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Altes Testament


Old-Syriac (Edessean) Inscriptions 1974


Clarke, Ernest

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Theologische Literaturzeitung 99. .lahrgang 1974

■I Mi


Drijvers, H. J. W. [Ed.]: Old Syriac (Edessean) Inscrip-
tions with an Introduction, Indices and a Glossary.
Leiden: Brill 1972. XVIII, 117 S. 8° = Semitic Study
Series, N. S., ed. by J. H. Hospers. T. Jansma and G. F.
Pijper, III. hfl. 26,-.

The volume under review represents a significant airi
to a student's study of a valuable segment of life in
Edessa during the first three centuries A. D. Edessa was
a city of letters and the inscriptions, primarily from
tombs and on mosaics, represent an important pari ol'
that literary Output. The volume is also useful because
it draws together material published previously in a
number of different periodicals as well as offering new
texte which Dr. Drijvers will publish in BSOAS.
Furthermore, none of the inscriptional material is
included in "An Aramaic Handboo k", edited by
F. Rosenthal (1967).

The interest in the hislory and culture of Edessa is
growing and so this volume is a useful compendium of
inscriptional material which began to appear with H.
Pognon's publication in 1907. The last two decades have
seen a large expansion in the amount of text material

There are 68 inscriptions varying in length from one
or two words to several lines. These are arranged chro-
nologically from the earliest dated in 6 A. D. to the
second and third centuries A. D. In addition he has four
coins and the papyrus Deed of Sale from Dura-Europas.
There is a useful general introduction to the inscriptions
and to life in Edessa. There are two indices. The
first concerns proper names and makes a substantial
contribution to that growing collection from such places
as Palmyra, Hatra, etc. The second index iists deities.
Flnally, the glossary is extensive and organized in a
manner which makes it useful to students.

The editor has produced a diplomatic text of the
individual inscriptions. There are instances such as on
p. 57 1.6 (number 24 in the text) where k 1 b appears
with an a 1 e p h (k 1 b') which is acceptable but not in
the text according to Goldstein (J N E S 25, 1966, pp. 3
and 5) who states that all the letters of the word are
ambiguous. What this suggests is that the Student who
wishes to use these texts must consult the original
publications where the critical notes are found.

In fact, the rieh resources of this volume will only
be fully realized by referring constantly to the original
publications of the inscriptions and to J. B. Segal's
Edessa 'The Blessed City' (Oxford, 1970). In
many ways, the volume under review provides textual
documentation for the inscriptions discussed and trans-
lated into English in Segal's volume. An example of
the complementary nalure of the Segal and Drijvers
volumes ts text 39 where the background is in gnosli-
cism discussed by Segal (o p. c i t., pp. 34—35, 44—45)

While stressing the usefulness of this volume one
must raise certain questions. What constitutes an
inscription? Superficially, the definition seems simple
until one notes that Dr. Drijvers has included the Deed
of Sale written on papyrus from Dura-Europas. If this
document is entilled to inclusion (and nowhere does the
editor explain his reason for including it) then why not
the document describing the great flood of November
201 A. D. from the Archives in Edessa? Furthermore,
the reviewer realizes that the editor limited himself to
those inscriptions written in Syriac. Why do so, how-
ever, since those Hebrew, Greek, and Palmyrene are
contemporary and do contribute to our knowledge of

the history and culture of Edessa - one of the stated pur-
poses for collecting the inscriptions (p. IX) ?

Since the volume is intended for students the reviewer
would suggest that a key to the abbreviations cited
would be most useful. For instance, the insertion of KAI
in brackets after the initial reference to the füll title of
Donner and Rolling's volume on p. XI ftnt 1 would
then explain the subsequent references to KAI in the
rest of the volume. As it is there is no indication what
Ihe letters rnean. Would students know V i g C h r. (p.
XV ftnt 4)? As far as abbreviations are concerned
"a. o." (p. XII 12) is not one in the English language
but ralher in Dutch. "s ' and "ss", which are employed
frequently in the volume (for instance, p. XVI ttnt 3)
are also unusual and should be "f" or "ff". However,
even the aberrations just noted are not such as to con ■
tuse the reader. The editor is to be congratulated for his
high degree of editorial care, especially with thi> Syriac

Toronto Ernest G. Clnrke

I orkman, Göran: The Limits of the Keligious Community
. Expulsion from the religious Community within
the Qumran Sect, within Rabbinic Judaism, and
within primitive Christianity, transl. by P. Sjölander.
Lund: Gleerup [1972]. II, 257 S. gr. 8° = Coniectanea
Biblica, New Testament Series, 5.

Diese im Druck vorliegende Lunder theologische Doktordissertation
ist sehr weit gespannt vom Alten Testament
bis zur frühchristlichen Kirche. Sie schließt auch
das Spätjudentum ein und das rabbinische Judentum.
So behandelt der Autor S. 16—32 die alttestamentlicheu
Vorschriften über den Ausschluß aus der Gemeinschaft
und faßt seine Ergebnisse in einer Tabelle (S. 27 f) zusammen
, der zufolge Götzenverehrung, Jahweverachtung
, sexuelle Delikte, rituelle Vergehen und soziale
Verbrechen unter einer Strafskala stehen, die er unter
den Kategorien Todesstrafe, kärat, >ärar und bi<<T
ordnet. Als theologische Motive gibt er die Heiligkeit
und den Bund an.

In seiner sehr eingehenden Untersuchung der in der
Qumränsekte gegebenen Problematik des Ausschlusses
von der Zugehörigkeit zu dieser Gemeinschaft (S. 39—86)
betont der Verfasser mit Recht, daß manche Delikte und
Sünden, die im AT genannt werden, in Quinrün vergeistigt
erscheinen. Aus der Götzenverehrung wird die
Auflehnung gegen die Sekte und ihre Grundlehren. Ungehorsam
sowie bewußte absichtliche Sünde werden
besonders herausgestellt. Sexuelle Vergehen werden
mehr in CDC expressis verbis erwähnt als in 1 QS.
Rituelle Normen, die die Heiligkeit der Sekte und ihre
rituelle Reinheit schützen, können verletzt werden und
den Ausschluß bedingen. Den meisten Raum in den
Strafbestimmunßen nehmen aber, wie der Autor zu
Recht betont, die disziplinarischen Verstöße ein.

Sehr sorgfältig hat der Verfasser die Form des strafweisen
Ausschlusses untersucht (S.47—70). Erst wird die
richtende Instanz festgestellt, die nach CDC ein Gremium
von zehn Richtern — im Sephär hähago bewandert —
ist. während in 1 QS die Versammlung der Vielen richtet
, dann aber geht das Recht zur Urteilsfällung allmählich
auf die Priesterschaft über. Sehr treffend stellt der
Autor fest, daß der strafweise Ausschluß in einer teilweisen
Rücknahme der Mitgliedschaft besteht entsprechend
den vier Stufen, in denen die gradweise Aufnahme
in die Gmeinschaft erfolgt, nämlich Teilnahme
an der Reinheit, am Trinken, an der Gesetzesinterpre-
talion und schließlich die Vermögensabgabe, d. h. der
Eintritt in die volle Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft mit der
Gruppe Dabei stellt der Autor mit Recht fest, daß in