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Re: Qumran Monastary

In short, Jim, a "Qumran monastery" is just another layer of cow's doovers
that needs to be removed from the dancing couple Texts and Place. 

We really don't know what the function of the place was at the time of the
deposition of the texts, notwithstanding the discovery of more caves and
sensational JP articles. But people are inextricably locked into viewing the
texts as reflecting the community (and some kind of community based around
Khirbet Qumran there was -- whether it be a simply farming community, or
something else, who knows yet?), if that community is seen in an unjustified
way, the texts will tend to be interpreted likewise. Further archaeological
work could be based on wrong assumptions.

I am of the opinion that we would do better to *totally forget* about Qumran
while working on the texts -- at least for a good while until the bare
contents of the texts can be dealt with in themselves.

Fare ye well,

Ian Hutchesson