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Re: Late MMT
Ian Hutchesson writes:
> 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
> issue doesn't have a meaning.
Marriage was a lively issue throughout this whole period. I would refer you
back to David Suter's posting in which he quoted Philo (1st cent. CE) on
marriage issues regarding the priesthood.
> I don't talk about sectarians in my construct, but you do. Have you
> got any real evidence for sectarians?
CD & CR lay out the covenant governing the rules of a religious community
(i.e. the New Covenant in the Land of Damascus of CD). These documents also
lay out the rules of membership, hierarchy of offices, expulsion of members.
This is the most explicit evidence I can imagine regarding the formation of
a sect (here using the term to mean a group consciously defining itself
around a set of religious principles). This "charter" of association is far
superior to what we know of what defined the Pharisees or Sadducees, to name
two other sects.
> >Moshe has brought up the red heifer legislation as particularly
compelling [regarding MMT being directed against Pharisee positions].
> He has not as yet made the point.
I don't think I agree, as I'm not convinced from your exchange that you fully
followed his argument. That is to say, I'm not sure you've responded to the
substance of his argument.
> >I could only repeat the arguments made by Segal (in Qimron's book),
> >Schiffman, & others, which I haven't read for a while -- but they seemed
as a whole
> >quite convincing at the time [regarding Sadducee vs. Pharisee polemics in
I obviously haven't read them for a while, as I meant Y. Sussmann, who
contributed an appendix (pp. 179-200) to Qimron's book _Qumran Cave 4:
Miqsat Ma'ase Ha-Torah_. Qimron was responsible for the main discussion of
the halakhah at pp. 123-178. On review, it still seems quite convincing that
MMT represents Sadducee against Pharisee positions, as illustrated by more
than one clause.
Ian, I'm not sure if you've read Qimron, Schiffman, or the many others who
have written on MMT halakhah, but if you're keen on dating MMT, it seems to
me this is a necessary preliminary.
> For historical anacronisms. How often does one have to state that there
> no contemporary texts other than these, ie the dss?...
> The Pharisaic argument isn't based on contemporary sources. It's based on
> reading backwards. Reading backwards means inventing the past.
If I understand you correctly, you are saying we cannot reconstruct the
debate of the Sadducees against the Pharisees in the pre-Herodian era based
on the Talmud simply due to the latter's later date. This is a rather
sweeping rejection of the historical relevance of an extremely significant
body of literature doesn't show much depth of analysis. I would point out to
you that the Talmud not only makes specific detailed reference to reforms in
favor of the Sadducees under Hyrkanus I (ca. 135-105 BCE) but also at least
one historical incident in his reign. Josephus also independently recall the
reforms (with less detail) and the same historical incident, which
demonstrates that the Talmud does convey genuine historical material.
> > On the other hand, you appear to propose it may have been directed
> >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
These lines are just about Gentiles grain and heave offerings in the temple.
Such offerings were made down into Herodian times, and were indeed one of
the issues leading to the Jewish War when the sacrifices offered on behalf of
the Romans stopped. Since these controversial offerings continued during
times when the temple was controlled by Sadducees and Pharisees, I can't see
them as an indicator that the opponents of the MMT group were the Hellenists
of ca. 175 BCE.
What you require to demonstrate that MMT is directed against the Hellenizers
is polemics against, say, public nudity, the cessation of circumcision, and
idolatry. These polemics are not found in MMT. Yet these are the polemics
against the Hellenizers in 1/2 Maccabees, written in the early Hasmonean
period. More significantly, these same polemics are prominent in Jubilees,
the first edition of which was written ca. 175-169 BCE. Jubilees is a good
model for what anti-Hellenist polemics looked like, and these polemics don't
look _anything_ like MMT.
I think this will be my last posting on the date of MMT. There is a vast
difference between opinion and informed opinion, and the readers of this list
deserve only the latter. I have little further useful information to bring
to bear on MMT at this time, and I don't want to contribute to the background
"static" that sometimes clutters up this otherwise excellent list. Hence I
will try to set a good example by voluntarily terminating this thread. Ian,
since I'm opting out, you get the last word if you want it, and of course I'd
be happy to continue discussing any minor issues off-list.