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orion Jack's "as seems to be the case"
Writing to Yirmiyahu Ben-David you said:
>the evidence, "IF the DSS people were Essenes" is a most logical statement.
As I have hopefully underlined in the reddest of inks the Essene hypothesis
rests *solely* on the testimony of Pliny to connect it to Qumran. Without
Pliny there is no Essene hypothesis. The Pliny description rests on quite
complex argumentation just to make it work and does not in fact describe the
situation of Qumran at all.
Yes, it is in itself a logical statement, but you complicate it in your
original by adding "as seems to be the case" to your if. That is pretty
unfounded. If somehow one can make the judgement on Pliny's testimony
conclusive in favour of the Essene hypothesis (not an easy task), ie the
sourcing is well-founded and the text is shown to refer to Qumran (this
would also be interesting to see in real life), one would need to understand
why current Qumran archaeologists are working under the idea that Qumran II
was a villa when it was supposed to have these hypothetical Essenes there,
one has to square religious documents with that villa. When one has dealt
with all the simple physical evidence (you mentioned for example the 800
hands spread over 800 documents; and this physical evidence against the
Essene hype is rather heavy), one might then look at the difficulties trying
to fit the Essenes to the texts (oh, joy: temple alienated group talking as
if in control of temple -- down to temple rosters).
That "as seems to be the case" is unjustifiable.