As I prepare my edition of 1QS+ab for publication, I am creating an apparatus that proposes legitimate reconstructions. By legitimate reconstruction, I mean that reconstructions of lacunae must concord with the physical features of a column. So, if you were to place two fragments in a column, then propose a reconstructed text to fit between those two fragments, the reconstruction must necessarily concord with the Schriftenmetric statistics,1 and Historical Linguistics.2
Consider, for example, 1QSb 1:1. Elisha Qimron proposes that the line should read:
Now, the question is whether the reconstruction of, ירא[יו בוחרי] , has any merit based on the spacing between the two fragments (which are not annotated in Qimron’s editions). When creating a material reconstruction of the scroll, we begin to realise that Qimron’s proposal has little merit.
At one time, I would have likely invested an hour or so thinking about what could fill the line. I now just use the brackets, and annotate any reconstruction that fills the lacuna in such a way that the reconstruction concords with historical syntax and the spatial dimensions of the reconstruction as reverse engineered in the scribal hand.
Shabbat shalom, Friends.
- Schriftenmetric is a methodology of manuscript reconstruction that utilises Artificial Intelligence and algorithms to aid a philologist in the work of reconstructing a fragmentary document. I explain my methodology in greater detail in a forthcoming article. You can find more about the methodology here: https://jamesmtucker.com/?p=879
- Thus taking account of the various issues of diachronic changes and synchronic variations.