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Re: orion Orion Sadducees (MMT) et al
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Dale Cannon wrote:
> msg just for KILMON -- you can reply on the general board
> you wish
> any grounds for a proto-Christian group near Damascus?
> Dale M. Cannon
OK..I will take it to the list but will qualify that I do not
consider myself a scholarin these matters but more an "informed (I hope)
I assume you mean Syrian Damascus and are familiar with the
arguments of Lapide and others that Qumran was the "Damascus" of Paul's
intended persecution of Jesus people. I must admit that I am puzzled by
that story since I cannot fathom how Paul, a supposed Pharisee, working
for Caiaphas, a Sadducee (something that would be unheard of) would have
any authority to arrest people in Syria. It also puzzles me that Paul
in "Damascus" gets in hot water with Aretas whose capitol was much
further south in Petra(2Cor 11:32).
I think that the "New Covenant in the land of Damascus" of the
Damascus Document does indeed refer to Syrian Damascus and that a
community flourished there, just as in Alexandria (Therpaeutae) and in
upper city of Jerusalem (Evyonim). Josephus mentions the presence of
Essenes in many cities.
Epiphanius places the "Cochaba" as one of the villages of the
(Jesus' family and followers) in the region of Syrian Damascus (EH
but I believe Julius Africanus follows the Matthean and Markan "Coast of
interpretation. I find it hard to believe that Acts 9:19-21 is
referring to Syrian
So what do we have? TWO Damascuses? er..Damasci? (g) This is
The "Land of Damascus" does seem to be an idiom for the Essenes who had
a community in Syria as did other Jews. I think we place too much
the putative small community of Essenes at Qumran. Since the "Yeshuine
Jews" as I call them fit well into the "Enochian/Messianic/Apocalyptic"
style of Judaeism,
I see no reason why there was not a close relationship between Yeshuine
"Evyonim" and Essenic "Evyonim" and that many Essenes both in Judea AND
Damascus became "proto-Christians."
This does not mean that there would be "Christian" wrtings in the
DSS corpus (whatever the origin of the cache...maybe even Syria) which
would be clearly anachronistic. The "proto-Christian" (Yeshuine)
writings would so nearly resemble the DSS texts as to be
indistinguishable. Perhaps the Testimentary texts are a clue.
I hope I haven't rambled too much...it's late and I've had a busy
day. I guess my
answer is a highly probable yes.