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Judaism in the Third
I hit a wrong key, and included my own message by mistake. Forgive
me one and all.
Clearly you are correct in general terms. But equally clearly there
are differences in the attitudes to priesthood and temple, for one,
and I imagine (though I am not sure) to calendar on the other, between
the various documents. I may, immodestly, refer to my comparison of
the attitudes to the priesthood in Aramaic Levi and in Ben Sira for
just one way into differentiation. So, I have preferred in general
to talk of "wings" of Judaism rather than sects, but there are
distinctions to be drawn.
I am still intrigued by the question of the "genealogy of
priestly authority" claimed in Aramaic Levi and in Test. Qohat.
We have other information on the priesthood, from Nehemiah and
whatever can be distilled (precious little, but something) from
the Tobiad romance. Shall I go on?
So, David's suggestion is interesting. Would you really put the
Cainite material in Gen as late as this? I have always regarded
Book of Watchers and another, alternative, aetiology of evil.
So much for now,
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>>> This seems to indicate that in a sacerdotal wing of Judaism,
>>> in the third century or early second century, there were people
>>> who held a 364 days' calendar, dualism of light and dark, two
>>> spirits etc. The particular range of sectarian language of the
>>> undisputedly Qumran documents is missing. These documents are
>>> all three in Aramaic.
>>> I would appreciate any other evidence net members may have
>>> about this pre-Qumran sectarianism.
> In think that you are correct in looking for the origins of
>>sectarianism in the third century, and it seems to me that the Enoch
>>literature (at least, 1 Enoch 6-16) forms a kind of counterpoint to the
>>priestly testaments you're working with. The dualism of the passage from
>>Enoch is one of heaven and earth, tracing the origin of sin to the
>>illegitimate mixing of the two realms, rather than light and dark, and
>>therefore is not so heavily charged with the opposition of good and evil
>>as the two-spirit theology of the scrolls. What I find interesting is
>>the way in which these two traditions flow together in the literature of
> Perhaps it's better not to speak of 'sectarian' since what do we mean by
> 'orthodox? The priestly establishment? But what was it?
> I myself suspect that Genesis 2-4 is involved in polemic about the
> origin of evil (countering the idea that it originates in heaven, inventing
> Cain to replace the leader of the fallen angels (look at his genealogy!).
> We have here perhaps hints of a conflict between monotheistic and dualistic
> theologies. An evolutionary picture of Second Temple Judaism might be
> better than one that speaks of orthodoxies and centres, sects and fringes.
> The problems we have with the evidence are our own presuppositions, not the
> data. Start with the basic ignorance of Persian-early Hellenistic Yehud
> that we have and don't fill it in with guesses. (And treat the Ezra story
> as a legend possibly the account given by one kind of Judaism aboput the
> origins of its Judaism, with Nehemiah and CD being other accounts of other
> Judaisms (all with one teacher, of course........)
> Philip R Davies
> Department of Biblical Studies
> University of Sheffield
> Sheffield S10 2UJ
> Tel (0)114-282-4877
> Fax (0)114-255-2094