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Old 01-07-2001, 12:03 PM   #31
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The following is from a website (The New Testament at Qumran?) In part, it reproduces what "Professor David Estrada and Linguist William White, Jr. have described in a popular format."

They reproduce 7Q5 as follows:

Line 1. E
Line 2. UTONE
Line 3. E. KAI TI
Line 4. NNES
Line 5. THESA

"...If the Greek words with which these letters have been identified were translated into English, and a similar fragmentary record remained only of the English words, the fragment might appear as follows:

A
F THEM
D AND F
NNES
WHE

"Estrada and White have reconstructed in English what the Greek words of the papyrus might be, and have shown which portions of the words would remain if the text had been in English:

[UNDERSTOOD ]A[BOUT THE LOAVES]
[BUT WERE O ]F THEM [THEIR MINDS CLO-]
[SE ]D AND F[INISHED THE CROSSING]
[THEY CAME TO GE ]NNES[ARET AND THEY]
[MADE FAST ]WHE[RE AND GOT]"


I am not sure if this reconstruction is precisely consistent with the hypothetical text of O'Callaghan, but it does give some idea of what the theory involves.

With respect to 7Q5,
the following identification of Greek letters has been made by E. Muro:

Line 1. ].[
Line 2. TOIA
Line 3. H KAI TO
Line 4. NNHC
Line 5. HC


How does one account for the difference in how O'Callaghan identifies the letters as opposed to the indentification of Muro? Well, if one takes a look at the photographs of 7Q5 (at the sites given by John the Atheist), it easy to SEE that very little can be conclusively identified. In other words, outside of the word "KAI" and few clear letters, every other identification is conjecture.
Daniel B. Wallace has stated, "[both]the original editors of this fragment and most who have followed disagree with several of O'Callaghan's letter reconstructions. At every point in which the enlarged photograph of the fragment at the ene of Thiede's booklet (The Earliest Gospel Manuscript?)seems to disprove O'Callaghan's reconstructions...In particular, an unbiased reader looking at the photograph will almost certainly disagree with O'Callaghan's reconstructed nu in line 2 and agree with the original editor's judgement about epsilon, sigma in line 5 (against O'Callaghan's sigma, alpha)."

This is just one of the reasons O'Callaghan's hypothesis has been roundly criticized by the scholarly community. According to Bruce M. Metzger, "Most of the popular articles [have] accepted O'Callaghan's opinion; almost all the scholarly articles [have]rejected it." The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, P. 264fn.

Another writer has stated, "The controversy has been going on ever since 1972, with an apparent consensus that the scrolls [from Cave 7] are not Christian."

Certainly, there are other reasons to doubt the theories of O'Callaghan and his promoter, Carsten Peter Thiede.

In 1988, German scholar G. William Nebe identified 7Q5 as portions of 1 Enoch in Greek. Subsequently, other scholars, including Ernest Muro and Emile Puech, have agreed with Nebe. (See Revue de Qumran 13 and 70). Certainly, 1 Enoch fits much better than any NT book.

Spanish scholar,Vittoria Spottorno, has argued that 7Q5 could be identified as Zechariah 7:4-5. Her argument has been addressed, unconvincingly, by Thiede. His points of contention are no more valid than hers would be of his hypothesis. And, again, an OT text fits much better at Qumran than any NT text.

Thiede's belief that an electronic stereo microscope could settle the question of the reconstruction of the letter nu in Line 2 is unconvincing. According to Thiede, the only thing the microscope clearly showed (and here we have to take his word for it) "were the remains of a diagonal line beginning at the upper end of the left vertical stroke...moving downward to the bottom right." He concedes that the line "was not complete...but long enough to be absolutely conclusive." Sometimes people see what they want to see, and considering the sensationalist approach Thiede uses, it would be good if an analysis could be made by an impartial scientist.

Another problem with O'Callaghan's theory
[and Thiede's defense of it]is that he must manipulate the text to make it work. He must leave out three words that appear in ALL extant MSS. How does Thiede help O'Callaghan with this preposterous theory? He assumes that there existed a text with these three words omitted. Obviously, this is not evidence; it is speculation.

