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orion Re: minim; Ib and II dating

Mr. Ben-David has misread my words. Of course I did not deny that
various Jewish groups--including Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes--at
various times criticized one another. I indeed consider several Qumran
texts to be Essene texts in which the writer criticizes Pharisees and/or
Sadducees. I have no problem with the quoted Enc. Jud. passage, though
it relates to post-Qumran texts, and though, for a better and more
detailed account of the later evolution of the term one can read, e.g.,
Reuven Kimelman's article in Jewish and Christian Self-Definition, ed.
E.P. Sanders, et al. (i.e., minim first relates to Jewish groups, but in
Bavli Amoraic texts expands to non-Jews as well). Unless Mr. Ben-David
can present new information, in no Qumran or contemporary ms case does a
writer in Hebrew call a Jew a min, or a Jewish group minim, or accuse
anyone of minut. I wrote that his assertion was not a "fact" and stand
by that. It is possible that the word was used earlier than we know
about. But we have no evidence to justify asserting this, and we have
the known trajectory which suggests against it. In my view, Mr.
Ben-David has misunderstood aspects of the history of Pharisees,
Sadducees, Essenes, and other Jewish groups.

I thank Greg Doudna for his interesting contribution. On *first*
impression (note--labled as an off-the-cuff response, which I may need
to revise) it appears to me to underestimate and in cases misinterpret
the *full* range and confluence of the pottery evidence and loci use
(including water-installations), the radiocarbon, coin (repeat, nothing
is decided [nor was done] by one coin out of a sealed locus), cemetery,
paleographic, and literary evidence. But I intend to look further into
some of these proposals.

Stephen Goranson   goransons@uncwil.edu