dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Feb 13 11:36:25 EST 2003
On Thursday 13 February 2003 01:17, furuli at online.no wrote:
> Dear Dave,
> 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
> >> words.
> >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 don't trust experts: including you. I know your assumptions and how they
tend to color your data. I'm not going to get into the date of the exile
with you because it's too far afield from the purposes of this list.
However, see below the snip.
> 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.
Having just spent the last 20 years studying textual variants in all the
scrolls and having just published a book on the subject, I can tell you that
your scenario is far too simplistic. In particular, the YHWH/`DNY
substitutions in the Isaiah scroll that have already been mentioned are best
explained on the basis of a sound substitution, not a textual one, as I
> 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.
Rolf, I have seen you repeat this statement many times over the past few
weeks, and it's simply not accurate. You keep saying that 'el is the most
common substitution for YHWH in the scrolls, but I haven't seen a shred of
actual evidence, such as citations of scrolls (especially biblical ones).
Again, I just came from there, and it's wrong. There is no "most common"
substitution, and in reality 'el is in the minority. The most common reading
for YHWH in the scrolls is, oddly enough, YHWH. Sometimes it's in archaic
script. Sometimes there are 4 dots. A couple of Leviticus fragments from
Cave 4 leave it out altogether. In one biblical scroll there is a reading
'elohim for YHWH, which led the fellow who published it in JBL to conclude
that the DSS now "prove" that passage belongs with E rather than with J.
It's amazing what one can prove with selective evidence, especially since
that particular fragment is far too small to tell whether this was the
scribe's consistent practice or not. I also find it fascinating that you can
explain away substitutions of `adonai as mere textual variants, but don't do
the same with 'el. Yet, it is clear from the Isaiah examples that we are in
fact dealing with instances of substitution there, as I showed, and you
haven't answered that; you simply said "oh, no, those are just textual
variants." As I said, I don't trust experts. I expect them to defend their
statements. That includes you. You keep making statements like these:
> 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
Yet you haven't given any evidence to support the "extensive" statement. And
you keep making challenges like this:
> 2) Give a few clear examples from the DSS of )DNY used as a
> substitute for YHWH.
But you don't give any examples to support your own contention. It is widely
known that (DNY (get the parenthesis right) is and was a common substitution
for YHWH both in and out of the scrolls, and the evidence has been presented
in print many times over. You're challenging that, claiming that )L is more
common, so the burden of proof is on you. How about it?
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