Marqe is Now Dated to the Third Century CE

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Secret Alias
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Marqe is Now Dated to the Third Century CE

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Laura S. Lieber ( who assisted me with this note ) , “ No Translating Needed : Hebrew in Two Samaritan Aramaic Hymns , ” in The Poet and the World : Festschrift for Wout van Bekkum on the Occasion of His Sixty- Fifth Birthday, edited by Joachim Yeshaya, Elisabeth Hollender, and Naoya Katsumata, 93–105
In the early 20th century, these figures were generally dated to the fourth century CE, based on the presumed date of the activities of the great Samaritan reformer, Baba Rabbah, to whose circle Amram Dare, Marqe, and Ninna belonged; more recently, Baba Rabbah and thus the members of his circle have been tentatively redated to the third century CE. See Jeffrey M. Cohen, A Samaritan Chronicle: A Source-Critical Analysis of the Lifeand Times of the Great Samaritan Reformer, Baba Rabbah (Leiden: Brill, 1981), esp.pp. 224; and, more recently Anderson and Giles, The Keepers, 58 – 60.
She forgot Paul Stenhouse. Boid on the dating:
It says on p. 403 that LWY Lîbi (Masoretic Levi) was High Priest for 45 years, and it was in his time that Hadrian banned Jews from Mt. Gerizim, on account of his wife, who was Samaritan. From the death of Lîbi till the accession of Nâtan’îl is 124 years. Counting from 135 A.D. yields 259 A.D. Till the end of the time of Nâtan’îl is another 32 years, bringing us up to 291 A.D. But if Hadrian was early in the time of Lîbi, then we can add anything up to 45 years, that is, anything up to 338 a.D. Adding After Nâtan’îl in the list is Baba Rabba (p. 403). The implication is that Baba Rabba was High Priest. This is stated explicitly further on (p. 404 bottom). Chronicle Adler gives a length of office of 40 years for Baba, but says he was held in Constantinople, along with his son. His date of accession is 4600 Anno Mundi. After him came his brother ‘QBWN Iqbon for 26 years. It was during the time of this Iqbon that DWSTYS the son of FLFWLY came. (p. 405 top). Notice the preservation of the T in the spelling. The Greek form Dositheos is certain.

There is a French translation on pp. 439-442.

Muhammad is 269 years after Baba Rabba. Adding 269 to 259 gives 528. But we have to add in the length of office of Baba Rabba, as well as some or most of the period of Lîbi. So the dating works. According to A.F. the Hijrah was in 5050. This is 350 years after the accession of Baba Rabba. If we take 350 from 622 A.D. we get 272 A.D. for the accession of Baba Rabba. From 272 till the death of Constantius in 305 is 33 years.

Calculating dates for Baba Rabba. Accession 272 A.D. No. of years from end of time of Baba till the Hijrah is 26 + 31 + 20 + 25 + 24 + 17 + 30 + 40 + 40 + 41 + 25 (or about 25) making an extra 319 years (approx.). Taking 319 from 622 gives 303 A.D. This puts the death or capture of Baba Rabba at the start of the persecution of Christians starting under Diocletian in 303. This continued with the accession of Constantius and Galerius (305) ending (I suppose) with the death of Constantius in 306 or perhaps with the Edict of Toleration at the end of the time of Galerius (211).

The reason I say the death or capture of Baba is that his successor was not his son but his brother, Iqbon. When it says Dositheus appeared in the time of Iqbon, I think this to be the wrong Iqbon. The alternative would be that Dositheus was the son of Baba. Perhaps the Dositheans or Sebuaeans split definitively from the rest after the end of the unifying influence of Baba. They had accepted the secular but not the religious authority of Baba. (See the paragraph from A.F. on this in my chapter Use, Authority, and Exegesis of 1988).

We still don’t know what Baba’s real name was.
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