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Re: Herod-Era DSS

Ian Hutchesson writes:
>  Dear Russell [Gmirkin],
          <snip, snip>

Russell writes:
>  >As for the use of "we" implying this was before the TR, to my mind there 
>  >is no logical basis for such a conclusion.  I know Schiffman for one has
>  >scenario whereby MMT was the first sectarian writing

Ian responds:
>  Yes, I did have Schiffman in mind, but I don't find the suggestion of the
>  twenty years before the appearance of the righteous teacher as unlikely as
>  you do. If MMT precipitated a withdrawal from temple cultus on halakhic
>  grounds, this would have put the writers and their followers into a state
>  sin, unable to perform their duties in the temple and it was not until the
>  teacher gave a way out of this situation that they came through the

In this case what do you do with 4QMMT 92-93 (Martinez) = frag 7+8 line 7 in
which the authors of MMT say they had already segregated (i.e. exiled)
themselves from the rest of the people?  Also, there are a couple stray
references to the end of days and the council of Belial, and the way I read
the other scrolls the dominion of Belial at the end of days commenced with
the death of the TR.  

Russell writes:
>  >my view is that MMT was written long
>  >after the death of the TR and the passing of the urgent apocalyptic
>  >i.e. after the sectarians had nothing better to due than quibble minor 
>  >points of law.

Ian responds:
>  This has some appeal, but it's hook, line and sinker in the mouth of the
>  sectarian stuff I find somewhat unjustified. Let's forget about Qumran for
>  the next few years, let the monastic life die a silent death and drop as
>  many assumptions as we can about the dss. 

I agree at least 95%  There is certainly no archaeological evidence linking
Qumran with the origins of the sect, or with the monastery idea.  I do tend
to accept the dss as emanating from a single religious group however.  The
absence of any material suggestive of the Pharisees, for instance, is
>  Put the righteous teacher back in Jerusalem, in the temple (the unfaithful
>  didn't listen to him), a tense armed peace over the cultus, until another
>  schism partly brought about by the political choices made at the time in
>  which the teacher withdraws from the temple to a private house in
>  where he is visited by the high priest. (I can't imagine the high priest
>  choofing off to Qumran, can you?)

No.  For one thing, an exile to Qumran, practically in the back yard of
Jerusalem, at a time when fairly intense Hasmonean economic activity existed
near the Dead Sea, and Qumran was practically surrounded by Hasmonean
fortresses, is not much better an exile than one in a Jerusalem suburb.  

I can imagine, however, with the help of 2 Macc. 4:1-6, 30-38, a high priest
being driven into exile to Antioch.  

Ian writes:
>  The paragragh [preceding] is fairly reasoned to show that the
>  Essene traditions may well have come through Nicolas of Damascus, and no
>  doubt that it's possible. It's a shame that nothing at the moment will let
>  us choose one way or another...

>  I also tend to jump on the Essene hypothesis as only weakly
>  founded on circumstantial evidence...

True on both counts.

-- Russell Gmirkin