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orion MMT. Stephen Goranson

Dear Stephen,

I find a basic problem that I can't get round with regards to your reliance
on the origin of the Essene name. You can derive the name "Essene" from
'osey and yes in fact we know that there was a group called Essenes. You can
also derive the name Ebionite from other self-identifications and there was
a group of Ebionites. The mere fact of being able to derive names doesn't
help very much -- unless you presuppose that the texts were by Essenes.

>...If MMT wanted to use
>Ezekiel here, it would probably have used Ezekiel's Hebrew terms.

I didn't claim that the writer was using Ezekiel, but that Ezekiel reflected
the same or similar currents.

>The MMT writer(s) complained about some current temple priests'
>behavior, so they didn't control them.

It is probable that the closer we come to 175 bce, the more openly contrary
the liberals were in Jerusalem. Those liberals were temple priests and
probably the same complained about in the Enochian Watchers for their
"liberality" with regard to marriages (one of the problems mentioned in
MMT): the "impure practices based on misinterpretation of torah".

The separation talked of in MMT is one from the rest of the people thus
avoiding being party to their (unclean) actions, and the text says "in these
matters". This is not a total separation from what I read, but only in these
matters of uncleanness, and in fact the temple priests were not totally

(I think I've said before that the debate is not the source for Pliny's
information about the Essenes as much as the arbitrary interpretation of the
texts to presuppose Qumran instead of the more literal hills above En Gedi.)


Ian Hutchesson

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)