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orion Re: Norman Golb

Dear Asia Lerner and list,
	I accept your correction on the matter of who wrote about three
hands versus more than three hands. But, still, I find your presentation
(or your version of Golb's presentation as well as his own) quite
unpersuasive. All that has been shown is that some mss came from outside
Qumran--but that was already known in the 1950s (even before N. Golb and
Joseph Baumgarten finished their dissertations on Damascus Document), for
one reason, among others, because some manuscripts were already recognized
as older than the Qumran Hasmonean-period settlement.
	The selected example hand matches quoted, after all, include one
example involving one scribe and five manuscripts (7 if one counts Sa and
Sb separately). The examples already given also include two with either two
or three caves involved.
	Your continued defense has not responded to many of the criticisms
of Golb's presentation already written in the several ioudaios posts and to
the bibliography given. And Golb's assertion of no scribal
"implements"--how can you ignore such blatant misrepresentation? In fact,
the inkwells are, to repeat, an unmatched accumulation, unmatched by any
other excavated site of comparable size in the area for centuries. Essenes
preserved books, Josephus said; by now it is clear that Pliny's source on
Essenes indeed meant Herodian Qumran.
	To say what, post facto, you would "expect" of Cave 4 extant mss,
or what proportion of hands would allow you to consider dropping the
patently absurd claim of "impossibility" that any mss were penned at Qumran
is merely straw man argumentation. Perhaps someone someday said all the mss
were written at Qumran. But that is not my view (nor the view of de Vaux,
nor the view of any scholar today I can think of). I accept that de Vaux
was mistaken in some datings; I recently differed with him on whether
zealots might have taken over Qumran briefly in 68. But de Vaux bashing and
conspiracy theories have really stretched credulity. Many such claims are
merely silly. For example, so he said Qumran had a "scriptorium." Surely,
the tables can be discussed. But can we recall that, e.g., Sir A. Gardiner,
already before Qumran discoveries, used the term for more ancient scribal
houses? (Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 24, 1938, 157f.) As for a "fiction
of scholarship," please let us remind ourselves, for example, who was in on
the so-called "Essene hypothesis" conspiracy-- Sukenik and Trever, Yadin
and Brownlee, de Vaux and Allegro, Strugnell, Vermes, Sowmy, Milik,
Dupont-Sommer, Samuel, Wilson, Gaster, and Golb's teacher Albright. If we
could bring then in a room today, would they all even be civil to one
another? Some conspiracy!
	I gave explicit examples; e.g., Golb's publications are wrong on
coins, wrong on Pliny, and on much else. What is especially inappropriate
about this is that Golb insists de Vaux was wrong about much, but in my
experience, despite the advantage of extra data and his extra years of life
to consider such things, I have encountered more misinformation (especially
on the internet and in popular press) that can be traced to Golb than to de
	And we haven't even mentioned all the flaws in the numbers and
presuppositions yet.
	For yet another example: some of the texts are in Greek, some are
in Paleo-Hebrew, some are in cryptic hands, ....
	One could go on listing errors in Golb's writings about Dead Sea
Scrolls--my first post was intentionally brief, selecting merely three
clear problems--but if those already raised aren't acknowledged, what is
the point?

best regards,
Stephen Goranson
fax 919 660 3530