[b-hebrew] 5 scrolls or 1

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sun Aug 21 01:42:39 EDT 2005


This has already been discussed. All five books of the Torah have been
written on a single scroll and used in the synagogue for centuries. Such a
scroll is usable for ritual reading, but very inconvenient for actual study.
So yes, the Torah, once composed and conceived of as a whole, could have
been written on a single scroll. I just don't think that that proves
anything about the actual authorship or date of composition of the Torah.

Yigal
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sujata" <shevaroys at yahoo.com>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2005 2:28 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] 5 scrolls or 1


> True. By 2nd Century CE Mosaic authorship and single
> scroll were established facts and those that who wrote
> it down as facts believed those facts came down to
> them from thousands of years ago.
>
> If this tradition of Torah facts needs to be refuted
> today by researchers, should it not be refuted with
> hard evidence and not assumptions?  a) there should be
> hard evidence that the Torah was written over a long
> period of time by different authors that did not
> co-exist in any given time period or b) evidence
> should be provided that it was beyond the capabilities
> of people of that time to sew together (or carry) a
> single scroll that could carry the entire Torah. I saw
> a Torah scroll for sale weighing 25 pounds which
> shouldnt be too much for a man to carry.
>
> Best wishes,
> Sujata
>
> --- Yigal Levin <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il> wrote:
>
> > The "regulations" all appear in rabbinic literature,
> > written, at the
> > earliest, in the second century CE. By then, we can
> > assume, the Torah was
> > written (at least in some circles) on a single
> > scroll like it is today, and
> > the tradition of Mosaic authorship of the whole
> > Torah was firmly established
> > (in fact, it is assumed by Josephus and Philo).
> >
> > Yigal
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > From: "Sujata" <shevaroys at yahoo.com>
> > To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> > Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2005 12:55 AM
> > Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] 5 scrolls or 1
> >
> >
> > > When tradition says it was a single scroll, unless
> > > there is hard evidence that it was written in
> > multiple
> > > scrolls,   why should a researcher's "assumptions"
> > be
> > > taken seriously.
> > >
> > > Are there not regulations on how many columns a
> > > pentateuch scroll should contain? Would that not
> > > suggest a single scroll?
> > >
> > > Best wishes,
> > > Sujata
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Jim West wrote:
> > >
> > > well yes there is.  unless we suppose that the
> > author
> > > of genesis is
> > > also
> > > the author of exodus is also the author of
> > leviticus
> > > and that he wrote
> > > them all out on one scroll and that example was
> > > followed from that time
> > > onward.  these books were, at some point, just
> > single
> > > books or
> > > fragments
> > > of books, correct?
> > >
> > >
> > >  or are you suggesting that they were written in
> > > huge
> > > multi book chunks?  even given the length of the
> > > deuteronomistic
> > > history
> > > (a multi volume "work", if you will) it is so
> > > extensive that no one can
> > > suppose, can they, that it was originally a one
> > scroll
> > > composition.
> > >
> > > Only the 3-fold method in Qumran and the 5 fold
> > method
> > > > known from Qumran, modern Jewish tradition, as
> > well
> > > as the
> > > > Septuagint.
> > >
> > > positing ancient reality from fragmentary examples
> > and
> > > modern practice
> > > seems a bit hazardous.  what we need is hard
> > evidence.
> > >
> > > >
> > > > I have also received the following in reference
> > to
> > > your mention of
> > > Tov's book
> > > > and the "five scrolls" from Carla Sulzbach:  "I
> > > checked my copy, and
> > > indeed,
> > > > on p. 4 he speaks of Five Megillot. However,
> > that is
> > > in a section on
> > > the order
> > > > of the books in the "Hagiographa", the Ketuvim,
> > and
> > > ... he does not
> > > refer to
> > > > Torah scrolls, five or any other number, but to
> > Shir
> > > ha-Shirim, Ruth,
> > > Eicha,
> > > > etc."  I don't know.  In the Hebrew edition, he
> > > doesn't seem to
> > > discuss
> > > > methods of order of the books at all, at least
> > not
> > > where I could see
> > > it, so
> > > > perhaps it is an addition in the English
> > version.
> > >
> > > Well whoever added it didnt do a very good job of
> > > being clear.
> > >
> > > best
> > >
> > > jim
> > >
> > >
> > > -- 
> > > Jim West, ThD
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
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