Yet another problem is the fact that there is absolutely no evidence that the Qumran sect had any association with Christians. Again, Thiede fails miserably in his attempt to re-write history. No evidence is offered;only speculation.

One can easily see that O'Callaghan's hypothesis is built on numerous assumptions and not on evidence. Some of the assumptions are preposterous.

Carsten Peter Thiede's attempt to pass off one of Jose O'Callaghan's pet theories (with mostly assumption and conjecture)suggests
sloppy scholarship and sloppy argument. It is no wonder the scholarly community has been unconvinced by O'Callaghan and his promoter.
 
Old 01-09-2001, 12:54 AM   #32
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Very quickly:

I think we can all admit here that we are all amateurs in the debate over the papyrus 7Q5. Also, clearly scholars disagree on what it says and means. Go figure. Such is the nature of most sciences, and we must remain open to all possibilities. Some things should be kept in mind however. First, reliance upon a photo of a papyrus can never replace seeing the original first hand so long as that papyrus remains available to scientists (as is the case with 7Q5). Second, respected papyrologists, of which O'Callagan, Hunger and Thiede are three do disagree with other respected papyrologists like Gundry and Armstrong. That is cool as far as I am concerned, I think if you look at most hard sciences we would see a lot more disagreement than is commonly believed to exist by laymen outside of the various specialties. What we do know is that the best theories can and do fall, but only to the truth of better theories and evidence. As numerous experts have agreed, more research can and should be done on this papyrus. With luck, politics will not play a dominant role here. Third, Thiede presented an overwhelming case against Sporroto on the website offered by John at www.members.aol.com/egweimi/7q5.htm Most importantly, the fact that she based part of her argument on a non-existent 6th line on this papyrus means her conclusions are highly suspect.

I am content to let the scientists (papyrologists and paleologists) hash this one out. Those with a theological motive should stay out of this debate, especially if they lack the expertise to speak authoritatively. Others, like Dr. Wallace, Professor Stanton, and even laymen like me can remain highly interested of course. And in the case of NT experts like Wallace, they can ask legitimate questions, but what must be avoided at all cost is the use of a priori biases (like the absurd idea that the Gospels cannot predate 70AD) must not be permitted here. Science works best when not hindered by mindless dogma.

Peace,

Nomad
 
Old 01-09-2001, 12:57 AM   #33
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P.S. to John.

The book is indeed 206 pages long, but that includes the glossary and index, and normally those pages are not quoted in a book. That was all I was saying when I said it was 185 pages long. Sorry for the confusion.

Nomad
 
Old 02-22-2001, 02:11 PM   #34
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I'd like to ask:

What other NT texts are known from Qumran?

This has been a most interesting discussion and just skimming through it has been an education. Thanks to everyone who is participating.

Michael

 
Old 02-22-2001, 07:31 PM   #35
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
I'd like to ask:

What other NT texts are known from Qumran?

This has been a most interesting discussion and just skimming through it has been an education. Thanks to everyone who is participating.

Michael</font>
Hi Michael

According to Carsten Thiede, papyrus 7Q4 (a fragment from the same Cave 7 as 7Q5 was found) is also potentially from the New Testament.

"...there is a papyrus scroll fragment from this cave (7Q4) which was identified by Jose O'Callagan as 1 Timothy 3:16-4:3. This criticism has proven resilient in the face of criticism, muted as that has been. Indeed, even scholars who remained sceptical as to the identification of 7Q5 were convinced by the identification of 7Q4 as verses from 1 Timothy.
(C.P. Thiede and M. D'Ancona, Eyewitness to Jesus, [New York 1996], pg. 140, quoting Emile Puech, a member of the Dead Sea Scrolls editorial team that he is convinced that there are "conclusive reasons" for identifying 7Q4 as a fragment from 1 Timothy: B. Pixner, Wege des Messias und Statten der Urkirch, 2nd enl. ed. R. Riesner [Giessen, 1994], p. 386).


Thiede goes on to discuss this fragment in the broader context of identifying nomina sacra (Ibid. pg. 141-143), but unfortunately does not actually go into O'Callagan's evidence in support of his theory on 7Q4's identification. I have been unable to find any discussion of this particular fragment, so I have not offered it as evidence.

