furuli at online.no
furuli at online.no
Thu Feb 13 03:17:06 EST 2003
See my comments below,
>On Wednesday 12 February 2003 13:42, furuli at online.no wrote:
>> Dear Michael,
>> Nobody would deny that some persons of the Qumran people, or perhaps
>> all of them used a subatitute for the tetragrammaton. But this does
>> not prove that other groups did the same in B.C.E.
>Actually, since it has long been established that many if not most of the
>scrolls were not produced at Qumran but were brought in from other places, it
>does strongly suggest that the practice was quite widespread.
>> The words you quote from Wurthwein are not found in my 1979-edition
>> of his work. If you quote correctly, this is a blatant example of a
>> misleading statement in a book by a fine scholar. Or rather, before
>> it is verified that Wurthwein himself wrote these words, I am
>> inclined to think that a misinformed translator or editor added the
>In the 1979 edition, see page 146. Michael's 1995 edition is a revision and
>hence the page numbers are different. The statement in question is opposite
>the photo of the Habakkuk commentary, which in "our" edition (I also have the
>1979) is on p. 147. And I checked the photographic edition of the Isaiah
>scroll, and Wurthwein is right about 3:17. It does read `adonai. The scribe
>has put dots (indicating erasure) under the letters of `adonai and written
>YHWH above the line. I haven't checked all of the references about the
>converse, but I have no doubt they're accurate: 1QIsa reads YHWH for `adonai
>in those places. What does this tell us? It tells us that the scribe was
>reading along and copying his exemplar, when he came to YHWH. He pronounced
>it `adonai in his mind and just automatically wrote it that way, then
>realized what he had done and corrected it to YHWH. In the other places, he
>saw `adonai and his mind substituted YHWH. This combination of factors
>indicates that YHWH was vocalized as `adonai by this scribe. And it's really
>doubtful that this was an isolated practice.
Thank you for clearing up the question regarding the two editions of
Wurthwein. As to the text of the Isaiah scroll, I do not of course
dispute its reading. However, my advice to students and to list
members is this: Do not trust the words of the experts, but look at
their assumptions, and above all, look for data! There is so much
traditional thinking, where conclusions are repeated over and over
again and never are checked.
I will give one example from my own research. I am on the point of
completing a book on ancient chronology. The basic reason for
starting my research was the fact that what the Tanach says about the
Babylonian exile of the Jews cannot be harmonized with modern
history/chronology. The chronological work that is accepted by all is
that of Parker and Dubberstein (1956). I looked at all the cuneiform
tablets which are the basis of their list of intercalary months and
gathered information from several thousand other tablets. What I
found was that the authors were selective and did not use data which
argued against their theory, and that 51 % of their intercalary
months of the Persian empire are unfounded. This means that we cannot
trust the traditional Persian and New Babylonian chronologies. It
seems to me that nobody has bothered to collect all the data
contradicting the traditional view, but that view has simply been
repeated over and over again. Similar situations are found all over
the line. So don't trust the authorities!
Then back to Wurthwein. When he wrote his comments on the Isaiah
scroll, just a part of the DSS had been published, so a study of
substitutes for the tetragrammaton would be hampered. In addition, it
was generally believed (and it still is) that the substitution of
YHWH by )DNY went back to the last centuries B.C.E. Wurthwein's
mentioned interpretation of the Isaiah scroll was based on these two
premises. This is of course one possible interpretation, but on the
basis of *all* the DSS which now are published, it is very unlikely.
It is much more likely that the material can be explained as textual
variation. In the 470 verses of the Tanach which are doublettes,
there are at least 58 differences (WAYYIQTOL in one and YIQTOL in the
other vice versa, c.f. Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22). There is no
particular system in the differences, so they are simply variants.
The same would be the case in other instances. In order to bolster
Wurthwein's interpretation of the isaiah scroll, one has to do the
following: Study all the examples of )DNY in extra-biblical
manuscripts of the DSS and point out a few examples where )DNY
clearly is a substitute for YHWH (as )L clearly is in many other
manuscripts). I have found none clear examples, and if such are not
present, Wurthwein's interpretation is weak.
>Regarding your repeated statement that the DSS substitute El rather than
>`adonai, Wurthwein addresses that as well, on the same page: "In the text of
>the commentary itself [the Habakkuk commentary] the tetragrammaton is avoided
>and 'el is used in its place." The pHab seems to be unusual among the DSS in
>this regard, especially in light of the evidence from the Isaiah scroll. So
>it's a bit of an overstatement, at the very least, to say that this was the
>most common practice among the DSS.
> > >I have not studied very much of the DSS so I hope someone will
> > >correct me if I am giving misleading information. The question was
>> >raised whether or not there is any preChristian evidence that
>> >Hebrews replaced the tetragrammaton with Lord- either in Hebrew or
>> >Greek. I have in front of me a couple of pages copied from Ernst
>> >Wurthein, The Text of the Old Testament, Grand Rapids: W. B.
>> >Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995.
>> >Commenting on the Habakkuk Commentary, he says, "In the period of
>> >these manuscripts it is evident that 'adonai was read for the
>> >tetragrammaton because the first Isaiah scroll, for example, reads
>> >)DNY where M [can't reproduce the symbol he uses] has YHWH (3:17),
>> >and conversely (6:11; 7:14; 9:7; 21:16; 28:2." (page 158).
> > >On the Papyrus Fouad Wurthein comments, "Thus, the tetragrammaton
>> >appears to have been an archaizing and hebraizing revision of the
> > >earlier translation kurios." (page 29).
>> >Sincerly Yours,
> > >Michael Abernathy
>I do not take issue with Wurthwein's interpretation of the Isaiah
>scroll, particularly not when i see his assumptions. But I take
>issue of the words of his book which flatly state "Thus, the
> >appears to have been an archaizing and hebraizing revision of the
>earlier translation kurios." This is a fine example that indicates
>that we should not trust the authorities.
A Pietersma has argued along the same lines as I argue for the place
of the tetragrammaton in the NT (on the basis of indirect evidence)
in favor of the place of KURIOS in the original Septuagint. This is
done in a fine scholarly way, although the publication of all the DSS
show that his basic arguments are not valid (in my view).( See
"Kyrios or Tetragram: A Renewed Quest for the Original Septuagint" in
De Septuaginta Studies in Honor of John william Wevers on his
sixty-fifth Birthday, eds: A. Pietersma, C. Cox (1984).). To present
data and arguments is legitimate, to state something where positive
data are lacking is misleading.
So everything boils down to two points:
1) How can we explain the few occurrences of )DNY in the DSS compared
with the extensive use of )L, if )DNY was used as a substitute for
2) Give a few clear examples from the DSS of )DNY used as a
substitute for YHWH.
University of Oslo
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