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"The Holy Spirit", and the Dead Sea Scrolls
>Bob Schacht: Charlesworth notes (p. xxxv) that although Jesus' ministry was
>contemporary with the Qumran community, "none of the Dead Sea Scrolls refer to him,
>and they do not mention any follower of Jesus described in the New Testament."
>Hence, any influence should be seen as going from Qumran to Jesus, rather
Yirmiyahu: That "any influence should be seen as going from Qumran to Y'hoshua, rather
than v.v.," IMO, represents an essential first principle of methodology.
>Bob: But now here's the interesting part....
Yirmiyahu: While this is interesting, I suggest that, in the long run, the
of MMT regarding the central place of halakhah in Qumran- era Judaism will not only
prove to have far greater impact, but will also dictate significantly how we should
rethink the Qumran- era perspective on related matters that then shake out, even though
not explicitly mentioned in MMT, such as this.
While it's far from resolved, suppose, for example, that Y'hoshua's first
cousin, Yokhanan Ha-Matbiyl, subscribed to Qumranian doctrine described in MMT. What,
then, would halakhically super- strict Yokhanan's willingness to adminster Y'hoshua's
t'viylah -- of t'shuvah -- imply about Y'hoshua's embracing of Qumran- strict halakhah
which MMT describes? And what would that tell us about the understanding we then
should seek regarding the historical practice and teaching of Y'hoshua -- as opposed to
later redactional doctrines retrojected upon him by non- Jews who found Judaism an
anathema, and Qumran strictness incomprehensible?
>Bob: 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 desert.
>So we have the possibility that Jesus baptized in "the Holy Spirit" (Matthew
>4:11), no evidence that he baptized with water, descriptions of his life and
>work feature a key concept developed by the Qumran Essenes, and Steve Davies
>in _Jesus the Healer_ makes a case for spirit-possession as a major feature
>of Jesus' life (beginning with his baptism by John) and ministry.
>This ought to imply some connection between Jesus and the Qumran community.
>Can anyone help me to understand what to make of all this?
Yirmiyahu: What you've presented doesn't "imply" a connection by rules of logic. (BTW,
the reference in Mt. is 3:11.) It seems to me that, from the halakhic perspective
implied in MMT, if there is a connection, it would rather suggest that the
genealogically qualified kohanim -- B'ney Tzadok or Tz'dokim -- who traced their
doctrines more directly to the Judaism that preceded the three major sects of the
Qumran era (probably the Khasiydim) applied the Tanakh concept of Ha-Shem's endorsement
of the Miyshkan and first Beyt Miykdash. The Kavod Ha-Shem is somewhat synonymous (not
always) with the Sh'khiynah, which is somewhat synonymous (not always) with the Ruakh
Ha-Kodeysh (Spirit of Holiness). It seems plausible, then, that the Qumran (Khasiydim)
Tz'dokim regarded this Ruakh Ha- Kodeysh as endorsing their genealogically legitimate
k'hunah rather than the genealogically *illegitimate* Greco- Roman- vassal
Nouveau-Tz'dokim in the second Beyt Miykdash -- which, BTW, nowhere records such
endorsement for itself as was found in the Miyshkan and first Beyt Miykdash. I.e., it
seems to me that the Khasiydim- Tz'dokim of Qumran appear to have claimed the Ruakh Ha-
Kodeysh as endorsement that the often synonymous Sh'khiynah / Kavod Ha- Shem followed
the legitimate kohanim, and not the genealogically illegitimate Hellenist occupants of
*If* there is a connection between the Dead Sea Scrolls and Y'hoshua and/ or
his t'viylah, then it would seem to me to imply that Y'hoshua accepted the Qumran
sect's (and *maybe* his cousin's?) premise that the Qumran (Khasiydim?) Tz'dokim, *not*
the genealogically illegitimate Nouveau- Tz'dokim of the second Beyt Miykdash, were the
genuine bearers of the Ruakh Ha- Kodeysh which had earlier endorsed both the Miyshkan
and the first, but not second, Beyt Miykdash. This also seems corroborated in that
Y'hoshua preferred the P'rushim oral halakhah over the Nouveau- Tz'dokim codified
halakhah and saw that the P'rushim, not the Qumranians, were likely to predominate the
Beyt Diyn Ha-Gadol (NRM 23:1-3).
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Yirmiyahu Ben-David, Pakiyd 16
(World-wide Congregation of Nazarene / Nazorean Jews)
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