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Re: orion "Qumran sect" dogma

>> >Perhaps your definition of the term "sect" is what is giving you so much
>> >trouble.
>> Don't you just love the way "sect"-arians dodge the issue? Ask for evidence
>> and they say your definition of "sect" is wonky!
>So what about Serech Ha-Yachad? It pretty straightforwardly testifies to
>existance of a sect. So does the Damascus covenant and commentary on
>Habbakuk. Seriously, if the case for a sect was as empty as you present
>it, it would have never beed suggested. The people who came up with it
>(e.g., Sukenik, De Vaux) were far from being either idiots or sharlatans.

Dear Asia,

I have no problem with a temple community that had a written rule. I have no
problem with that temple community having been driven out of the temple
during the hellenistic crisis writing its damascus covenant. Remember that
the damascus document dates itself 390 years after the fall of Jerusalem
(plus 20 years until the TR). 586 bce (fall) - 410 = 176 bce (just prior to
the removal of Onias III who is the major candidate for the TR). Was Onias a
sectarian (whether or not he was TR)? Was the temple priesthood a sect?

MMT's use of Lev 17 is about strengthening the role of temple sacrifice.
Many other facets of MMT are about proper regulation of the temple. If it
was if fact written pre-175 and refers to a conflict between the temple
conservative elite and the further encroachment of hellenism into priestly
concerns, then it would only be a simple statement of mainstream halakhah of
the period. It's statements about marriage fit clearly into the wake of the
Enochian Book of the Watchers, the concern of which was that the priesthood
was being polluted through marriages outside the rules as would be the case
with Gentiles. MMT seems to have been written in Jerusalem: all the issues
in the document are current to what was happening in the city and of course
would make little sense outside that context.

Noone has made a case for a "Qumran sect" other than by trying to make much
later ideas have priority over the dss -- in short there is no case. And if
one start off reading the texts as being non-mainstream, naturally one will
confirm this reading, but such confirmation doesn't amount to much, when one
finds only what one wants to.

So, I'm still waiting for something substantive.


Ian Hutchesson