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Re: Josephus & DSS

James R. Davila wrote:
>> Anyhow, most of us are not willing to
>> grant the assumption that the Yahad group of the Qumran library were
>> Essenes ...
Bill Schniedewind replied:
>It was hard to disentangle the various levels of the above message, so 
>forgive me if I wrongly attribute the above statement to you, Jim.
>Actually, it was the fact that it came from you that was surprising.
>"Most of us"-- I'm not quite so sure about that.  Perhaps if you keep
>beating me over the head I'll grant that the issue isn't a closed case,
>but minimally I would say that it's the only likely hypothesis.
Dear Bill,

It's not saying that makes it so.

There is a precedent that says documents were buried in caves -- not just at
Qumran but in two instances near Jericho (Eusebius & a Nestorian writer).
Were there non-Josephan Essenes there as well? That the dss were written by
very many hands negates the Qumran production hypothesis. We get to a "they
were imported from other places" type argument that doesn't give any support
to an Essene hypothesis. Josephus wants us to believe that the Essenes were
in favour with Herod (AJ 15:10:4-5) which conflicts bitterly with the
rhetoric in the dss.

I don't see that the Essene hypothesis is any more likely than the genizah
or safekeeping hypotheses.


Ian Hutchesson