[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

    [The following text is in the "iso-8859-1" character set]
    [Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set]
    [Some characters may be displayed incorrectly]

Ian Hutchesson wrote:

> 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.

    Ian old buddy...you are a brilliant guy and I very much enjoy
discussing thingswith you.  I admire your passion for your conclusions
as I have my own passions
but please forgive me when I tell you that you would really enhance the
of scholarly (or even not so scholarly) discussion if you refrained from
words as "hogwash" to describe others conclusions that are in conflict
with your

    I am perfectly aware that the DSS texts do not, in totality,
conform to what
Josephus tells us of the Essenes HE KNEW.  The texts, however, span 300
years through both the Hasmonean and Herodian periods and surely reflect

a developing tradition.  I will repeat.  From what I KNOW of the Essenes

from Josephus, Pliny and Philo...from what I know about the Pharisees
Josephus and the Talmud (which records the oral tradition of that time)
and from
what VERY LITTLE I know about the Sadducees...I have to lean toward an
Essene or Essene-like group as the origin of the DSS texts.

    Now if a non-Essene origin is your paradigm..that's ok and I would
to hear..er..read..the foundations of your own conclusions.  I just may
learn something and you wouldn't want me to miss that opportunity, would

> >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).

    Again, Josephus is removed in time from the *majority* of the DSS
textsregarding the time of their composition and writing.  Our old
friend, the
Moreh ha-Tsadik, may not have even recognized his "successors" in
65ish CE any more than the HJ would recognize, or even approve, of
the texts canonized as the New Testament.

> >I think I'll stick to that qualifier until better evidence is
> >presented...it does leave the door open for your paradigm.....which
> >is...???
> There is no substantial evidence for the Essene hypothesis. Hopefully
> this
> has become patently evident here over the last few months.
      I agree that evidence is bare indeed but I dont reject it as
speculation.  I am open for alternative suggestions.

Jack Kilmon