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Re: "Love" in the DSS

In a message dated 96-04-08 12:32:03 EDT, you write:

>If the Dead Sea Scrolls represent the written products of
>two centuries (approx
>two centuries or a little less) and if the documents were
>not all written by the same group, then is there a
>theological view of the DSS? It seems likely that views
>developed and changed during the period, even in the
>documents composed by the sectarian group.
>Therefore, the observation about Judaisms is quite
>appropriate. Whether
>there was a theology of love there is another question,
>and it might even be an imported one.
>Michael Stone


You are quite right.  It is for this reason that I think it essential to
examine the theological positions of the scrolls themselves; without taking
our cues from other sects of the period.
Perhaps, however, I am not being clear on this point.
Let me explain myself and urge your help where I am in error:

A sect, in opposition to the leading theological ideas of the day, leaves its
Jerusalem headquarters and makes its way to a secluded desert place to
establish a community in which its own theological ideas can be developed and
adhered to. (I know, its a preposition, but I'm getting old and to the point
of not caring about grammar!!!).

Of what help will it be to examine what the Jerusalem community thinks of
"love for God" in order to clarify what the new community thinks about the
subject?  They of course might be compared to one another; but that can often
lead to a blurring of the lines instead of a sharpening of the lines which
distinguish them.
And if there are no distinctions between them, then why did the community
leave Jerusalem in the first place.  After all, they agree on the main
points, don't they?

You see, what I am interested in is what the Sectarians at Qumran thought;
not what the chief priests in Jerusalem thought, of love for God.

Thanks for your help,

Jim West