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Re: Essenes, again. (ever longer)

>Dear Moshe,
>Still continuing...
>>>>>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?
>Moshe, you have some difficulty understanding this position: there is no
>necessary connection between the later inhabitants of Qumran and the dss;
>the last documents seem to relate to before 60 bce, so there is nothing in
>their contents to relate them to the people who used Qumran after Herod's
>time; people before Herod are almost certainly responsible for the
>depositing of the dss; whether these latter were permanently at Qumran I
>cannot tell you.

I think we are going incircles here, so I will stop this point. I suggest
looking at VanderKam's work and his discussion on this subject, and if there
is something there that you disagree with, then we can discuss it. I seem to
feel that you have a conclusion, and you will deconstruct anything which would
indicate otherwise. There will never be 100% proof of anything other then what
we see ourselves, and even that is up to interpretation. (Just talk about the
Reagan years and see what happens).

>>>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.)
>What's wrong with Greg's interpretation of the text?

Because what the text says doesn't indicate that. The verb should have been
$LXNW (we sent away) and not PR$NW M (we seperated from).

>>>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?
>He shows a lot more knowledge of group that is not seen by later writers as
>important than he does of the big two -- simply by volume. His knowledge of
>the Pharisees and Sadducees is little in comparison.

Ian, he seems to have learned more with an Essene then with either a Pharisee
or Sadducee. (See his Lives). What can I say, he seems to be anamored with the

>>>>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.
>Let me quote you:
>>I believe VanDerKamp book has some of these in them. Take some time to look
>>into this.
>Though Vanderkam does support the Essene hypothesis, he does give some
>problematic areas. You might read Schiffman's "Reclaiming..." to get his
>lowdown from the Sadducean hypothesis.

I have read it and spoken to him. What do you think I am missing? His theory
is more of origins.

>>>>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.
>Moshe, show me some evidence that the Essenes as a group existed from prior
>to Onias's exile through to say 100 bce. Have you got a better TR to offer
>than Onias III? or a better wicked priest than Menelaus? Both protagonist
>and antagonist fit the descriptions in the docs reasonably well. An MMT
>produced during Onias's time would be pretty mainstream to me.

Ian, we don't know how any of the groups started (or when). We know when the
first indications are in Josephus. Why he doesn't mention how the P/S/E came
into existance is a question to ask him. We know P/S existed at the same time
because of the Yochanan who became a Sadducee. (BTW his story is not so much
different from the one in the Talmud). If Schiffman's theory is correct then
we are closer to finding how these groups came into existance.

>>>>>>...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.
>Have you got any second century bce Pharisaic texts up your sleeve?


>If what Shammai said was applicable to his school and not to that of Hillel
>was his school really a sect according to your ideas?

That is an interesting question. I would say no. But that would depend on how
'sect' is defined. I am willing to accept Josephus' tripartate division, and
hence Hillel and Shammai would be part of the same sect.

>Have you read MMT without interpreting it through your Essene
>presupposition. (I'm just asking for a suspension of the presupposition for
>a few readings.) Bad habits are hard to let go of.

When I read MMT (or CD) I look to compare it with the Talmud to see what is
similar and what is different. I concur with Schiffman that at that stage they
were close to the Sadducees. That later they would be called Essenes is
another issue.

>>>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.
>If the beliefs in 170 bce were reasonably coherent then they are the
>precursors of all the sects of Josephus's time. You are just committed to
>the Essene hypothesis. Schiffman is committed to his Sadducean hypothesis.
>Has he got less going for his hypothesis? But then a hypothesis is just that.

Ian, people don't adopt and drop theological beliefs, like styles in clothing.

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