The Samuel Scroll

I. The Samuel scroll: originally one long scroll

A. Split into two parts at the time of the Greek translation

1. Remained as one scroll in Hebrew until the 15th century

2. Now I Samuel ends with Saul's death

3. Samuel is completely absent from the second part

4. Originally, one scroll to tell the remembered history of the early monarchy

B. The Masoretic Text (MT): 500 - 900 C.E.

1. Basis for Hebrew Bible

2. MT of Samuel is particularly poor: missing letters, words, sentences

3. Shorter than the Greek version (LXX) -- ca. 250-75 B.C.E.

4. Extant versions of the LXX are all Christian

5. Rabbis rejected as "too Hellenistic"

6. Example: 10:1, statement about kingship

C. The Dead Sea Scrolls

1. 3 Samuel scrolls (all fragmentary) dating from 50-25 B.C.E., mid 3rd c. B.C.E., and 1st c. B.C.E.

2. All three differe from MT but also differ from LXX

D. Thus, at least three different texts of Samuel

1. Search for "authentic" text or accept fluidity?

2. Written versions reflect diversity of early traditions

3. One possibility: think of Samuel as a midrash of the primal Torah