By Geza Vermes
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Extra info for The Story of the Scrolls
For the anti-Israelis of the École, the Jewish victory within the Six Day struggle used to be a profound blow. regardless of the gentlemanly reassurance given through the Israeli division of Antiquities that they wouldn't intrude with the working of the editorial paintings (a beneficiant yet silly circulation because it grew to become out), de Vaux stumbled on it most unlikely to tolerate the swap within the final controlling authority. over the past 4 years of his existence (from 1967 to 1971), editorial task got here to a standstill. With de Vaux’s dying on the age of sixty-eight, a brand new leader editor needed to be came upon, and the contributors of the editorial staff, already lively (or ordinarily inactive) from a distance, made the alternative of one other professor of the École, who, like de Vaux, used to be a French Dominican, Father Pierre Benoit. The Israeli archaeological institution sheepishly licensed his appointment in 1972. no longer being a Hebraist, yet a brand new testomony pupil, Benoit used to be hardly ever the suitable chief from the educational viewpoint. missing the firmness and diplomatic ability required by means of the place of work, he was once no longer the guy prone to placed an finish to the editorial sleepiness, which used to be a growing number of commencing to resemble a coma. A clean shake-up was once wanted. Having left France, the priesthood and Catholicism in 1957, and answerable for Jewish stories in Oxford for the reason that 1965, I felt it was once my flip to make a circulate. because the Israelis have been unwilling to intrude, used to be there the other establishment, hooked up with the venture and endowed with sufficient muscle, that may be ready to exert strain on Benoit and his underlings? Oxford collage Press, the publishers of the DJD sequence, looked as if it would me simply what the physician ordered. The 400-year-old OUP used to be, after Her Majesty’s Stationery place of work, the biggest publishing institution in Britain, and its director, C. H. Roberts, bearing the modest, outdated name of ‘Secretary to the Delegates’, was once a strong guy not just by means of advantage of his workplace, but additionally as one of many world’s most famed Greek papyrologists. He was once not only a colleague, but in addition an best friend. a couple of weeks prior, within the correspondence columns of the London occasions (7 April 1972), he supported together with his special authority my assault at the Spanish Jesuit José O’Callaghan’s conception that tiny Greek papyrus fragments present in Qumran Cave 7 represented the Gospel of Mark and different New testomony texts one of the useless Sea Scrolls. At our assembly on 15 may well 1972, Colin Roberts had wanted just a couple of phrases prior to he expressed his contract with my premise nice accountability in the direction of the scholarly neighborhood lay at the Press’s shoulders, and declared himself ready to behave within the identify of OUP. within the presence of his senior colleague answerable for DJD issues, we determined that the recent editor-in-chief Benoit will be required to provide the clicking with an organization venture and impose a close and binding timetable on his procrastinating editorial crew. If the affairs of the editor-in-chief have been in chaos, so have been additionally – as i used to be to find – these of OUP. It became out that they didn't have any checklist of the names, not to mention of the addresses, of the individuals of the editorial staff, so couldn't converse with them.
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