On the use of red ink in Antiquity, a very good source is: Anne F.
Robertson, Word Dividers, Spot Markers and Clause Markers in Old
Assyrian, Ugaritic, and Egyptian Texts. Diss. NYU, November 1993.
(Chuck Jones mentioned it some years ago with respect to the use
of red inks in the DSS. As the ca. 10th-9th BCE Phoenician texts
use dots as a three point punctuation system in a refinement of the
Ugaritic bar and dot system... A public thanks, Chuck, for bringing
the diss to my attention.)
> A few Qumran scrolls have some writing in red ink on them (e.g.,
> 4QNum-b, 2QPs), and in most cases their editors plausibly suggest
>that this may indicate a liturgical function (see, e.g., DJD XII,
>p. 211 for 4QNum-b).
> I was wondering if the use of red ink could additionally suggest
>that the scroll was not intended to be a "biblical" scroll, but
>was a text copied for expressly liturgical functions? (if such a
>distinction can be made)
>From my own research, there is a slight possiblity that colored graphs
in late-antique docs could indicate musical directions; however...
while musical notes as colors are discussed back in the 6th BCE (and
undoubtedly also date back to the 24th BCE), no hard evidence for
musical color-notation in liturgical use shows up until the 5th CE.
More likely, from what I saw when I was examining the DJD, these color
uses appear to be an adaption of xenographic exchange. The exchange
technique also dates back to Antiquity -- to the reign of Sargon I of
Sumer and Akkad to be exact. Particularly good examples of the usual
exchange technique appear in 11QPs; as exchange indicates the distinction
between the transcendent and the mundane realms, and continued to indicate
this distinction between realms centuries after the printing press appeared,
its much later (ca. 10th CE) Christian use as *specifically* a liturgical
or religious technique instead of the previous use of indicating, for example,
a ruler acting in a transcendent role rather than a mundane role, tells us
nothing about a liturgical function in the DSS.
>The basis of my query is mMeg 2.2 where
>>red ink/dye [SQR)] is prohibited for use on biblical scrolls:
>> "If it were written with paint, or with red dye [SQR)], or with
>>resin, or with copperas, on paper or on partially prepared hide,
>>he has not performed his duty, unless it is written in Hebrew on
>>parchment and with ink [DYW]." mMeg 2.2
>> Obviously one problem with my reasoning is that it is
>>anachronistic, applying later Jewish tradition to the Qumran
>>scrolls. But in my own defense, Tov has demonstrated that many of
>>the latter rabbinic guidelines for scroll preparation and copying
>>appear to have been followed with the Qumran scrolls (e.g., his
>>article on the dimensions of the scrolls).
While your reasoning is sound, scripts, sizes, and formats are tightly
bound to cultural identity. The battle over the Jewish ethnic script
was only settled in the 2nd-3rd CE. You also can see a table giving the
breakdown of some of the more important sizes and formats in use around
the turn of the common era in that on-line lecture of mine on the Writing
World of the DSS at St. Andrews... (unless Jim has set-up a direct link,
the link is all the way down at the bottom of the syllabus page under
Qumran.) Unfortunately, the culturally determined continuity of the scroll
dimensions precludes their use as guidelines for other aspects.
Among other (but not limited to) telling arguments against the use of
later prescriptions as a guide are the adoption by the early Christians
of both xenographic exchange and colored inks for religious texts. In
addition, we have Greek and Latin script-systems that incorporate graph-
models that appear in the DSS and on BCE Judean coins. All these show
that the early Christians followed existing Jewish models. Together, these
features do make it anachronistic to use later directions about the use
of color to apply to the DSS.
Hope this helps,
Dr. R.I.S. Altman, co-coordinator, IOUDAIOS-L [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For private reply, e-mail to "Rochelle I. Altman" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
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