What I have found thus far identifies 7Q4 as being from the apocryphal book of Enoch 103. (see THE GREEK FRAGMENTS OF ENOCH FROM QUMRAN CAVE 7, (7Q4, 7Q8, & 7Q12 = 7QEn gr = Enoch 103:3-4, 7-8)

In 1972 O'Callaghan attempted to identify the pair of fragments known as 7Q4,1&2 as being part of I Timothy 3:16 - 4:3; and fragment 7Q8 as being part of James 1:23-24. He did not attempt to identify 7Q12. The controversy that ensued following O'Callaghan's identifications led to numerous alternative identifications that were proposed for individual fragments from cave 7; including those made by Nebe, as described below.
In 1988 Nebe proposed that fragment 7Q4,1 was part of I Enoch 103:3-4; while 7Q4,2 was part of I Enoch 98:11. He also suggested that 7Q8 was part of I Enoch 103:7-8; but with much reservation, since this fragment could just as easily be identified with several Old Testament passages. Although Nebe concentrated his effort on identifying fragments 7Q4,1&2; this identification was challenged by Thiede, who has supported the identifications made by O'Callaghan. In 1996, Puech defended Nebe's identification of fragment 7Q4,1 as being part of I Enoch 103:3-4; while suggesting that 7Q4,2 is part of I Enoch 105:1.
All of these proposed identifications have remained inconclusive because of the fact that these three fragments are quite small in size and each preserves only a few letters. No one has been able to propose an identification for any of these fragments that excludes all other possibilities.


The author of this site comes down in favour (claiming that "the identifications proposed by Nebe for fragments 7Q4,1, and for 7Q8 can be regarded as certain as part of Enoch 103.

Lacking the expertise to challenge either Thiede or Nebe and Muro, I defer to any evidence others might uncover. That said, let me state that I cannot agree that Thiede and O'Callagan's arguments can be considered decisive, since I cannot locate their particular arguments or responses to Nebe and Muro's analysis.

What I will say is that so far as I am aware, no one has given final and irrefutable evidence as to the identification of ANY of the fragments from Cave 7. My hope is that as time progresses, and science continues to advance, these mysteries will be resolved to a much higher level of confidence.

Thank you for your interest Michael. If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited February 22, 2001).]
 
Old 02-22-2001, 07:44 PM   #36
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Yes, another question. Since we're on Mark...

Some commentators regard the rending of the curtain of the Temple at Jesus' death as a symbolic representation of the destruction of Jerusalem (which would put Mark post-70.)
Why don't you? How do you deal with that question? (I'm not trying to provoke you. I actually want to know the answer, and am agnostic on the date of Mark).

Michael
 
Old 02-22-2001, 09:46 PM   #37
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:

Some commentators regard the rending of the curtain of the Temple at Jesus' death as a symbolic representation of the destruction of Jerusalem (which would put Mark post-70.)
Why don't you? How do you deal with that question?</font>
I cover off my thoughts on the entire "Olivet Discourse (Mark 13:1-36/Matthew 24:1-51/Luke 21:5-36)" from the Synoptics in my thread on Redating the Books of the New Testament.

Basically, in my view, and that of Guthrie, Wallace and others, the idea that the Olivet Discources and predictions of the destruction of Jerusalem was a Marcan invention raises at least as many problems as it solves.

Personally, the description of the tearing of the curtain in the Temple "may" have been a theological embellishment created by Mark to show that the inner sanctum was now open to all through Christ, I find this hard to believe. Mark would have been taking a HUGE risk to attribute a prophecy like the Olivet Discourse to Jesus when all of the elements of this prophecy had clearly not taken place even by the end of the 1st Century.

Also, attempting to use it as a reference to the destruction of the Temple itself in 70 A.D. is even more of a stretch in my opinion. I think the symbolism of the tearing of the curtain is more easily explained as showing that the new covenant (brought about by Christ's sacrifice) had replaced the old, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Jeremiah 31.

Nomad
 
 

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