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Re: orion Re: Sadducees, etc.
Stephen Goranson wrote:
>Ian is mistaken in asserting the three groups are attested before the
>desecration by Antiochus IV. See Ant. 13.171-2...
Surely, Stephen, you don't disagree that the three groups I was referring to
(obviously not those in Ant. 13.171-2) existed before Antiochus IV's
desecration, do you?
>Since he already refused to acknowledge evidence including Pliny's source;
I won't go into attempts to try to assign a source to the highly disputed
Pliny passage (that requires one to have a point of view that requires a
specific interpretation of the localization found in the text). The text has
sufficiently been shown to be less than useful in Golb's "Who wrote the Dead
Sea Scrolls". Without Pliny the Essene hypothesis has no link with Qumran,
ie can't work.
>archaeological links of Kh. Q. and caves;
There is little doubt that a connection exists between Kh. Q. and the caves,
but it is simply not enough to mention the connection to assume a link
between the dss and a putative Essene establishment at Kh. Q.
>doctrine (e.g., predestination);
The first doctrinal point that Josephus mentions in AJ is immortality of
souls, a highly distinctive innovation that seems completely missed among
>organization (e.g., initiation);
Josephus in AJ & BJ stresses the non-female nature of the organization of
the Essenes and their avoidance of contact with women, yet the dss have
marriage rituals and rules for people who have gonorrhea, etc.
Yes, there are some similarities regarding "initiation" as found in a few
texts, but as we know nothing about initiation in other sects, we cannot say
whether one sect or another is closer to the dss idea.
For a far more extended attempt to justify the Essene hypothesis (though
just as unsuccessful), try Charlesworth's ideas on a critical concensus in
his "Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls" (see forward and first chapter).
>MMT was written by those who were self-identified as
>observers of torah, a name which fits texts both internal and external
>to Essenes (and Ossenes)..
You want us to believe that 'osey haTorah was the origin of the word Essene,
as though 'osey haTorah had developed some exclusive role as a
self-identification, though we know that the writers of the dss used various
forms of dallim, ebionim, tamimim, etc to describe themselves or their
community. Finding a similarity between one self-denomination and the later
form "Essene" would need some solid intermediate evidence to make such a
connection otherwise we are no better off than the modern religious sect
that sees the lost tribe of Dan now living in Denmark.
I mentioned Ebionites in my previous post because, as a possible source for
the name is clearly mentioned in the dss, your logic would equally lead us
to assume that the writers of the dss were Ebionites, but this would equally
make us conclude that at least one conclusion re the origin of the name is
wrong. As principal arguments in history, linguistic evidence is inherently
>The "separation" is from people by a group not in control of the temple.
But what makes you think that the "we" people of MMT were not in control of
But grasp this writing so that you know how to preserve the books which I
will give you, which you will put in order and anoint with cedar oil and
place in vessels of clay in the place which he made from the beginning of
the creation of the world... (TMos 1:16-17)