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Re: Essenes, again. (long)

>Dear Moshe,
>>>Cave 4's position is not a guarantee that the last
>>>inhabitants of Qumran knew of it
>>So how do you suppose the people got in in the first place?
>Cave 4 is artificial: it was cut for a purpose. Thus the people who made it
>obviously knew it was there.

Since it is that type of cave, where is it more likely that the people using 
it came from, within a few hundred yards, or miles away?

>>>There is no reason to assume that the same people who lived in Qumran prior
>>>to Herod returned there. (It seems beyond belief that a community that lived
>>>at Qumran removed all the documents from the site to bring them back on
>>>another occasion, besides the probable reason for abandonment [military
>>>attack] would have excluded such an eventuality.) There is nothing to
>>>connect the texts with a first century group living in Qumran,
>>>circumstantial evidence like physical proximity notwithstanding.
>>>(Archaeologists walked over the tomb of Tutankhamen for a hundred years
>>>without finding it. It was only a concerted effort to find that particular
>>>tomb that went on for several years until it was found.)
>>? Why do you assume that the documents were brought then taken away?
>Actually I don't. I'm trying to show that there was a discontinuity between
>those people before Herod and those after. (Incidentally, if they had been
>Essenes before Herod, as Essenes had a good relationship with Herod, there
>would be no reason for them to have abandoned the site -- and thus if the
>destruction had been the earthquake they would simply have rebuilt and not
>waited forty years.)

Since we do not know the reasons why it took so long (it could have be 
monetary), it is neithjjer a plus or a minus to any hypothesis.

>>(As to the tomb of T, in his time it was obvious where it was.)
>Given the hatred Horemheb had of the "heretical" regime, he set out to
>remove all traces. The tomb of Ay, the pharaoh responsible for burying
>Tutankhamen, was badly damaged under Horemheb, while that of Tutankhamen
>survived intact. (Other works by Tutankhamen were simply usurped, as were
>those of Ay.) Therefore, the tomb obviously was not known. (Incidentally,
>the rubble that filled the entrance to the tomb bore the seals of Ay, so he
>clearly hid it.) People walking over it less than twenty years later didn't
>know it was there.

So what does that have to do with this particular case?

>>Ian have you sat with the descriptions in Josephus, and looked into Cd and
>>other documents. I have and they are close enough to make the possibility that
>>there is no relationship [with the Essenes] remote if not impossible.
>We are too often swayed by circumstantial evidence. Can you say whether the
>similarities you find are to a special restricted sect or whether the dss
>represent a more general state of affairs from which the Essene preserved
>what they did?

Josephus mentions specifically what differentiates these groups. These points 
of difference are what we are talking about.

>>>>We ALL interpolate backwards.
>>>The dss are at the time we are trying to get at. They are contemporary
>>>evidence. Use them -- before you interpolate, not after.
>>Unless your assumption is that the group there disappeared totally from the
>>scene before the time that Josephus could have heard of them (and hence they
>>do not appear in his history) you must look to see where they are similar.
>If MMT does represent the temple position, say of a Simon or an Onias, we
>don't have a group at all at that stage. 

This assumes that the writers of MMt were in charge of the temple, which is 
not what it appears to say. (Even with Greg's comments.)

>>From Josephus it seems pretty clear that from the time of the Maccabees to the
>>destruction of the temple there were only 3 (4 if you seperate Zealots)
>>religious groupings.
>You should be aware that Josephus is only as good as his sources. He shows
>little knowledge of the Pharisees and Sadducees and is politically
>restrained from saying anything useful about the Zealots, if he knew much
>about them. Whatever else that was around prior to Pompey's visit could
>quite easily have gone into oblivion, if in fact we are dealing with a group
>and not the mainstream.

What do you mean by, 'he shows little knowledge of the Pharisees and 
Sadducees'? I suppose that you living 2000 years after these people knew more 
then he did living together with them?

>>The similarities to Essene doctrines that we know makes
>>it only logical to place them in that camp.
>This is an argument from ignorance. "We don't know of any other situation to
>explain the similarities, so it must be as I see them." You have a
>hypothesis that doesn't cover all the facts.

I have asked for some 'facts' which would be clearly contrary to this and have 
yet to see it.

>>Following your logic, we must
>>assume a group that came into existance and disappeared without anyone
>>knowing of them.
>If we have a group that is distinct from mainstream thought!

However this is not the case. There is clear similarity to one of the groups 
we KNOW existed at that time.

>>(I have answered him that I
>>think the wording used there could not have that meaning, and that a different
>>word needed to be used to give that type of understanding).
>(I haven't seen this posting. I'll have to check.)

Please do.

>>>>...Some of the Midrashic type texts like 4Q180-181 I consider in the
>>>>middle (between non-sect and sect). They probably come from the sect, but
>>>they may
>>>>reflect universal beliefs.
>>>This is only true if you want to sustain a sectarian interpretation.
>>? It appears you have not understood what I mean by sectarian.
>In this case what do you mean by "sectarian"?

A Pharisee text is sectarian, as it is only for Pharisees. Likewise CD and MMT 
relate beliefs that deal with a particular sect.

>>>No, I am arguing that there is no way to say that the non-biblical works are
>>>sectarian. The historical information we have is scant and cannot sustain
>>>the Essene hypothesis, nor can it indicate the differences between any sects
>>>of the period of the dss if in fact there were sects (as against political
>>>parties). We have no indication as to when the Essenes emerged. So everyone
>>>on the Essene kick has simply been shooting from the hip.
>>But you are argueing to ignore all evidence of similarity to know groups
>>living shortly after that time,
>This does not follow. Scholarship in this area has assumed the Essene
>hypothesis, just as you do. It is not fact, but a house of cards built on
>circumstantial evidence. I have not been arguing for another group (it may
>be possible, the Essene hypothesis may be possible, it may turn out that
>there was no sect behind the documents.)

Ian, I have not stated my hypothesis in this area. I have just related the 

>>and assume that this group disappeared from
>>history at an arbitrary period, without anyone ever knowing of them. That is
>>just not logical.
>Logic doesn't permit one to take an unjustified position as have the
>supporters of the Essene hypothesis.

So you think it is unjustified to assume that people who have similar beliefs 
might just be the same group?

>>Had there been no similarities to later groups, then there
>>would at least be  a possibility of such a theory.
>A man may look similar to his uncle or to his grandfather.

I believe VanDerKamp book has some of these in them. Take some time to look 
into this.

>>However the similarities to
>>the Essenes, lets one assume that some relationship exists. 
>NO! Let's deal with the texts and see what they can reveal, instead of
>twisting the texts to fit the hypothesis. If Greg is right with his
>intepretation of MMT, then we have a prime example of a document being
>waylayed by a sectarian hypothesis.

And if I had wings I would not have to pay plane fare anymore. (Maybe B. 
Theiring is right?) Have you read MMT?

>Though I doubt it, the Essene hypothesis may be correct. This does not mean
>that we can afford to accept it blithely and then interpret everything in
>that light. Let us assume for the moment that it is wrong: everything we
>interpret to fit the Essene hypothesis will mean making the dss erroneously
>fit the hypothesis and not making the hypothesis fit the dss. The dss are
>our source material, not the Essene hypothesis. The further you push the
>Essenes the further you go out on a ledge. That is not a safe position.

Ian, if they are not Essenes, then they are a precursor of them because we 
cannot ignore the similarities.

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