[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: 1000 scribes, calendar

>Fred Cryer has made excellent observations on the
>almost infinite elasticity of the Essene hypothesis.
>Whatever material data is encountered becomes one
>more feature of the sectarian "Essenes"--which does
>not need to be related to known history because, after
>all, sectarians are sectarians--different and marginal
>and unrepresentative.  Construction is built upon
>construction in a vacuum of actual evidence, and lack of
>evidential falsification in this vacuum becomes
>misinterpreted as corroboration of truthfulness.

Greg, since I am forced into this discussion (apparently I am among those whom
you mean here), let me point out some things. The 'Essene' connection is not
based, nor would it fail based on any scribal evidence. Even were most or even
all of the texts written outside of the community there it is not relevant to
the question as to who this group was. There are two points in the
identification.  1. The proximity to the community (especially cave 4)
indicates that they were USED by the people there. 2. The content in many
cases agrees with what we have with regards to the Essenes. Even Schiffman who
(I think correctly) has posited a Sadducee connection, will admit that these
people correspond (or are similar to) what we call Essenes. The only texts for
which there is some small relevance to discuss origins would be those that are
particularly 'sectarian', and even those could have been written in other
places since the Essenes appear to have had various communities. Is there
anyone who assumes that the book of Deuteronomy, Isaiah or Ben Sirach were
only used by a small group of people? So the place of origin of these works is
irrelevant (though it certainly is worth a number of papers in scholarly

   |            /\           |                         |
   |       ____/_ \____      |                         |
   |       \  ___\ \  /      |                         |
   |        \/ /  \/ /       |     Moshe Shulman       |
   |        / /\__/_/\       | mshulman@ix.netcom.com  |
   |       /__\ \_____\      |                         |
   |           \  /          |                         |
   |            \/           |                         |