Although de Vaux Was a Divine, He Was Not Infallible

An example of de Vaux’s fallibility is still conspicuously visible at Qumran.

By David Stacey
Field Archaeologist (1975-1987), Jericho Excavations
August 2015

Click here for article.

Comments (3)

That's an interesting perspective. I'd love to see Jodi's response.

#1 - jim west - 08/21/2015 - 17:14

The Qumran literature does not seem in the end to be seriously embarrassing to us poor battered Christians but there must at first have been extreme anxiety that it would - that there would be references to someone sounding like Jesus and portrayed as disreputable, expelled for drunkenness or something. Hence the Christians got their retaliation in first, making sure that the Qumranists were seen as a bit disreputable, at least eccentric, themselves.
Which is not to say that the fate of the rediscovered Qummranists, to be called 'sectarians' by Catholics, was not as things turned out, well deserved. The hypothesis that they were sectarians seems to have been quite fruitful and quite widely accepted among experts. However, I would like to ask whether an institution of a truly sectarian nature, teaching and writing in ways subversive to the religious and political authorities of their time, not known for restraint in these matters, would really have possible.

#2 - Martin Hughes - 08/21/2015 - 21:40

In the quote from Poole and Reed, Stacey left out the words (p. 152) "appear to have" (after "would"). Further, this was their conclusion--not de Vaux's words--after their review of evidence and engaging a contrary view by H. Del Medico. More importantly, Stacey did not inform readers of their directly relevant words (p. 151): "A number of lines of evidence suggest that the treatment of skins to produce either leather or parchment was not carried out in the main community buildings: in neither of the two 'industrial' quarters has a tannery been deposits of organic matter have been detected...."

And who claims de Vaux was "infallible"? I don't think anyone who reads my review of "Qumran Revisited" in Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 371 (2014) 252-4 could fairly say that of me.

#3 - Stephen Goranson - 08/23/2015 - 15:54

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