Biblical Archaeology Review 18:2, March/April 1992

Queries & Comments

Already Published

In the November/December 1991 issue three supposedly new texts were published, with translations by Robert Eisenman (“Long-Secret Plates from the Unpublished Corpus,” BAR 17:06).

The text labeled “A War Prayer” was previously published as 4Q501 Lamentation by Maurice Baillet in Qumran Grotte 4, vol. 3 (4Q482–4Q520), Discoveries in the Judaean Desert VII (Oxford: Clarendon, 1982), pl. XXVIII. An English translation can be found in Geza Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 3rd ed. (Penguin, 1987), p. 216.

Professor Eisenman does not translate the second column of what he calls “The Testament of Kohath.” Your readers may be interested in knowing that four lines (9–12) of the second column were printed in Hebrew and translated into French by J. T. Milik in “4Q Visions de ‘Amram et une citation d’Origène,” Revue Biblique 79 (1972), p. 97. The full publication of this document has been announced by Emile Puech, “Le Testament de Qahat en araméen de la Grotte 4 (4QTQahat),” Revue de Qumran 15 (1991), forthcoming.

It is interesting that with all of the furor about the unpublished texts so few people have actually studied what has been published. Probably most people reading “A War Prayer” will not recognize that it has been published before. In some ways so much has been published that it is difficult to keep track of it all. Still, we look forward to the full publication of all the texts.

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