JEDP (Melchizedek) (Dave)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Tue Dec 21 16:25:32 EST 1999

>> 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, 

At least be accurate. I said "no Gen14 Melchizedek" in the Qumran texts.
That is where my interest is, but while we're here there isn't a Gen14, if
Fitzmyer's old list is still correct.

>then you admit it's actually in the Genesis Apocryphon, 

I have never said anything different. Stop the insinuations. You are trying
very hard not to understand and you're doing a good job. I have always
maintained that GenAp had Melchizedek -- this is nothing new. I have also
maintained that it is also the first ext on record to have the Melchizedek
episode. I have also maintained that the episode is the only place in
Genesis where the writer uses "Most High God", and I have also maintained
that this is the normal epithet for God in the GenAp. So, no I have
admitted nothing. I have maintained my view. Perhaps it has just dawned on
you that it is in the GenAp.

>then quietly try to shift the topic.  

No change of topic. Just your imagination running off too far to take
notice of the argument.

>But the bottom line is that Gen 14, with the 
>Melchizedek episode, does appear in the DSS. 

Utter crap, Dave. Will to believe must be so great that you don't read what
you say. While you are here, what is the source of the GenAp?? Have you
stopped to compare the various Genesis-like documents, GenAp, Genesis,
Jubilees and Josephus's early part of AJ? You'll find you can't make any
sweeping generalisations as you imply you have here.

>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.

Another coincidence, hey, Dave? You must accept a lot of them in your field
of study. Perhaps you could make a study of coincidences and forget about

>> >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.  

Read it again.

>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.  

It is located in the scroll where I mentioned. It gives no indication of
being part of the sequence you would like it to have been in order to force
your hypothesis. We have the psalms from 101 to 150 minus a few odd ones
(beside the string from 110 to 117) and plus a few odd ones, such as 93 a
bit of Samuel and various other odds and sods.

>As for 
>having "nearly all of book 5" this is quite different from what you 
>said before; 

Here's what I said in an earlier post (10:14, 20:12:99):
>The cave 11 psalms scroll is rather interesting because it knows nearly all 
>the later psalms except that one sequence.

Note here, it says "later psalms". You are deliberately trying to slur,
Dave. Give up. It's not worth the effort and you only look bad for it.

>in addition, it's hardly "book 5" as it's known from other 
>manuscripts both Masoretic 

Your being anachronistic.

>and in other DSS, 

Which scroll(s) exactly would you like to use in order to reconstruct the
latter part of of the pslams as we know them today?

>because of the 
>unusual ordering and everything else I mentioned.  So now you're 
>claiming that the scroll preserves book 5, 

No, I'm not claiming that, Dave. I'm saying that it contains most of the
psalms from Book 5. Is that, or is that not, correct??

>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.

Well, Dave when you are playing whatever game you're playing you can fiddle
the rules however you like, but you're playing alone.

>> >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?  

Now this is called projection.

>It doesn't 
>work.  I said nothing about my "idea of how the psalms should be." 

Oh, not in those words, Dave. But talking about how anomalous the
collection is is doing just that. It's the earliest, fullest collection
we've got. You're the one who wants the collection to be something else for
it not to be anomalous.

>It differs in great respect, in order, content, text and all the other 
>ways, from every other Psalms manuscript that we have.  

Which ones would you like to cite that were around before or contemporary
with it that allow you to say this?

>I'm doing textual criticism.  I have no idea what you're doing.

I haven't see you do so. I have only seen you retrojecting your ideas.

>>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.  

This means we've found nothing like it, but then it's one of the oldest
psalms documents we have, so there's no way for you to make your
generalisations. Still a red herring.

>Can you comprehend that?  

Can you comprehend that you are not saying anything that has any historical
value on the matter?

>It's unique.  

I'll give you points for repetition of your thesis.

>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.  

Have a look at those other scrolls and tell me what you can really say from
those documents.

>How do you explain the verse-by-verse interpolations?  

How do you? You say it must be anomalous and forget it.

>How do you explain the odd order?  

Obviously they had to be ordered at some point in time. They weren't all
written at the same time, so we should expect different orderings. So?

>How do you explain the added titles and colophons to various psalms?  

Do you think that those Davidic psalms that have contextualisations were
written with them or were they added later? Were the instructions for the
way they were to be performed part of the original text or were they added
at some other time? Please be a little more useful with your questions
rather than asking things that beg your presuppositions.

