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Re: orion Jack's "The [dss]... span 300 years"
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Ian Hutchesson wrote:
> Jack wrote:
> >> >The [dss]... span 300 years through both the Hasmonean and
> >> periods
> >> This is nowhere near definite. There is nothing in the texts
> >> themselves to
> >> suggest anything aftere the time of Aemilius Scaurus, ie 63 bce.
> >> Archaeology is quite unhelpful in this.
Y'know Ian, I feel fortunate sometimes that I am not a "scholar"
butan interested outsider peering through the windows at the academic
discussions and debates over the DSS. Even as a layman, however, I do
feel some "territorial imperative" having been one of the first dozen
in the world to have seen a DeadSea Scroll and clumsily translate a few
The problems I see with the debates among scholars over who wrote
the DSS are several.
1. Monolithic definitions of the "three major sects" of 2nd temple
2. The DSS were the property of ONE of these sects.
3. The DSS were placed in the caves at ONE time in response to ONE
of the many internal or external threats to the library's (or
As for problem 1, the texts are explored for contextual conformation
certain monolithic formulas for one of the sects as we understand them;
A. The Sadducees were A and B and they believed C and D and E
and they practiced F and G.
B. The Pharisees were H and I and they believed J, K, and L and
practiced M and N.
C. The Essenes, on the other hand came from group A or B and they
believed O and P and they practiced Q and R.
If we explore "Pharisaic Judaism" today and examine Hasidim,
the Lubavitchers, along with other "orthodox," reformed, conservative,
"zealots" like the JDL, would we arrive at one definition? When
placed these people in neat little "boxes" was he being accurate or
a tidy and complimentary picture for his Roman Emperor boss?
Second temple pharisaism may have been divided into two main groups,
Hillelites and Shammaites (with their considerably different approaches)
but you can bet the lentil farm there were sub-groups and bifurcations
each..all writing the standard polemic of the time against the other.
How do scholars today box in the Sadducees from the time of Sirach
the Roman Period and arrive ata collage?
Essenes, therefore, form an enigma since the word "Hassaya" could
define several groups from each "box." I am sure that there were
Pharisees as well as ascetic Sadducees and even ascetic ascetics who
may not have identified themselves with either "box."
For this reason, I usually use "DSS People" to define the owners of
this library...or part of it, and am uncomfortable with "Qumranites"
since I am not convinced that the K. Qumran site was the origin of
these texts, or that all of the caches came from the same library or
group, or that they were all cached in the caves at the same time...
either in 63 BCE as you suggest, or 68 CE as other suggest.
I think it possible that these texts were placed in these
known to the people in the area for centuries...either as genizoth or
for safekeeping over a period of two centuries or more.
Why should we believe that MMT reflects the same beliefs as 1QS
or that the strictly Greek texts of Cave 7 had the same ownership as
Cave 4 or 11?
Could not the DSS texts represent *several* libraries from *several*
sources, perhaps one of the caches from an individual?
1000 years from now, when archaeologists find my personal library,
will they attribute to the "Kilmonites" some of the nutball things, like
von Daniken, that reside on lower and lesser used shelves? Will
they define the "Kilmonites" as a group arising from "Eisenmanism"
(as you have suggested), or Schiffmanism, vanderKamian, Charlesworthian?
Should we really believe that these texts, written over an extended
period of time, and hidden by gosh known how many different people,
should reflect only what one particular sect thought and
believed at one point in time?
Guess I have rambled a bit and hope I have not exceeded size
by the list..if so..I apologize.