JEDP (Melchizedek) (Dave)

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Tue Dec 21 11:37:12 EST 1999

> >> >And I dealt in more depth with the 
> >> >cave 11 curiosity scroll in another post.  
> >> 
> >> I came across another post by you after I wrote the one you're now
> >> responding to.
> >> 
> >> >This scroll proves 
> >> >absolutely nothing about order, 
> >> 
> >> I have no gripe about order. It may not have been set at the time of
> >> writing, though there may already have been groups of psalms.
> >
> >It's easy to say "there may have been X" and then proceed as if it 
> >has been proven...
> But of course I didn't. Slurs are pretty easy as well, Dave.

Actually you've done it again and again, but I'll let that pass.

> >> >content or canonicity of any psalm 
> >> >or group of psalms.  
> >> 
> >> Content is a different matter. You seem to think that it is just
> >> coincidence that the text doesn't have a string of the psalms. You wanna
> >> say what theological (or any other) grounds those ones might have been
> >> omitted under?  
> >
> >Actually, yes, I suspect it's coincidence.  
> Yeah, Dave, just like there's naturally no Gen14 Melchizedek and a long
> list of other controversial bits. (Of course the Melchizedek episode is in
> the so-called Genesis Apocryphon -- perhaps the first mention of the story
> -- and of course that document commonly uses the epithet "Most High God",
> which is only coincidentally found in Genesis in this episode.)

Nice bit of conglomeration.  First you say there's no Gen 14, then 
you admit it's actually in the Genesis Apocryphon, then quietly try 
to shift the topic.  But the bottom line is that Gen 14, with the 
Melchizedek episode, does appear in the DSS. It's true that this 
chapter hasn't survived in any of the other scrolls, but that's the 
accident of preservation and nothing more.

> >Is it also coincidence 
> >that the last half of Psalm 109 is preserved, not on the main part of 
> >the scroll, but on a separate fragment?  Of course it is.  Where is 
> >that fragment placed, and how much room might there have been 
> >for these "missing" psalms?  Psalm 93 is the lowest-numbered of 
> >the canonical psalms that appears in it (the scroll actually begins 
> >with Psalm 105, 
> You said it, Dave (though if you're going to look at frag D then you should
> look at frag.s A - C2 which supply ps101 - 103 and the Yadin frag E which
> gives ps104). We have nearly all of book 5 (except ps110 - 117) plus some
> others. The lonesome ps93 at the end of col.XXII should render your quibble
> here irrelevant. It has its place

This makes no sense at all.  I've looked at all the fragments, as 
well as the main body of the scroll, in fact I've read the whole thing. 
Have you?  I have no idea what "It has its place" means.  As for 
having "nearly all of book 5" this is quite different from what you 
said before; in addition, it's hardly "book 5" as it's known from other 
manuscripts both Masoretic and in other DSS, because of the 
unusual ordering and everything else I mentioned.  So now you're 
claiming that the scroll preserves book 5, and absence of 110-117 
shows they weren't part of book 5, yet when I show the scroll's 
peculiarities you jump on me for using the accepted canonical 
order.  You can't play both sides of the game, Ian.

> >at least the preserved portion), so we have to 
> >conclude from it that Psalms 1-92 were composed later than the 
> >scroll too, right?  Why were they excluded?  What theological 
> >reasons can you give for it?  The verse order in Psalm 118 (in part) 
> >is 15, 16, 9, 9, 29 in column 16 with verse 29 repeated on fragment 
> >E.  Psalm 133 appears between Psalm 141 and 144 and adds 
> >$LWM (L YSR)L at the end.  Psalm 145 adds a refrain, BRWK 
> >YHWH WBRWK $MW L(WLM W(D after each verse.  The scroll 
> >throws an extra, hitherto-unknown verse between 146:9 and 10.  
> >And all that is just for warm-up.  
> Are you arguing here that your idea of how the psalms should be isn't
> fulfilled by the scroll? Hey, that's not too strange -- lot's of ideas of
> what should be aren't fulfilled by the real evidence from Qumran. People
> will just have to stop retrojecting.

