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Re: calendar (G. Doudna)

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Greg Doudna wrote:
>... dated texts from the 1st BCE, signed by say a high priest, 
>giving a lunar date for festival celebration.  So in the complete 
>absence of 1st BCE evidence, where is the base point of reference by 
>which to say the Qumran calendar texts are different than "known" 
>1st BCE temple practice?  

I agree with you. There is no real evidence for the calendar practiced at
the Temple in this periode. Only some indications can be evaluated. For a
critical approach to the material G. Stembergerīs book about "Pharisaeer,
Sadduzaeer, Essener" (1991) is for my view very helpful. From this lecture I
would add that reflexes to calendar differences were still known to the
rabbinic tradition - e.g. 
- slaughtering of the pessach on shabbat and Hillelīs "new" interpretation; 
- the dating of shavuot /or beginning of omer-counting and the mishnaic
picture of Sadducees.
But to be critical against the filter of traditions (Jewish and Christian!)
is necessary, not to reproject ones own tradition into the text. - E.g. I
have problems to accept Schiffmanīs "reclaiming" argumentation in favour of
the pharisaic-rabbinic tradition (p. 304-305), where he inter alia argues
with the etymology of _chodesh_, - but without discussing the total
different usage of this word in the DSS (and also the usage of _chodesh_ in
rabbinic material, where very often it is connected with a schematic value
of 30 days). For my view, what defines the "beginning of a month" is the
point under question. What we know is mainly the total difference in the

Therefore the calendar can only be used as an indication of struggle - but
not as an exact indicator, which side was "sectarian" or "traditional". Even
the "filtered" tradition of the Hebrew Bible (- without Jubilees and without
1Enoch at least -) seems to me open to both interpretations, because the
festivals are only dated by numerical months!
PD Dr. Uwe Glessmer
Lockkoppel 2
D-22391 Hamburg
Tel: 0049-40-536 76 29
FAX: 0049-40-536 53 84
e-mail: glessmer@theologie.uni-hamburg.de