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Re: consensus

Jim West wrote: 
> I am attempting to find some consensus in DSS studies; and would like to
> submit for your comment the following "theses", which may or may not be the
> consensus opinion.
> Thanks, ahead of time, for your help.
> 1. The Qumran community was an Essene Community

As Josephus and Philo describe the Essenes, I don't think so.  There 
are several major differences between this community and the Essenes 
as these two record them.  A dated but still good source for an 
overview of these is F.F. Bruce, "Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea 

> 2. The Scrolls were written by or copied by these Essenes

Some of both, probably.

> 3. The sect was an eschatological community secluded in the desert awaiting
> the last war between the sons of light and the sons of darkness.

This is harder to pin down. as someone else pointed out.  The 
question is who these people saw as being the sons of light and the 
sons of darkness.  Certainly they identified themselves in some way 
as being on the side of the sons of light, but who these two groups 
were is still up in the air.

> 4. The sect followed the "Righteous Teacher" alone.

"Alone" is a pretty heavy qualifier, though this individual was 
certainly the major influence in their teaching and practice.  My own 
view is that this community was one of many splinter groups that 
broke off from the Temple cult during the Greek period, probably 
under the influence of this hero-teacher, much as modern religions 
have their splinter groups that claim to be the true form of [fill in 
name of religion broken off from].  

> 5. The inhabitants of Qumran were attacked and killed by the approaching
> Roman army (in 68 CE).

I defer to others on this question.

"If you love something, set it free.  If it returns, 
you haven't lost it.  If it disappears and never comes back,
then it wasn't truly yours to begin with.  And if it just
sits there watching television, unaware that it's been set
free, you probably already married it."