Qumran Cave 1 Questions, Part 2: The Thanksgiving Scrolls

I continue to pose a set of questions about the materials said to have been found in Qumran Cave 1. In the first post, I discussed the ambiguous status of the Genesis Apocryphon roll. This post will turn to 1QHa, the Thanksgiving Scroll.

Image source: E. L. Sukenik, The Dead Sea Scrolls of the Hebrew University (Jerusalem: Magness Press, 1955), fig. 15

The question here is more straightforward. I mentioned in the last post, that it was my understanding that the War Scroll (1QM) was the only one of the first seven scrolls on the market in 1947 that was also represented among the fragments that excavators actually found in situ in Cave 1 (in the form of 1Q33). Yet, in his thorough account of the early years of Scrolls research (The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Full History, 2009), Weston Fields on a couple of occasions states that portions of the Thanksgiving Scroll (1QHa) were also found by excavators during the 1949 campaign:

p. 103: “It is true that fragments found by Harding and de Vaux in Cave 1 connected the War Scroll and the Thanksgiving Scroll to that cave.”

p. 111: “The official excavation found fragments from Sukenik’s scrolls only. These were fragments of the War Scroll (1QM) and the Thanksgiving Scroll I (1QH). This means that the official Cave 1 was connected archaeologically to Sukenik’s scrolls, but not to Metropolitan Samuel’s.”

p. 113: “…there is no official archaeological evidence connecting Isaiaha, the Habakkuk Commentary, the Manual of Discipline, the Genesis Apocryphon, and Isaiahb with the “Cave 1″ excavated by Harding and de Vaux.65

Endnote 65 offers some clarification:

“65. Even the two fragments of the Thanksgiving Scroll do not contain sufficient text to make a conclusive paleographic analysis of the connection between them and larger parts of the scroll. One must also allow for the possibility that the same scribe could have written parts of two scrolls which ended up in two different caves. On the other hand, as Sukenik points out, two scribes wrote the scroll. The second scribe began on line 22 of column 11. (See Sukenik, The Dead Sea Scrolls of the Hebrew University, pp. 18, 38-40 and figures 29 and 30)”

The reference to Sukenik is informative. At the time Sukenik’s edition of the Thanksgiving Scroll (1QHa) was published in 1954-1955, it was commonly believed that 1Q35 was a part of 1QHa, as the plates in Sukenik’s edition indicate:

Image source: E. L. Sukenik, The Dead Sea Scrolls of the Hebrew University (Jerusalem: Magness Press, 1955), fig. 30

But to the best of my understanding, this identification was rejected already in the early 1960s, which gave rise to the typical distinction between Sukenik’s large scroll (1QHa) and the excavated pieces designated 1Q35 (1QHb). And I don’t think there is any question here of scribal identity between either of the copyists of 1QHa and the copyist of 1QHb.

So my questions for today are: Has anyone since the early 1960s seriously believed that 1Q35 was a part of Sukenik’s Hodayot scroll? And if not, why was Fields, in 2009, presenting this view as if it was the scholarly consensus?

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5 Responses to Qumran Cave 1 Questions, Part 2: The Thanksgiving Scrolls

  1. Eibert Tigchelaar says:

    Two articles by Emile Puech from 1988 and 1995, as well as some articles by Eileen Schuller from the early nineties, demonstrated that the 1Q35 fragments did not derive from 1QH, and ever since these (1QH and 1Q35) are clearly distinguished in scholarship. This was already argued in the 1960s by Hartmut Stegemann in his (unpublished) Dissertation, and hence the distinction was already mentioned in 1966 by Kuhn, Enderwartung, in 1966. But these German publications were not broadly known, and up to the 1980s the idea that the 1Q35 fragments belonged to 1QH was – to my knowledge – the consensus. But since the 1990s scholars should have known otherwise.
    Field’s interest was clearly not in the exact identification of fragments, scrolls, works.

  2. Thanks, this is good to know. Not being part of the field, I can see the references when they occur, but it can be hard to get a sense of the consensus on relatively small points like these.

    • Ah, I see now that Cross’s identification of the pieces as part of one roll was still present in the 3rd ed. of his book: “Bits of 1QM and 1QH were discovered in controlled excavations”
      (Cross, Ancient Library of Qumran, 3rd ed., 1995, p. 24, note 2).

  3. Pingback: Qumran Cave 1 Questions, Part 3: Is Cave 1 Really Cave 1? | Variant Readings

  4. Pingback: Qumran Cave 1 Questions, Part 4: Sukenik’s Isaiah Scroll | Variant Readings

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