Jones, Barry Alan:


The Formation of the Book of the Twelve: A Study in Text and Canon (SBL.DS 149) Scholars Press Atlanta, GA 1995:


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4QXII(a)

Among the manuscript discoveries from Khirbet Qumran are fragments of seven different scrolls of the Minor Prophets from Cave IV./10/ The oldest of the seven scrolls, 4QXIIa, contains parts of the books of Zechariah, Malachi, and Jonah and has been dated on paleographic grounds to the middle of the second century BCE./11/ This manuscript apparently exhibits a previously unattested sequence of books. The end of the Book of Malachi is preserved at the bottom of column four in Fuller's reconstruction. The scroll, however, contained writing beyond the end of the Book of Malachi. The Book of Jonah begins on a separate fragment at the top of a column following a blank space of two or three lines./12/ Fuller has labeled this Jonah fragment Column V, concluding that Jonah most likely followed Malachi as the final book of the scroll.

The history of textual transmission attested by the ancient manuscript evidence for the Book of the Twelve demonstrates the antiquity of both the textual unity and sacred status of the Minor Prophets. Concurrently, however, the manuscripts of the LXX Minor Prophets and 4QXIIa show that a degree of fluidity

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10 These fragments have been edited by R. Fuller ("The Minor Prophets Manuscripts from Qumran, Cave IV" [Ph.D. thesis, Harvard University, 1988) and are scheduled for publication in the series Discoveries in the Judean Desert. Information concerning the fragments has been communicated to me by Fuller and by Prof. E. M. Meyers.

11 F. M. Cross, jr., "The Development of the Jewish Scripts," The Bible and the Ancient Near East: Essays in Honor of William Foxwell Albiight (Garden City, NY. Doubleday, 1965), 170-254; and idem, The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Biblical Studies (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1976), 121.

12 Fuller, 'The Minor Prophets Manuscripts," 5.

 


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existed both in the text and in the arrangement of the prophetic books within the scroll. These manuscripts suggest that variant arrangements of the Book of the Twelve were in circulation in Hebrew as late as 150-100 BCE, the approximate date of both 4QXlla and the Old Greek translation of the Minor Prophets.

The thesis of the present dissertation is that both 4QXlla and the Hebrew source text of the LXX represent examples of variant literary editions of the Book of the Twelve and that these textual traditions may be used to reconstruct part of the literary history of the book. Subsequent chapters of the dissertation will attempt to support this thesis by means of recent methodological developments in textual criticism and by a thorough textual and literary examination of the ancient manuscripts of the Book of the Twelve. The background for such an investigation, however, may be provided by a discussion of the ancient literary evidence for the Book of the Twelve and by a summary of the scholarly research on the formation of the book. The remainder of Chapter One will be devoted to a survey of ancient evidence and modern scholarship on the Book of the Twelve that will indicate how the manuscript evidence described above might contribute to the current picture of the formation and history of the collection.

 


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