[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: orion-list peacemakers, etc.

David Suter wrote:

<< ----Original Message----- 
 From: RLWinnetka@aol.com 
 To: orion@mscc.huji.ac.il 
 Sent: 12/23/99 9:02 PM 
 Subject: Re: orion-list peacemakers, etc. 
 Frankly, I would assume that most of the hoards recovered were private 
property and not religious property; I have not determined what portion of 
the total monetary stock would have been held by religious bodies (the 
Temple, Essenes, Christians, etc.).  I would be interested in any suggestions 
on this point. 
 My suggestion is that the discussion of the copper scroll and the hoard of
 coins found at Qumran needs to get beyond speculation and take account of
 work on the economy and the use of money in first century Judea.  A possible
 starting point would be Hanson and Oakman's Palestine in the Time of Jesus,
 which started some of my students to thinking in a course I was teaching on
 the Scrolls last spring.  A discussion of the use of money in the first
 century should limit some of the choices that are getting batted around
 here.  The temple treasury seems to have served both to support the
 religious establishment and as a bank for more commercial purposes (1 or 2
 Maccabees -- I forget which off of the top of my head -- notes that a threat
 to the temple treasury would deprive the Tobiads of their property).  It
 strikes me that, whatever one might conclude about the collection of the
 scrolls as a whole, the treasure implied by the Copper Scroll, if real,
 could only be associated with the temple.  The hoard found at Qumran
 likewise strikes me as unusual -- a representation of wealth of some sort
 rather than ready cash for commercial transactions -- but then I'm violating
 my own complain about speculation.
 David Suter 
 Saint Martin's College>>

Dear David,

Thank you for these references.  I agree, we need to understand what the 
resources of the Temple were before we can judge whether the Copper Scroll 
treasure is likely to be real or not.  And you are absolutely right about 
understanding the use of money in Second Temple times; I don't think that it 
has been appreciated by all DSS scholars that these treasures of silver are 
in reality hoards of coins, primarily shekels of Tyre.  This is why a study 
of recovered hoards of Tyrian shekels is so useful in judging the nature of 
the Copper Scroll.

The hoard at Qumran is not particularly unusual, except for its size--it took 
three containers to hold all of it, and it is the third or so largest hoard 
of Tyrian shekels ever recovered.  Many similar hoards have been found, 
mostly by plowing or irregular excavation, so unfortunately the details are 
hazy in most cases.

This subject deserves more study than I have been able to give it up to now, 
and I think that I need to prepare an exhaustive analysis, as there is only 
so much that can be presented in these brief posts.  I'll consult the sources 
you mentioned when I do.  Thank you!

Best wishes,
Robert D. Leonard Jr.
For private reply, e-mail to RLWinnetka@aol.com
To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to majordomo@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il with
the message: "unsubscribe Orion." For more information on the Orion Center
or for Orion archives, visit our web site http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il.