Biblio. ref.: Nash Papyrus

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Thu Apr 19 11:13:34 EDT 2001

Raymond wrote:

>E. Tov has a paragraph on it in his _Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible_
>Assen & Minneapolis 1992, p. 118. However, he does not discuss the possible
>date, only gives "from the first or second century bce".

Thanks, Raymond.

Tov seems very quiet on the subject of palaeography. I wonder how he arrives at

>Yet the most recent
>bibliographical reference after Albright's paper is an unpublished MA-thesis
>from Jerusalem (Hebr.!) from 1990. If you need it, I can give the complete

Do you by chance know how the subject is approached in this thesis?


Thanks also to Dan and Ken for their bibliographical information.


Dave writes with regard to most of the bibliographical leads:

>what I'm seeing in all these references are studies
>that use *the DSS* to date the Nash Papyrus.  This makes me
>wonder if there's a study of the papyrus that will help Ian with his
>project, or if all current dating of it is based on Cross' DSS scheme?

Dave, you're definitely right about the circularity of the situation. Cross uses
Albright's 1937 "exemplary analysis of the Nash Papyrus" as a fixed point in his
palaeographic sequence. This is a dating arrived at palaeographically when there was
even less material available with which to make comparisons. Cross uses it as
reflective of the junction point between what he terms the Archaic period and the
Hasmonean period, working with a specific date of "preferably toward 150 BC". This
means one cannot use DSS palaeography to date the Nash Papyrus.

We need an independent method of arriving at a date for it. (And Tov's "from the
first or second century bce" doesn't encourage one to pin too much hope on Cross's
150 BCE: we could have a text in the transition between Archaic and Hasmonean in the
late Hasmonean period.)

I've just seen Greg's generic post on the problems of the Cross palaeography. I was
hoping to keep to a specific point (the Nash Papyrus) before getting into a wider
discussion. But Greg's comments are naturally welcome input.

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