Ian, why don't you give up this line of topic-shifting?  It doesn't 
work.  I said nothing about my "idea of how the psalms should be." 
It differs in great respect, in order, content, text and all the other 
ways, from every other Psalms manuscript that we have.  I'm doing 
textual criticism.  I have no idea what you're doing.

>All this is to respond to this:
> >
> >[snip]
> >> When nothing else is available one attacks the physical evidence. This text
> >> is no good because it doesn't adhere to your desire for the text. But it is
> >> a text that was around long before the setting of textual canonicity. It
> >> has most of the psalms, just not this one sequence. It must therefore be so
> >> bizarre. Hey, it includes other psalms! The psalm canon wasn't fixed at the
> >> time, right? It didn't have pslams 110 - 117. Is that so difficult?
> >
> >First of all, we don't know that it was "around long before the 
> >setting of textual canonicity" (whatever "textual canonicity" is).  
> The existence of the cave 11 scroll should make it clear that canonicity,
> ie the fixed nation of the text wasn't as yet in vogue. But this is also
> true for many other parts of what would become the canonized text of the
> OT/HB. Red herring, Dave.

The existence of the cave 11 scroll shows nothing of the kind, and 
you know it.  This scroll is unique.  Can you comprehend that?  It's 
unique.  There are many other Psalms scrolls, including at least 
one other from cave 11, and this one is the ONLY one that does all 
of this.  How do you explain the verse-by-verse interpolations?  
How do you explain the odd order?  How do you explain the added 
titles and colophons to various psalms?  How do you explain any of 
this, Ian?  I'm waiting, and I have to admit I'm having fun watching 
the way you dance around the real questions related to this scroll.  
But the dance is over.  Put up or shut up.

> >Second, I had no idea that omitting the first 92 psalms constituted 
> >"it has most of the psalms."  
> Go back and check in earlier posts that I did actually talk about later
> psalms. You're being unnecessarily ornery, Dave.

This was a direct quote from your post that I was responding to, 
and I left that portion of your post in mine to be sure there was no 
mistake.  If you can't remember what you wrote, that's not my 

> >Third, the fragmentary nature of the 
> >area of the scroll around Psalm 109 suggests that we don't know 
> >for sure about the omission of 110-117.  
> This is the one item in your puffed up list that has argument value, Dave.
> I was working on the notion that ps118 was wedged between ps136 and ps145,
> though this is an unusual version of the psalm and there are a few other
> verses at the start of frag E.

How convenient that you didn't mention those things until I pressed 
you...and I find it amusing that you call my material "puffed up."  

> >Fourth, and most 
> >important, until you can explain ALL the peculiarities of this scroll - 
> This is downright off the wall, Dave. You have to come up with a prior
> canonical text. As you can't, you take the line here. Hey, man, this text
> is weird, which translates to: it doesn't adhere to your presuppositions.

Look at the other scrolls, Ian.  Caves 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 11, as 
well as the caves of Nahal Hever and the scroll cache at Masada 
all yielded scrolls of the Psalms.  It has nothing to do with 
presuppositions, as you well know though it destroys your pitiful 
argument to admit it.  It has everything to do with doing good 
textual criticism and looking at ALL the evidence, something you 
are apparently unwilling to do.  I repeat: until you can explain why 
this scroll differs from all the others in such a peculiar fashion - and 
it is peculiar, whether you want to admit it or not - you have no 
business using it to make the kinds of historical and interpretive 
decisions you are trying to make.  The existence of this scroll does 
not support your speculations.  Get over it.

> >As my dad used to say, you're 
> >leaning on a broken reed.
> Well how about some effort to give a dating to ps110 according to your
> philological opinions, Dave. Otherwise it would seem that you are guilty of
> what you're imputing on other people.

Nice try at changing the subject!  My goal is not to date the psalm 
here, and this is just another dodge.  My goal is to correct the 
plethora of errors you are trying to propagate regarding your misuse 
of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  We haven't even gotten to the question of 
dating the Psalm yet, because you're still in the process of trying 
to butcher good textual criticism of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  

Dave Washburn
Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.
                                   Psalm 86:11

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