4Q46(4QpaleoDeuteronomy-s ), a 5th or 4th century BCE copy?

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
Russell Gmirkin
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Re: 4Q46(4QpaleoDeuteronomy-s ), a 5th or 4th century BCE copy?

Post by Russell Gmirkin »

StephenGoranson wrote: Thu Jan 12, 2023 7:11 am Smithsonian Magazine HISTORY | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023:

How an Unorthodox Scholar Uses Technology to Expose Biblical Forgeries
Deciphering ancient texts with modern tools, Michael Langlois challenges what we know about the Dead Sea Scrolls
by Chanan Tigay

"....Experts date the [Dead Sea] scrolls between the third century B.C. and the first century A.D. (though Langlois believes several may be two centuries older)...."

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/ ... 180981290/
But Langlois does not exclude a third century BCE date for these same texts. See previous post in this thread.
StephenGoranson
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Re: 4Q46(4QpaleoDeuteronomy-s ), a 5th or 4th century BCE copy?

Post by StephenGoranson »

I gave the link to ML's article to access his full presentation.
My subject line included a question mark.
As I read it, he prefers a date in 5th or 4th century.
Additionally, I assume that these two Torah texts were not author autographs;
if so, then they were copied from yet earlier mss.
If so, then, before c. 273-272.*

*Added later: meaning the earlier Torah exemplars would even more probably (additionally) be before 273-2.
Russell Gmirkin
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Re: 4Q46(4QpaleoDeuteronomy-s ), a 5th or 4th century BCE copy?

Post by Russell Gmirkin »

StephenGoranson wrote: Thu Jan 12, 2023 11:11 am I gave the link to ML's article to access his full presentation.
My subject line included a question mark.
As I read it, he prefers a date in 5th or 4th century.
Additionally, I assume that these two Torah texts were not author autographs;
if so, then they were copied from yet earlier mss.
If so, then, before c. 273-272.*

*Added later: meaning the earlier Torah exemplars would even more probably (additionally) be before 273-2.
Yes, Michael Langlois prefers a 5th or 4th century BCE date, but does not exclude a 3rd century BCE date. His article indicates that the palaeography of Palaeo-Hebrew script from the 5th to 3rd centuries is very similar according to all available evidence, as notably indicated by his frequent references to "slow" palaeographic developments in this period and his inclusion of a third century BCE for even the earliest texts under consideration such as 4Q46. He doesn't point to any palaeographic feature that positively indicates a 5th or 4th century as opposed to third century BCE date.

If 4Q46 and 4Q21 post-date 270 BCE, as indicated by source critical arguments, then your argument (if you can even call it that) evaporates. The autograph / Urtext for Deuteronomy predates 4Q46, but you have zero basis, other than your own academic biases, for indicating how much earlier the original text was written. You certainly haven't read Gmirkin 2017, except perhaps the first eight words "This book is a sequel to Berossus and Genesis," so you are unfamiliar with the extensive evidence that the Deuteronomic law code, narratives, hortatory introductions, and even basic plot derive from Plato's Laws of ca. 350 BCE, which provide a bright upper line for the possible dating of the text.
StephenGoranson
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Re: 4Q46(4QpaleoDeuteronomy-s ), a 5th or 4th century BCE copy?

Post by StephenGoranson »

I suggest that ML took into account the "slow" palaeographic developments in his proposed 200-year time window, as well as by allowing, if I may paraphrase, that it was perhaps even possible to be a little later--or a little earlier.
That manuscripts were often copied from exemplars that were significantly older is not a controversial observation, usually.
Though I have other reasons to be unpersuaded by the 273-2 Torah-writing proposal, I think it fair to repeat that if that 4QDeuteronomy copy was made within that 200-year time range, then such is a 273-2 proposal falsification.
I write this realizing that I, Goranson, may possibly be mistaken, or Langlois, or Gmirkin.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: 4Q46(4QpaleoDeuteronomy-s ), a 5th or 4th century BCE copy?

Post by neilgodfrey »

StephenGoranson wrote: Fri Jan 13, 2023 7:04 am That manuscripts were often copied from exemplars that were significantly older is not a controversial observation, usually.
This makes sense in the case of long revered texts over which there is no significant controversy.

But if a text is new with new ideas then might we not expect some early controversy and hence redacted copies (certain variants of the original) from the "get-go", so to speak?

And/Or if a text is newly introduced might we not expect copies to be made from the "get-go" simply because having just one copy is not workable if one seeks to promote acceptance of the text?

I can understand the case being made for long delays in copying in situations where there are multiple copies and little controversy about specific contents of those texts.
andrewcriddle
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Re: 4Q46(4QpaleoDeuteronomy-s ), a 5th or 4th century BCE copy?

Post by andrewcriddle »

Leaving aside the precise date of the Paleo-Hebrew script of 4Q46, one possible issue is a/ whether Hebrew texts were ever written in Hellenistic Egypt using Paleo-Hebrew (FWIW the Nash papyrus may suggest otherwise) and b/ whether if the Pentateuch was originally composed in Aramaic script in Egypt, it would have been copied in Paleo-Hebrew script in Palestine during the Hellenistic period.

Andrew Criddle
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neilgodfrey
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Re: 4Q46(4QpaleoDeuteronomy-s ), a 5th or 4th century BCE copy?

Post by neilgodfrey »

Fwiw -- and the point requires a fuller discussion than a simple throwaway comment -- Gmirkin draws upon the text-critical scholarship that posits the Septuagint's Hebrew Vorlage is no longer extant. So the question of the script of that Vorlage is moot.
andrewcriddle
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Re: 4Q46(4QpaleoDeuteronomy-s ), a 5th or 4th century BCE copy?

Post by andrewcriddle »

neilgodfrey wrote: Sat Jan 14, 2023 12:57 pm Fwiw -- and the point requires a fuller discussion than a simple throwaway comment -- Gmirkin draws upon the text-critical scholarship that posits the Septuagint's Hebrew Vorlage is no longer extant. So the question of the script of that Vorlage is moot.
My question is did anyone in Hellenistic Egypt ever write anything in Hebrew using paleo-Hebrew script ?

Andrew Criddle
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