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Wolmen [sic] in the Scrolls & Gnosticism

Mark, let me add a few comments here:

>Anyway, assuming that the book "Eunuchs for the Kingdon of Heaven" is not
>well known - but it may be - I thought I would report a few of the author's
>other comments:
>"Thanks to the discoveries of Qumran on the Dead Sea in 1947, we can get a
>better picture of the desert-dwelling sect from the time of Jesus that has
>been know since Antiquity under the name of the Essenes.  The influence of
>Gnosticism and its sexual asceticism, which was in itself alien to Judaism,
>can be clearly seen in this sect.  It was not, admittedly, a purely monastic
>community, since married people could also be part of it, but the great
>cementery to the east of Qumran shows that the full-fledged members, the ones
>that set the tone, were monks.  [Does this drive you crazy?]  Even the layout
>of the graves testifies to the privileged position of the unmarried and the
>inferior status of women and children.  The settlement was totally destroyed
>by the Romans in 68.

I am curious about how he can assume from a unmarked cemetary as to who held
leadership positions and who didn't.

>"The Jewish idea of a good Creation by a good Creator God was severely
>impaired by the influence of Gnosticism.  The world, according to Qumran, is
>darkness under Satan's [didn't we go through that Satan word recently?]
>dominion.  We find a similar Gnostic expression in the Gospel of John, since
>for all the polemics against Gnosticism it had a significant influence on the
>New Testament.  Neither in the New Testament nor in the Jewish sect at
>Qumran, however, was the Jewish idea of the one, good God ever abandoned."

There is no source in the scrolls for a Zoroastrian concept of two gods. That
they held to personifications of good and evil in angelic beings was not
something restricted to Qumran, as we find that in Rabbinical works. Unless we
are to posit that the Judaism represented in the Talmud and Rabbinical sources
is also Gnostic, I do not see what he has proved here. 

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   |        \/ /  \/ /       |     Moshe Shulman       |
   |        / /\__/_/\       | mshulman@ix.netcom.com  |
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