Re: Dead Sea Mark

From: James Trimm (
Date: Sat Apr 25 1998 - 11:59:27 EDT

One must be very careful. In April of 1990 BAR (p. 24) strongly implied
that 4Q246 was a fragment of Luke (Lk. 1:32, 35). However Vermes gave a
translation of 4Q246 in his book that could NOT have been Luke 1:32, 35.
When the scrolls were released it was clear that 4Q246 was part of some
apocalyptic work similar to Daniel. Most scholars now believe that the
fragment does not even discuss the Messiah but rather some kind of
anti-christ figure (see the Wise Abegg and Cook book on 4Q246).

A fragment rumored in 1990 to be a fragment of Luke is now thought to refer
to an anti-christ figure. So again, one must be very careful not to make
the same mistakes twice.

James Trimm

At 12:51 PM 4/25/98 +0100, Daniel Ria–o wrote:
>Jim West wrote (shouted?):
>>You must be referring to O'Callaghan's claim (followed by Carsten Thiede)
>>that 7Q5 is a fragment of Mark. It isn't!!!! By the way, o"Callaghan just
>>suggested that it MIGHT be whereas Thiede said it IS).
> The second part is not exact. O'Callaghan effectively suggested
>that 7Q5 is a fragment of Mark, but Carsten Thiede does not say it is
>necessary so. In his book, Thiede compares the methods of Classical
>philology and Biblical studies, and supports the view that, after the
>evidence alleged by O'Callaghan, in strict observation of the methods of
>Classical scholarship, the burden of the prove now lies in the part denying
>the antiquity of the Evangile of Mark in the terms proposed by O'Callaghan.
>This very interesting book of Thiede exemplifies how different the methods
>and the attitudes in Classical Philology and Biblical studies are, and
>that's something that Jim West a-bit-too-energetic recently posts shows
>>There is O'Callaghan's article linked to the Orion web site- but before you
>>waste time reading a theory that simply will not wash, see Graham Stanton's
>>"Gospel Truth" where he rightly debunks the whole nonsense. There are NO NT
>>fragments at Qumran. NONE!
>Then again, Jim answers to Ben:
>>> It does appear that three fragments from Cave 7 (7Q4, 7Q5 and 7Q8) are
>>> New Testament documents.
>>This is absolutely false. And that is not just a matter of opinion. There
>>is NO, I repeat, NO Dead Sea Scrolls expert who support the notion that NT
>>documents have been found among the scrolls.
>>> The primary source is a learned article in /Biblica 53/ (1972), pp 91-109,
>>> by Professor J O'Callaghan, a Jesuit, and an eminent papyrologist.
>>> had failed to identify 7Q5, 7Q4 and 7Q8 even after searching right through
>>> the entire Greek text of the Old Testament (LXX). Eventually O'Callaghan
>>> thought the unthinkable and looked for a match in the New Testament. He
>>> amazed to find that 7Q5 fitted Mark 6:52-53 (Gennesaret).
>>What Ben forgot to tell you (or does not know) is that only by an
>>excruciating, gymnastic twisting of the evidence can one even suggest that
>>7Q5 is Mark 6. It simply is not, regardless of ANY claim to the contrary,
>>by Ben or O'Callghan, or Thiede, or anyone else.
> Caps, irritancy and dozens of exclamation marks don't make an
>argument any stronger. Ben did not forget to mention excruciating and
>gymnastic twisting, since O'Callaghan's theories are built with sound,
>valuable philological arguments, that need to be answered in the same way.
>Jack Kilmon wrote:
>> In this regard I don't indict O'Callaghan for what his computer
>>program at that time identified as letters parsimonious to Mark.
> As a matter of fact, all the efforts of O'Callaghan was made
>without a computer (he's hardly a computer expert). Only years after his
>work was first published another team (in Italy, I believe) took the pain
>to test O'Callaghan's hypothesis with a computer.
>Nichael Cramer wrote:
>>>> ... /Biblica/ only has a limited circulation, so he wrote
>>>> to /The Times/ (London) about his discovery (16th March 1972).
>>Assuming this to be an accurate depiction of the events, this fact alone
>>would be sufficient to allow the unbiased reader serious doubts about such
> I can't see what is the fact alluded: the publication in Biblica,
>the diffusion by the Times or both things taken together. What's the
>argument here? Biblica does have a very limited circulation, but the
>hypothesis contains enough interesting points to make it interesting for a
>broader public, and enough basis to consider it reasonable, and worth to be
>broadcasted. It is not at all strange that important discoverings in the
>Classical Studies receive broad diffusion at a very early stage (I am
>remembering now the broadcasting of Ventris &Chadwick deciphering of
>Linear-B by the BBC, which made easier for other scholars both to know
>V&Ch. views and informing them about the existence of unpublished material
>that supported V&Ch. theory). Probably the Times is not now what it used to
>be before (the 16th lunatic alleging he had deciphering Tartessian was
>reviewed in extenso last year), but many important scholars use it as a way
>to make relevant scientific discoverings accessible to many people.
>>Actually, the situation is rather worse than this. As W. Slaby has shown,
>>if we restrict a computer search to match only the ten sure letters of 7Q5,
>>the only possible identification is Lk 3:19-21. (See n17, p 198 of Graham
>>Stanton's book for more information, including a full reference.)
> If this is correct, I agree that *that* is an argument. I must
>recognise that I don't know the work of W. Slaby alluded, but I'll see
>where or how I can read it, as well as Graham Stanton's book. Thanks to
>Nichael for the reference (What exactly is the title of W. Slaby's work).
>Daniel Rian~o Rufilanchas
>c. Santa Engracia 52, 7 dcha.

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