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Re: Jesus, "the Holy Spirit", and the DSS

Orion subscribers,
Steve Davies has already responded to my query, so I am cross-posting his
response for those who may be interested, and who may want to respond. If
anyone objects to this cross-posting, please let me know, and I'll stop
doing it.


>Return-path: <owner-crosstalk@info.harpercollins.com>
>Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 16:47:45 +0000
>From: Stevan Davies <miser17@epix.net>
>Subject: Re: Jesus, "the Holy Spirit", and the DSS
>Sender: owner-crosstalk@info.harpercollins.com
>To: crosstalk@info.harpercollins.com
>Reply-to: miser17@epix.net
>Priority: normal
>Bob Schacht wrote:
>> But now here's the interesting part. On pp. 20-22, Charlesworth writes that
>> "Jesus may have inherited from the Essenes their concept of 'the Holy
>> Spirit'." He notes that the technical term for the Holy Spirit does not
>> appear in the OT, and occurs only three times in the Jewish apocryphal
>> works. However, the term is abundant in the DSS. And he summarizes much
>> research on this point. For example, the Qumran Essenes developed the
>> concept of "the Holy Spirit" in the second century B.C.E. to substantiate
>> their claims agains the Temple priests, and their choice to live in the
>> This ought to imply some connection between Jesus and the Qumran community.
>> Can anyone help me to understand what to make of all this?
>It all depends on what use is made of the term in the DSS vs. the NT. 
>In the NT it is often something that lets people do healings and 
>exorcisms and something that gives people visions and causes them to 
>speak in glossolalia and so forth. All of that is consistent with 
>spirit-possession. I'd be surprised to learn that the HS has that 
>meaning in the DSS; if it has a different function there than in Xian
>texts then I think we have a coincidence of terminology only and not 
>any evidence of influence.
Robert Schacht
"This success of my endeavors was due, I believe, to a rule of 'method': 
that we should always try to clarify and to strengthen our opponent's
position as much as possible before criticizing him, if we wish our
criticism to be worth while."

Sir Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1968), p. 260 n.*5