manuscripts penned
> and to a larger part of scrolls which had been owned by newcomers who
> hailed from different parts of the country, from various social strata
> possibly had previously been members of diverse religious factions. They
> were brought to Qumran by novices..."
> 	Libraries, however, can be built with donations as well as copying
> and purchase, and also can be formed by discarding unwanted texts. The
> Qumran manuscripts--called library or not--are not as religiously diverse
> as Talmon appears to imply. And the Psalms texts were, after all,
> collected, 'official' or not. Stegemann, of course, locates a library in
> the Khirbeh. Stegemann's book ends with assertions with which some will
> probably disagree: "...The overwhelming importance, at least for the
> history of the Rabbinic tradition in the Mishnah and Tosepta, which until
> now was erroneously conferred upon the Pharisees, actually accrues to the
> Essenes. Not only at the time of Jesus, but well into the Rabbinic age,
> Essenes were the principle representatives of Palestinian Judaism."
> it is possible that the lack of Pharisee texts at Qumran has been
> misinterpreted by both Talmon and Stegemann.
> best wishes,
> Stephen Goranson
> goranson@duke.edu
> >Second, in his essay "The Community of the Renewed Covenant: Between
> >and Christianity" Talmon notes his reticence to use "library" as a
> >term for describing the Qumran scrolls (p. 7 fn. 12). The reference he
> >for his full discussion of this issue is "The Essential 'Community of
> >Renewed Covenant': How should Qumran Studies Proceed?" in Paper of the
> >Library of Congress Qumran Symposium. Now as far as I know, the essay
> >actually appeared in Geschichte-Tradition-Reflection,1 Judentum, eds. H.
> >Cancik, et al. Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1996, though I do
> >have access to this volume.
> >
> >Is anyone familiar with the essay and could give me the reasons why he
> >reticent to use the term "library" when discussing the scrolls.
> >
> >Thanks in advance.
> >
> >-Tyler

> >Tyler F. Williams
> >Assistant Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, NABC/EBS
> >11525 - 23 Avenue, Edmonton, AB, Canada   T6J 4T3
> >Phone: (403) 431-5217/ Toll Free: 1-800-567-4988/ Fax: (403) 436-9416
> >Web Page: http://www.nabcebs.ab.ca/~twilliam