Monday, March 29, 2010

Robert R Cargill, Ph.D UCLA - On the Insignificance of the Copper Scroll? Really!

Robert R. Cargill (for the Center for Digital Humanities, UCLA, Jul. 2009, )  wrote:

"But for the wise, the Copper Scroll is little more than what scholars have claimed since the beginning: an anomaly discovered among the otherwise informative manuscripts comprising the Dead Sea Scrolls."

Well, well well!  Our relatively newly qualified expert tells us that the Copper Scroll is an anomaly.  This is what comes of doing your archaeology in front of a computer, and not having an appreciation of the writings attributed to Josephus.  Added to that he just couldn't wait to have a go at amateurs like Robert Feather who I am sure has tried in all sincerity to come up with a plausible and researched case for the Copper Scroll even if I can't accept it. And why does our expert have to even mention the ridiculous Jimmy Barfield?  Robert Cargill must think like Jim West, that the general public are idiots.

This is what Cargill wrote about various people including one very wise Scholar, Norman Golb.  Cargill reveals his sensitivies:  

"But it is not just wannabe archaeologists that prey on the Copper Scroll.  Some scholars holding to fringe theories about the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls regularly make the Copper Scroll a central pillar of their unlikely arguments.  The University of Chicago’s Norman Golb has made a name for himself in part by appealing to the Copper Scroll to argue in support of his version of Karl Rengstorf’s theory that none of the Dead Sea Scrolls were produced at Qumran.  Others, like author Robert Feather, have written several books touting the Copper Scroll’s connection to treasures from Egypt.  The fact that most scholars have wholly dismissed claims by the Barfields, Golbs, and Feathers of the world has not stopped the latter from publishing books and raking in money from a public more than willing to entertain speculation and sensationalist claims over scholarly consensus and sound academic research." 

And never mind about the money Cargill hopes to rake in for his little virtual reality project.

Most Scholars have NOT dismissed claims made by Norman Golb.

The Copper Scroll was deposited in a cave near Qumran around the same time as all the rest of the Scrolls, essentially by the same people, the priests. They were certainly NOT deposited by people fleeing from a fallen Jerusalem, OR by various groups such as Pharisees, Essenes, Zealots and Sadducees, as proposed by Cargill in the multi-party theory of Pfann. The Scrolls were taken from Agrippa I's library, by the priests shortly before the Romans arrived. The priests were about to be destroyed by the fifth and tenth legions of Neros army who were to come from Alexandria. These legions were led by Nero himself.  At the time Jerusalem, Masada, Machaerus, and Qumran were controlled by the rebel priests. The priests kept many of the prophets locked in the temple.

The priests had already murdered the prophet James. They proceeded to ransack and burn Agrippa I's palace, and raided Agrippa I's library where the scrolls going back two or three hundred years were kept. - The Flavian historians have rebels burning the archives to destroy evidence of debts. (War 2.17.6)  They found Agrippa I in an aqueduct and murdered him - the Flavian historians, in a typical reversal, have the rebels murdering a SUPPOSED high priest Ananias. (War 2.17.9).  The priests sequested a large amount from the Agrippa I's treasury to fund the building of defences. (War 2.20.3) but this was not the treasure that the Copper Scroll spoke about.
  The Copper Scroll was a real document, about a real treasure, that was stolen for a purpose. It was certainly NOT an 'anomaly'.  (See the footnote). 

I now think that the extant Copper Scroll was inscribed (crudely) at the time of Judas Maccabeus when the priests were first kicked out of the Temple. The priests of the time had inscribed the extant Copper Scroll (along with a second more detailed copy referred to in the extant Copper Scroll, see column 12) around 164 BCE.  It recorded the places where they buried temple treasure which they took and hid before fleeing Judas's forces. Judas captured the extant Copper Scroll along with most of the other Scrolls, and probably most of the treasure.  The other more detailed copy (probably not copper) has never been found.  The Scrolls (including the one copper scroll) were preserved by a succession of Hasmonean and Herodian rulers.   Until the reign of Agrippa 1, the priests lived in exile in their villages and towns.  After Agrippa had ruled a good number of years, the priests rebelled, killed the king, ransacked the king's archives, set fire to them, and took the Scrolls to the Judean desert. Among the Scrolls the rebel priests took was the extant Copper Scroll.      

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Scrolls Deposited After the Fall of Jerusalem? (The Heritage Key, Monday 07/06/2009)

Owen Jarus interviewed Yuval Peleg, and wrote:  "I also questioned him on his idea that the Dead Sea Scrolls were deposited in the Qumran caves by refugees who were fleeing the Roman army after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD."

