Dead Sea Scroll Database Transcriptions

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Rob Oster | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Mar 21 2017 10:35 AM

Greetings,

I recently purchased the DSS Database, and I have noticed in the transcriptions that there are frequently what appears to be small circles above some of the Hebrew characters.  I could not find anything that indicated what these circles represent.  So, what exactly do they represent?

Rob

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Tim Finlay | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 21 2017 11:16 AM

They are to do with a lack of certainty with regard to what letter is preserved on the scroll. A letter without the circle above indicates that we know exactly what the letter is. However, sometimes only part of the letter is actually on the scroll fragment or the ink has faded. The scholars do their best to ascertain which letter it is, but the circles indicate uncertainty. For the biblical scrolls (and certain other scrolls), factors other than the state of the actual scroll frequently tell us what the letter must be.

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Rob Oster | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 21 2017 11:37 AM

Thanks Tim.

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