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Re: orion "Qumran sect" dogma
On Thu, 22 May 1997, Ian Hutchesson wrote:
> >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?
Why do we need to discuss the identification of Teacher of Righteousness?
This seems to me quite irrelevant to the question of whether some texts of
DSS testify to a sectarian set of mind. If you insist, the answer is that
if Onias was the TR, or somehow subscribed to the opinions of Serech
Ha-Yachad than indeed he was a sectarian at some point in his life.
I took the liberty to remove a passage on MMT - I do not think that MMT is
in any striking way sectarian.
It seems to me that there ia a fairly coherent understanding of what it
means to be "sectarian." E.g, what makes David Koresh' movement sectarian?
Well, its their self-understanding as a groop that holds opinions
substatially different from the rest of their community, opinions that are
not merely different but represent the "true way" vs. "the false way" . In
addition, you have the sense of the sectarians pursuing some kind of a new
path over and against a commonly accepted way of doing things. Hence the
necessity to hold apart, to put a distance between themeselves and the
rest of the community.
All of this things you have (in spades!) in the three texts that I already
mentioned. "Serech Ha-Yachad", e.g., is a dictionary compendium of all
those attitudes that are understood to make something a "sect". Hence, I
do not think that it's justified to claim that there are no suggestions at
all of sectarianism in DSS.