Peleg's idea:
OJ: One question that I had about the idea that people were depositing these scrolls on the way out is why didn’t they just carry them with them so to speak?
YP: Beyond Qumran?
OJ: Beyond Qumran
YP: You to have to see the area - Qumran is the last station. The water came to the cliffs after Qumran. You have to go through the water, through the Dead Sea, in order to go south. Or climb the cliffs. Continuing to go with scrolls and stuff? Just put it in the caves.

Its a ridiculous idea.  If the Roman army was surrounding Jerusalem, hoards of people carrying scrolls (on donkeys or by foot) would hardly have gone unnoticed.  The Scrolls were deposited in the few months before the invasion of Nero's armies, and that means before 66 CE.  This was a massive operation by anyone's standards.  The priests knew that Nero was coming for them because they had killed Agrippa I and James the prophet. Now Nero was going to eliminate the priests.

But what danger would the Scrolls have been in if left in Jerusalem?  It has struck me as incredible that the Romans were not aware of the existence of the Scrolls.  You can bet they would have have been greatly interested in the War Scroll. 

The Scrolls were originally under the control of the king, Agrippa I.  From the king's (and the Roman's) point of view, some of the documents (the War Scroll is a good example) would have been extremely sensitive.  War 2.17.6 looks highly suspicious. It was probably originally as follows: "The priests set fire to the palace: after which they made haste to where the archives were reposited. The keepers of the records fled away. Some of the high priests went into the vaults, under ground."  As night follows day, the burning of the palace was followed by retrieval of the archives. This would agree with Rengstorf: the Scrolls came from one library, Agrippa 1's library.  The priests would certainly not have wanted their scrolls burned. The burning of contracts belonging to creditors was pure obfuscation.   

In the the garbled text of Life 8, we have something very close to this: "But he told them, that now they had been so unfortunate as to be made a 'present' by Nero to Agrippa...that the archives were now removed." This was in a speech of one 'Justus' (possibly Ananus the leader of Jerusalem) who was encouraging the priests (people) to revolt out of the hatred they bore for the prophets of Ein Gedi (the people of Sepphoris). 

So now we have a motive for taking and hiding the Scrolls.  The priests wanted to revive the old warrior priesthood. 

Thanks Robert Cargill for deleting my posts to your blog.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Official Blog of Dr Robert R. Cargill UCLA (March 17, 2010)

Robert Cargill wrote:

"question for review: who first proposed a theory stating that the dead sea scrolls had nothing to do with qumran, but were part of a library that came from jerusalem?" 

Here Cargill is pointing out the inconsistency in that Norman Golb accuses Lawrence Schiffman of plagiarising his ideas while Golb himself has plagiarised Rengstorf who (it appears) first suggested that the Scrolls were of Jerusalem origin. Why should'nt one scholar borrow another's ideas?  Its not as though the idea was patented. And you Robert Cargill do it all the time. Does Golb give credit to Rengstorf?  Surely he did.  What exactly has Lawrence Schiffman done?  And does he give credit to Golb?

But what Cargill really wanted to do was to draw attention to the case which he is pursuing against Raphael Golb.  He subsequently wrote in a seeming aside:

"in related news, the son of norman golb has accused a nyu scholar of plagiarizing the thoughts and ideas of norman golb and passing them off as his own. golb’s son, raphael, has since been arrested. have a nice day".

The sooner you Robert Cargill, get back to scholarship, the better.

The Official Blog of Dr Robert R. Cargill UCLA (March 15, 2010)

Robert Cargill wrote:

"if after reading the scrolls, we read about a community of initiates (that is, not born into the sect, but joining from the outside) that sought to remove itself from what it considered a corrupt temple and into the desert,"

This does not mean the priests wanted to remove themselves from Jerusalem. Nor does it mean that they went into the desert.  This was figurative language.   At a certain stage of their history, they were barred from the temple, but not from Jerusalem.  There were priests in every city, town and village. Damascus was a symbol to every priest.  and "This is the rule for the assembly of the CAMPS".

And the big question: who was making the temple corrupt?  It was the 'seekers of smooth things' who some mistakenly believe were Pharisees (who were non-existent).  They were the prophets, "the congregation of those who seek smooth things in Jerusalem...[who despise the] law and do not [trust in God] ... As robbers lie in wait for a man...they have despised [the words] of the law." 4Q163.  Ever since Judas Maccabeus they had tried to ban animal sacrifices.

And where does Cargill get the idea that initiates could join this community from 'outside'?  

