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Re: orion Jack's "as seems to be the case"

Dear Jack,

You wrote:

>Regarless Pliny as his "tour guide" rather faulty or not, I can only
>go on my reading of the texts and what I understand about the three major
>sects. Like most, I think I know more about the Pharisees than the Sadducees
>and have a difficult time assigning a Sadducee origin to the texts.  If all
>I knew about the Essenes, sans Philo and Pliny, was from FJ, I would think them
>Essene or by an "Essene-like" group.  In this regard, "seems to be" is
>appropriate to my own stance.  I am not as dogmatic in my historical
>constructions as most and always invite challenges to change my mind.

This sounds like hogwash, Jack. The most information you have about any sect
before Mishnaic times is the Essenes via Josephus and Philo (and to a lesser
extent Pliny). You have zip-all about the Sadducees (except traces from
negative positions) and not much more about the Pharisees. So with this lack
of information you have no controls for your assessment. As a matter of fact
we know that the dss were concerned amongst other things about gonorrhea and
marriages and other incidentals of non-celebate life which is in flagrant
conflict with the info we have about the Essenes. If you want to say the
Essene hypothesis "seems to be the case", ok, but realize that that "seems"
is based on habit and not fact.

>Obviously, the DSS people were ambivalent about the Temple but
>"alienated" may be a bit strong.

Obviously, my foot. The dss writers were plain pro-temple and very
temple-centred (Temple Scroll, ShirShab, liturgies, hymns, copper scroll,
mishmarot,...). The Essenes were alienated from it (Josephus).

>I think I'll stick to that qualifier until better evidence is
>presented...it does leave the door open for your paradigm.....which

There is no substantial evidence for the Essene hypothesis. Hopefully this
has become patently evident here over the last few months.