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Re: Names of the Angels, Herod-Era DSS

Dear Russell,

You wrote the following, which makes me wonder, having seen the strongly
defended arguments regarding the historical information dealing with a
possible context for the copper scroll. I fear that the following is not
based on anywhere near as firm a ground as the writings already referred to.
>I can accept provisionally 
>calling the original Maccabean-era  sectarians as Zadokite Hasidim, 
>i.e. Hasidim that looked to the leadership of Zadokite priests.  And I 
>believe that both the Essenes and Sadducees acepted the halakhah 
>of the original sectarians.  The Essenes I see as more direct inheritors 
>of the earlier traditions, perhaps some still living in exile at a late date,
>while the Sadducees I see as being more closely connected to the 
>Jerusalem temple cult (largely for economical reasons) and hence 
>alienated from the more stringent Essenes.  MMT I see as an appeal 
>from the Essenes to the Jerusalem leader of the Sadducees temple cult 
>to abandon Pharisee practices.  The Jerusalem leader I think was probably 
>Hyrkanus, who switched from Pharisee to Sadducee practice.
I would think religious disagreements don't necessarily reflect sectarian
differences -- Baptists are not thought of as a Christian sect, but are seen
as disagreeing on certain matters. Too much is placed on MMT without knowing
enough of the actual history of the documents. You use Essenes as though the
idea were definite. Could the Jerusalem leader not just as easily have been
Jason or Menelaus or a number of others? If it were Hyrcanus (I gather
Hyrcanus II), MMT is thought to have been written before the righteous
teacher had his problems (eg the constant use of "we") and I can see no room
after Hyrcanus for that sort of development.

Your ideas about the Essenes seem to come principally from Josephus who is
writing perhaps two hundred years after the problems that precipitated MMT.
His views are of the end of the first century and he seems to know very
little about the Sadducees. He doesn't supply any knowledge of the Essenes
before the time of Herod. I can't see how anyone can talk of Essenes before


Ian Hutchesson