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DSS Cryptogram with Stephen Phon


rameumptom

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I was digging through a bunch of old emails I'd saved and found an interesting one that I don't think ever was answered. Way back in Nov 17, 1993, on the now extinct Morm-Ant email list run by Dr Hamblin, he wrote the following:

I just attended a brown bag by Stephen Phon, a non-LDS scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, who works with Emmanuel Tov at the DSS archive.

None of this is published, so it is hotter than off the press. Publication of his findings will occur within the next year or so.

Phon has been assigned what are called the "cryptogram" scrolls, which are written in coded cryptograms. He has broken two of the three codes. The documents are all in standard Hebrew, but the characters used to write the letters arenot Hebrew or any other recognized script. There are only 22 characters used, which have a one to one correspondence with the Hebrew alphabet, so the code is fairly simple to break using letter frequencies.

He claims that one of the cryptogram texts was designed for new initiates into the Qumran order, who are called the "sons of the dawn" (bene sheqar I think). It was on a small scroll that could be held in the palm of the hand. Its contents were fragmentary, but center around a recitation by one of the advanced initiated to new novice initiates which focused on a midrash of the creation story from Genesis, and the moral implications that can be learned therefrom. Having this document read was apparently part of the admission of new initiates into the community. The document was in code sot hat the uninitiated could not read it.

(Any of this sound familiar?)

If John Gee is listening, it might be worthwhile to look at the characters used in the cryptogram. It would be interesting to see if any of them turned out to be based on demotic or some form of Egyptian script. Phon said that the best photographs of the cryptograms are found in the Brill microfiche facsimile edition.

I am going to dinner with Phon tonight and might get some more information from him.

Bill H.

Does anyone have anymore information on these scrolls? If so, do we have the translation and explanation by Phon or other person available in any book?

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This is not at all on topic, but I have to ask if anyone knows about a quote I recall from a Dead Sea Scrolls expert. He said the Essenes (or whoever wrote/copied them) called themselves something very like "the Church of the Latter-Day Saints". Actually the quote is more like, "we couldn't translate it as 'The Church of Latter-day Saints' because that name was already taken by a cult."

Help?!?!

Lehi

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The Austrian scholar Georg Molin reflected in 1954 about the Dead Sea Scrolls, and about the community at Qumran that seems to have produced and guarded them. The title â??Latter-day Saints,â? he reflected, although it belongs to a modern religious movement, could also properly have been given to the ancient authors and custodians of the Scrolls. (Georg Molin, Die S

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The title â??Latter-day Saints,â? he reflected, although it belongs to a modern religious movement, could also properly have been given to the ancient authors and custodians of the Scrolls. (Georg Molin, Die S
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It's Stephen Pfann, by the way.

Nice guy. I once spent most of a day clambering all over Qumran with him.

Yes, I know it is Pfann. However, I was quoting the original text by Dr Hamblin. Hopefully, his spell checker is better these days than back in 1993....

Anyone have a comment that's direct to my question?

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Yes, I know it is Pfann. However, I was quoting the original text by Dr Hamblin. Hopefully, his spell checker is better these days than back in 1993....

Anyone have a comment that's direct to my question?

I second the motion. Anything ever come of this?

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I was digging through a bunch of old emails I'd saved and found an interesting one that I don't think ever was answered. Way back in Nov 17, 1993, on the now extinct Morm-Ant email list run by Dr Hamblin, he wrote the following:

Does anyone have anymore information on these scrolls? If so, do we have the translation and explanation by Phon or other person available in any book?

Thanks for not "just googling" this. I learned a couple of things from the thread. Kudos.

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