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Official Blog of Dr Robert R. Cargill UCLA (Doomed to Digging the Earth)

Robert is so dependent on others for his theories. He can't begin to think for himself.  I wrote the following two posts to his blog:

Geoff Hudson, on March 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm Said: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

The Scrolls were evidently a mixed bunch, too complicated to sort through in the time which the then priests in-power had. There was no choice but to take the lot. They knew Nero was coming for them – they had killed Agrippa I and James. The priests took the temple treasure as well to fund their defence. This was NOT to be a war against ALL Jews. It was a war against the priests, who were to be eliminated. It was a war that lasted no more than about 6 months.

Robert Cargill wrote:
"specifically, there is a third ’salient’ theory that essentially blends the two polar opposite approaches. it is a theory that has been researched and advanced by scholars like stephen pfann (see his articles here, where i first encountered the theory). the theory works well with the research of lawrence schiffman (nyu) and john collins (yale). i adopted this approach in my recent book, qumran through (real) time. this theory is alternatively called the ‘multi-cave’ theory, the ‘cave cluster’ theory, or the ‘multi-party’ theory (or make up your own name). but in the long run, i am convinced it will be known as the dominant theory concerning the origin of the dead sea scrolls: that different groups (including essenes, priests, zadokites, sadducees, zealots, pharisees, and/or other unknown jewish groups) hid different scrolls (including the damascus rule, the serekhs (1qs, 1qsa, and 1qsb), biblical literature, and extra-biblical/pseudepigraphical literature) in different caves or cave clusters (caves 4-5 and 7-9 immediately surrounding the qumran settlement vs. cave 1 and 2 farther away vs. cave 11 vs. cave 3, etc.) near qumran. the cave cluster theory (as pfann has dubbed it) allows for a small sectarian group (perhaps the essenes or a sub-group identifying with the essenes) at qumran to have hidden scrolls in caves 4, 5, and 7-9, while a different group (like zealots) to have hidden their scrolls in cave 11, priests (of some origin) to have hidden scrolls in caves 1 and 6, while still other unknown jewish groups to have hidden completely different scrolls in cave 3 (for example, no copies or fragments from the serekhs or the damascus rule were discovered in cave 3 with the copper scroll)."

Geoff Hudson, on March 16, 2010 at 1:59 am Said: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
The multi-party, multi-cave theory is irrelevant. There were no ‘Essenes’, Sadducees, Zealots, Pharisees, and/or other unknown Jewish groups. These groups did not exist at the time. Jacob Neusner has more or less proved that. They are not mentioned in the very DSS nor in Philo. But the priests did exist and so did the prophets (called ‘Essenes’ in Josephus). And the priests were led by the controlling Hanan family. The war was against such priests.

For a laugh: So a party of Essenes comes out of Jerusalem riding their skinny donkeys in a mule train carrying their scrolls heading for cave allocated to them near Qumran.  Then comes the Sadducees only their donkeys looked very well fed. They too had their own allocated cave to deposit their scrolls. These were followed by the zealots, looking very furtive, who thought they were the only ones going to heaven. They had their own scrolls to deposit in their own special cave.  Then finally, comes the Pharisees,  the untouchables.  They kept well away from all the rest in their own separate cave with their scrolls. 

But hang on a minute!  None of the above are mentioned anywhere in any of the documents they were supposed to be depositing. There were no Essenes, no Sadducees, no zealots, and no Pharisees.  They were all priestly documents.

The high priests now had control of all the Scrolls, after burning Agrippa 1's palace and taking them from Agrippa 1's archives. (War 2.17.6)  So the high priests had removed them from where they had been kept  safe, and hid them in caves (a risky environment), no matter what shade of opinion they represented.  

The Hanan family had control of the temple treasure which they took from the public treasury to make sure it could be used for the defence of Jerusalem (War 2.20.3) and other cities.   

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Raphael Golb, Robert Carghill, Rod of Alexandria

All things bright and beautiful.

Robert Cargill, on the one hand you condemn Raphael Golb, on the other you correspond with the master of aliases 'Rod of Alexandria'.

You wrote: // February 26, 2010 at 10:35 AM
good post. thanx for the summary.  quick question: did jodi really reveal to the class that she was the peer-reviewer on a number of my article submissions and that she rejected each of them?
thanx. -bc

You also wrote: // February 26, 2010 at 10:39 AM
thank you, rod. again, good summary. it’s essentially what she said at my book review session. you’re welcome to chat me offline if you want to discuss further. btw – i’ve added you to my blogroll.
thx again – bc

It's interesting that Jodi Magness rejected all your submissions that she peer-reviewed.

Robert Cargill wrote:
Retrieved from
Not even 'Rod of Alexandria'?

Robert Cargill wrote:
"But those of us who seek to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God, will learn to approach the Bible as we do those whom we serve: with patience, forgiveness, empathy, and the kind of service and support that cares for the person, and not for the political position."

Patience, forgiveness, empathy, care for the person!  Robert Cargill, does this apply to Raphael Golb?