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Re: Multiplicity of Scribal Hands
> Jack Kilmon:
> >Is it not possible that Essenes about the Middle East may have earned
> daily bread copying and selling scripture?<
> The immediate impact of this thought to me is, if it's viable, another idea
> as to who the "scribes" of the NT were and why, although "everybody" knew
> there were three major sects, the NT sects were P'rushim, Tz'doqim and
> "scribes." Maybe, again if it flies, it might also move us close to
> understanding how Josephus knew P'rushim, Tz'doqim and "Essenes"?
I think the "sectarians" as engaged in the COMMERCE of literature
answers a lot of questions. I don't think I am mistaken
to label Jewish society of the 2nd Temple period as one more
literate throughout the classes than most societies of the time.
This could explain both Josephus' interest in the Essenes
(and his time spent with them) as well as Philo's interest in their
Egyptian counterparts. The Essenes as "publishers/copyists" of
scriptural and spiritual "genre" would have found a rich market
for their wares in Jerusalem as well as an opportunity to disseminate
literature regarding their own spiritual bent. This does not have
to confine itself to the "sectarians" at Qumran but the many Essenes
in the Upper City.
> Neat thought I hope gets some airing.
I would invite comments from the other "Orionists" and
particularly the scholars. To what extent "novels" were common
reading material of the time, I am not sure..but certainly they
may have been the "Barnes & Noble" of scriptural scrolls.