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Re: Late MMT

Dear Russell,

The last response in the MMT debate!

>>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.
>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.

This is incoherent, Russell. Because Enoch and the learned Philo deal with
marriage, though the former more than the latter, you cannot conclude that
"Marriage was a lively issue throughout this whole period." Timecapsule
news: 1948 Arab-Jewish war going on; 1972 Arab-Jewish war going on.
Russell's conclusion: there was war "throughout this whole period" from 48
to 72. Hmmm.

>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).

You need to put CR into some context and that is one of recreating the
situations and sentiments perceived to have been at the time of Moses. There
are laws made just as with Moses to deal with the community of believers --
"governing the rules of a religious community" -- and the Mosaic idea of
wandering in the wilderness can be seen with the "camp" metaphor (remember
the Jerusalem camp from MMT?). The significance of the red heifer goes
directly to the Mosaic connection and was performed in a camp -- hence one
reason it was there. We should guess by now that the camps in the times of
the dss were cities and villages. This Mosaic connection falls squarely into
the mainstream of Jewish religious literature from the earliest of times.

At the moment your guess is as good as mine regarding the Zadokite
fragments. They are not quite as transparent as some of the other texts.

>>>Moshe has brought up the red heifer legislation as particularly
>compelling [regarding MMT being directed against Pharisee positions].

I don't think you can build a case on the serendipity of the similarity of
an expression, considering both the MMT and the Sadducean phrases are
synonymous with the original Numbers 19 expression. The point simply has not
been made.

>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.

I'm amused by the weight you put in the word "simply". We are led to believe
that the Talmud gives a fair reflection of the Pharisaic position, not
strange in that the Rabbis are seen to be the heirs of the Pharisees. Would
you like to stake your faith on a biased position against the Sadducees
(notwithstanding the possibility that they had knowledge of the Sadducees
that we don't) as a fair indication of what was happening in the second
century bce?

Talking about debates, why did the US South bombard Fort Sumter? That was
only 140 years ago.

Russell (re the Gentile references in MMT):
>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.  

Russell, these are knee-jerk reactions. What the hell has MMT got to do with
Herodian times? The only opportunity for Gentile involvement regarding
references in the dss was prior to the death of Alcimus. MMT is dealing with
actual gentile involvement in the temple. Can you see an opportunity within
the lifespan of these documents (with a terminal date of around 60 bce)
other than the early period for such Gentile involvement in the temple?
Contemporary evidence?

>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.

Of course not. You have not understood the timespan of events I have
suggested. Therefore you come to these conclusions. Were these things issues
in 200 bce or in 160 bce? Given the opposition that Antiochus IV met, it was
clearly not the case he was led to believe existed. That was 175 bce. My
analysis was that, if Onias III was the righteous teacher, then MMT was
written before his time (see the earlier posts), and so say 200 bce. Would
you like to say at that time that "public nudity, the cessation of
circumcision, and idolatry" were in vogue in Jerusalem?

>Yet these are the polemics
>against the Hellenizers in 1/2 Maccabees, written in the early Hasmonean

You will not be able to justify your dating of the Maccabean books, Russell.
Nevertheless, the comment is irrelevant: you are referring to the wrong
period -- after the start of the hellenistic crisis. See above.

>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.

See above.

>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.

Rhetoric, Russell. You have nothing serious or substantial to back up your
argument about a late date for MMT. No context for the document in history,
no context for the document among the dss. Hopefully, you've come some way
since you wrote this:

>my view is that MMT was written long
>after the death of the TR and the passing of the urgent apocalyptic phase,
>i.e. after the sectarians had nothing better to due than quibble minor 
>points of law.

The mainstream view is that MMT is earlier than the other documents. I agree.



Ian Hutchesson