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Re: Josephus & DSS
On 18 Sep 1996, Beruriah Bloom wrote:
> I am a humble graduate student who would appreciate learning from the scholars
> on this list how the discrepancies between the Essenes described by Josephus and
> the policies and procedures of the sect depicted by the scrolls found at Qumran
> are accounted for by those who say that the Qumran community was Essene. (I
> know this will seem a very basic and naive question to most list recipients, but
> that should make it, I imagine, very easy to answer.)
> I would appreciate comments, references, and information on how to access the
> list archives if this subject has already been dealt with at length by the list.
> (Also the list archives in general, since I would like to study past discussions
> regarding Pesher Nahum.)
> Many thanks...
> Beruriah Bloom
> There is not so much real contradiction, more like a different piont of
> view. We can't assume that the ideals that were held by the Q. cult in
> the DSS were the same later in Josephus's time. I have a state trooper
> buddy of mine in Pittsburgh who chases high speed drunken Amish kids blasting thier
> radios hooked up to car batteries in their buggies. A contradiction but
> a reality just the same, but a contradiction that may not have existed
> only 100 years ago. Josephus relates a very late and highly developed
> Essene community without any distiction or mention of all the variations
> in practice regionally or otherwise, as surely they would have existed.
> Josephus was not an Anthro major, he was a primitive historian.
> I believe that many of the DSS represent more the Essene's
> early years, before all the sects really distinguished themselves. The
> drama of the Righeous Teacher and the Wicked Priest depicted a birth of
> a cult, and perhaps marked the period when the sects defined themselves.
> Who knows? Plus we should keep in mind that these scrolls most probably
> came from various sectarian sources, not just the Essenes and not just
> from one period.