DSS personalities & historical persons

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
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John T
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Re: DSS personalities & historical persons

Post by John T » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:43 pm

DCHindley wrote:
What I would like to see from this is a little idea tossing, and an examination of the problem of the DSS C-14 analysis, and what the results do and do not tell us about the dates of their initial composition.

DCH
I would like that very much. :D

Here are a couple of ideas/problems I can't figure out.

1. The Great Isaiah Scroll 1QIsa has been C14 tested three times with the following different results:

Libby - 200 BCE-1CE
Tucson - 230-53 BCE
Zurich - 230-48 BCE

The range is much too wide for my comfort to accept C14 testing as the definitive benchmark for dating the DSS. I would like to once again explore the problems/reliability with C-14 testing compared to paleography estimates.

2. Geza Vermes writes in The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English: "Radiocarbon tests were first applied to the cloth of wrapping of one of the scrolls as early as 1951. The date suggested was 33 CE, but one had to reckon with a 10 per cent margin of error each way."...pg 13.

However, I have searched for but I can't find exactly which scroll was wrapped in the lien that Dr. Libby tested in 1951. If memory serves me right (probably not as usual), the scroll was 1QpHab (Habakkuk Pesher) which has conflicting dates of 160-148 BCE or 111 BCE - 2 CE.

Is there any interest in pursing this matter or is this thread as dead as the Zealot theory of Roth and Driver?

V/R

John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

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DCHindley
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Re: DSS personalities & historical persons

Post by DCHindley » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:38 pm

John T wrote:Here are a couple of ideas/problems I can't figure out.

1. The Great Isaiah Scroll 1QIsa has been C14 tested three times with the following different results:

Libby - 200 BCE-1CE
Tucson - 230-53 BCE
Zurich - 230-48 BCE

The range is much too wide for my comfort to accept C14 testing as the definitive benchmark for dating the DSS. I would like to once again explore the problems/reliability with C-14 testing compared to paleography estimates.

2. Geza Vermes writes in The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English: "Radiocarbon tests were first applied to the cloth of wrapping of one of the scrolls as early as 1951. The date suggested was 33 CE, but one had to reckon with a 10 per cent margin of error each way."...pg 13.

However, I have searched for but I can't find exactly which scroll was wrapped in the lien that Dr. Libby tested in 1951. If memory serves me right (probably not as usual), the scroll was 1QpHab (Habakkuk Pesher) which has conflicting dates of 160-148 BCE or 111 BCE - 2 CE.

Is there any interest in pursing this matter or is this thread as dead as the Zealot theory of Roth and Driver?
Guess it depends upon what you hope to get out of it. My biggest beef is the way that DSS dating has been manipulated by the factions involved. There has to be about a dozen (not an exact count) different parties all trying to either promote one agenda or refute others.

As for the linen, IIRC, it was found by itself and was assumed to have wrapped scrolls but no one really knows for sure. 14C dating was in its infancy then, so I suppose it was done as a test case. It was a start.

The dating of scripts to the decade when it comes to the thousands of mss produced in the middle ages, any precisely dated by colophons, is quite different than doing the same with undated mss. Often, it seems, the scripts of inscriptions is treated as equivalent to those of mss, and no discrimination is made between formal scripts (for "presentation" documents as opposed to informal (wills, deeds, personal correspondence or even tuff copied for personal reading).

DCH

John2
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Re: DSS personalities & historical persons

Post by John2 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:04 pm

DC wrote:
My biggest beef is the way that DSS dating has been manipulated by the factions involved. There has to be about a dozen (not an exact count) different parties all trying to either promote one agenda or refute others.
Given this state of affairs, my attitude has been to go by what the DSS say and apply it to anywhere between c. 150 BCE to as late as 116 CE in the case of 4Q521 (maybe it was written during the Kitos Revolt, and maybe it's about or inspired Lukuas/Andreas; doesn't seem likely, but I wouldn't necessarily call it out of the question if someone were to make that argument).

So I've always been flexible on the DSS dating issue. If someone has an idea based on what the DSS say I'll take it into consideration. I'm not necessarily stuck on the idea that James was the Righteous Teacher, for example, it just seems like a great option to me. And I enjoyed reading Roth's articles (thanks again for bringing him to my attention) and it was FUN to consider his Menachem = the Righteous Teacher idea. I don't mind that it's considered to be a "clunker"; he starts that clunker up, puts the pedal to the metal and drives it off the cliff like in Thelma and Louise. To me it's only a matter of how high the cliff is. Maybe it's hundreds of feet, maybe it's only a few. In any event, I think he had a respectable grip on what the DSS say and I consider Menachem to be a viable contender now.
Tell me all that you know and I'll show you snow and rain.

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