>How do you explain any of this, Ian?  

There is no need, Dave. You're the one making rash generalisations about a
text. If you stop retrojecting for a while, stop doing what most other
scholars have done with the texts, ie make them conform to the MT structure
and form, and look at what there actually is, you might conclude that your
questions are rather futile and value judgment laden.

>I'm waiting, 


>and I have to admit I'm having fun watching 

Pick your jaw up of the ground: someone will walk in it.

>the way you dance around the real questions related to this scroll.  

I wish you'd start asking a few instead of the stuff that you've done so far.

>But the dance is over.  Put up or shut up.

Grin. All you've  given is empty rhetoric, Dave. You want the text to
adhere to your theories. It doesn't, so it must therefore be anomalous. Ok,
you just go away and keep thinking that if it'll make you feel better.

>> >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, 

I guess with some people you have to repeat everything you say because
they'll tell you you left a bit out after they've asked you to repeat a
number of times.

But see above for one example to show that this mini-crusade of yours is
off the wall.

>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 

All you need to do is learn to read a bit more closely, Dave, and you would
talk so much rot.

>> >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."  

Oh, the list is puffed up. I had to weed through it to find something
worthy of useful comment.

>> >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.  

Yeah, Dave, look at them. How many will give you anything of a collection
ordered as you would like them? I don't have much info on the subject,
Dave, but why in the short collection of 4QPs(a) is there no psalm 32
between 31 and 33 which are on one fragment? How much of a continuous
collection can you really piece together? I think you're overplaying your
hand, just because there are a lot of psalms manuscripts. 4Qps(f) for
example seems to have a bit of ps22, of ps107 and ps109. The texts are so
fragmentary all that seems to have happened is that scholars have placed
them roughly in MT order as would be expected.

>It has nothing to do with presuppositions, 

On the contrary it is laden with presuppositions, institutionalised

>as you well know though it destroys your pitiful 
>argument to admit it.  

Talking about pitiful. Look at the evidence before you speak, Dave. Going
by the contents of the various scrolls as listed in Fitzmyer, you're just
talking through your hat. Am I wrong?

>It has everything to do with doing good 
>textual criticism and looking at ALL the evidence, 

Sure, Dave. The other one plays jingle bells.

>something you are apparently unwilling to do.  

This is merely more of your presumptuous rhetoric, as is what follows:

>I repeat: until you can explain why 
>this scroll differs from all the others in such a peculiar fashion - 
>and it is peculiar, 

When you get over your tunnel vision and deal with the documents (ie look
at what each scroll contains) and not what you want them to be, you might
start saying something that makes sense.

>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.  

I don't think you are in any state to comment, while you are so busy making
the particular document conform to your requirements. This is what has
happened for decades regarding the DSS. Have you got anything earlier than
the 11Qps scroll to judge from?

>The existence of this scroll does not support your speculations.  Get over
>> >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!  

If talking about something that you've talked about is changing the
subject, I thinkyou're going to end up not having any coherent
conversations at all.

>My goal is not to date the psalm 
>here, and this is just another dodge.  

You have already hinted on a dating that would suit you, ie one that would
explain the text as being much older.

>My goal is to correct the 
>plethora of errors you are trying to propagate regarding your misuse 
>of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  

Well, start by stop retrojecting your presuppositions onto the texts.

Deal with your presuppositions about the GenAp. Or would you feel, reading
both it and Genesis on Melchizedek, that the Melchizedek is much more at
home in Genesis, given the rhetorical context?

>We haven't even gotten to the question of 
>dating the Psalm yet, 

And of course you'll avoid that because you know that you don't have the

>because you're still in the process of trying 
>to butcher good textual criticism of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  

When I see the book come out, Dave, I'll think twice before buying it,
given your performance so far. Your text criticism is not particularly
apparent. Your projection of values into texts is.

The documents must be treated as the earliest we have and therefore need to
be dealt with on their own term, not as you deal with the cave 11 psalms
scroll, making it fail your prerequisites for a psalm collection. It's like
Schiffman who looks at the tefillin from Qumran and concludes that they are
obviously sectarian (I'm not imputing the use of that term on you) because
they don't adhere to his presuppositions of what tefillin should be. More
philology, Dave, and less text shaping.



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