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>My proposal is that MMT was written to Hyrkanus I when he switched allegiance
>from the Pharisees to the Sadducees, to persuade him to adopt
>Sadducean/"Essene" temple practices. This accounts for the contents and tone
>of MMT in my opinion.
Sadducean/"Essene"??? If you hadn't noticed before, the position I am
investigating is the possibility of the dss not being in any meaningful
sense sectarian. And here you go without any justification bringing in
'Sadducean/"Essene" temple practices'. There is no attempt in MMT to achieve
reforms: it sets down what the writers see as the Law. There are rulings
that are excluding practices in the temple: they assume power in the temple:
if these things are contravened, the guity pollute the temple, thus they are
not to be done. Such a situation of power only existed during the Oniad
While I showed a context for the marriage problems in MMT by linking it to
the Enochian Book of the Watchers, you want to shift MMT to a time when this
issue doesn't have a meaning.
Besides, MMT is related to both CR and CD because of its "camp" terminology.
>Ian Hutchesson writes:
>> The dss are pretty adamant in their use of the sons of Zadok. On what
>> grounds could the dss use such a term without it being a reference to
>> who were in fact the sons of Zadok?
>I agree. This seems very common sense, and the Zadokite terminology seems to
>point to the end of the Oniad dynasty as the context for the rise of the
Is this why you've come up with this 'Sadducean/"Essene"' thing?
>Our constructs are fairly similar,
>except that I put MMT in a later era than CR & CD, while you put it earlier.
Well, I don't talk about sectarians in my construct, but you do. Have you
got any real evidence for sectarians?
>>But, does a boycott of the temple necessarily reflect sectarianism?
>..Were the Hasidim and related groups sectarians because they boycotted the
>temple? Not at all -- in fact, they represented mainstream Judaism at the
>However, move forward in time to the genesis of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and
>Essenes/DSS sect probably by ca. 130 BCE.
Josephus's Essenes were celibates. The marriage laws in the dss are strict,
but they are there. The Essenes are a red herring. Remember MMT about
>On Manasseh marriage to Nikosa daughter of Sanballat, building of the temple
>at Gerizim, and appt. there as high priest see Jos. Ant. 11.302-324 =
>On the Joseph the Tobiad whose mother was a daughter of Onias II, see Jos.
>Ant. 12.160ff = 12.4.2.
>On polemics against Samaritans and foreign marriages in Testament of Levi,
>see TestLevi 2:1-2; 5:3-4; 6:4-11; 7:2-3; 9:9-10; 14:5-6.
>> >5. How intense was the MMT debate?
>> >An interesting question I will pose to Greg and Ian: did the authors of MMT
>> >consider the practices of their opponents intolerable or merely
>> >objectionable? Did these incorrect practices defile the temple and its
>> > If merely objectionable, then maybe the two factions coexisted in the
>> >temple. If intolerable, it seems to me this supports the proposition that
>> >the authors of MMT boycotted the temple.
>Ian Hutchesson also responds:
>> Perhaps the question doesn't allow for the delicate nature of the situation.
>> If you marginally hold power while the opposition holds an ace up its sleeve
>> (Antiochus IV), how would you deal with an objectionable practice under such
>You either allow it to continue, or you boycott the temple, the two
>alternatives in my original question.
But what do you make of that? Did the Sadducees and the Pharisees share the
temple in Herodian times or not?
>> >6. Apocalypse
>> >Hence MMT's reference to the end of
>> >days, etc., seem to indicate a date later than 170 BCE.
>Ian Hutchesson responds:
>> One thought about apocalypse is that it was a development on Zoroastian
>> eschatology, along with angels, and last judgements. If this is so, then
>> opportunity was already there well before 170 bce to develop on these
>The fact is there are no examples of historical apocalypses prior to ca. 170
>BCE, and this development seems to have been a response to the extreme
>tension of the Hellenistic Crisis. There are of course pseudo-scientific
>apocalypses in the early Enoch literature, where angels reveal the geography
>of heaven and secrets of astronomy and meteorology, but the evolution to this
>type of apocalypse into historical (predictive) apocalypse is fairly clear
>from the Enoch literature, & the latter development appears later than your
>suggested date for MMT.
What about the apocalyptic in Deutero-Zechariah or Malachi? both of which
deal with the coming of the day of the Lord. Why does Malachi talk about the
Lord sending his "messenger to prepare the way before me?" Are we taking
about a holiday here?
>> >7. Pharisees in 175 BCE?
>> > I find it
>> >difficult to accept MMT predating the Hellenistic Crisis of 175 BCE, as
>> >appears to contain specific opposition to Pharisee positions. Agreed?
>Ian Hutchesson writes:
>> I gather this is the Schiffman "pouring of liquids" argument. I wouldn't
>> too much credence on this one argument notwithstanding its long enduring
>> nature. Perhaps, I have missed other arguments you might like to use to
>> make Pharisaic connections with the situations mentioned in MMT.
>I'll let someone more qualified respond on the Talmudic data.
And how many centuries later would that be, and how relevant?
>Moshe has brought up the red heifer legislation as particularly compelling.
He has not as yet made the point.
>I could only repeat the arguments made by Segal (in Qimron's book),
>others, which I haven't read for a while -- but they seemed as a whole quite
>convincing at the time.
For historical anacronisms. How often does one have to state that there are
no contemporary texts other than these, ie the dss?
>> >I think it best to put the rise of the Pharisees
>> >between the Maccabean War and Hyrkanus I
>> I would go along with this...
>It seems to me this point is crucial. If MMT can be shown to be directed
>against Pharisee positions, then a Maccabean date or earlier is excluded.
The Pharisaic argument isn't based on contemporary sources. It's based on
reading backwards. Reading backwards means inventing the past.
> On the other hand, you appear to propose it may have been directed against
>Hellenists. Let me ask you, then, in what way the Hellenist position is
>reflected in the halakhah that MMT opposes?
Try reading the first nine lines of the legal issues regarding the Gentiles.
>Did the Hellenists have strong
>opinions regarding the red heifer, pregnant animals, and poured liquids? ;-)
Did the writers want to state what was important to them? You set down your
position so as to make it clear to all and sundry.
> Alright, possibly unfair question. But it seems the opponents position
>shows a strong religious concern rather than an irreligious concern. It
>seems to me your case depends on demonstrating MMT reflects polemics against
>Hellenists rather than Pharisees -- or that the Pharisees started out as
If MMT was written before Onias III, then hellenizers were probably only one
problem. What is sectarian in the letter?