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orion DSS-Era Jews On Oral Torah - Part 3
>But turning from his views to yours, I ask: If Sadducees
>believed in oral torah, why did Josephus in Ant. 13 write that Sadducees
>rejected the claim of Pharisees that they had traditions not written in the
>law of Moses?
First, we'll not turn from his view to mine, nor nurse any personal anathema
you may have toward me. I logically analyze what the scholars write so if
you want to discuss my views, including the Netzarim, that requires
returning back to the logical analysis of what the scholars have written.
So there's no point whatsoever in attempting to bringing "my views" or
"religious sentiments" into this discussion. Stick to the logical analysis
of what the scholars have written, THAT is my view.
Let's examine just what Josephus wrote including some context: "the Perushim
have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from
their fathers, which are not written in the Law of Mushah; and for that
reason it is that the [Pseudo-] Tzedoqim reject THEM, and say that we are to
esteem those observances to be obligatory which are in the written word,
but are not to observe what are derived from the tradition of our
forefathers; and concerning these things it is that great disputes and
differences have arisen among them, while the [Pseudo-] Tzedoqim are able to
persuade none but the rich, and have not the populace obsequious to them,
but the Perushim have the multitude of their side."
Recall that the Tzedoqim codified Torah sheBa'al Peh into their "Book of
Decrees". At that time, this WRITTEN "Book of Decrees" was, to the
[Pseudo-] Tzedoqim, the ONLY valid version of Torah sheBa'al Peh. Thus, the
Tzedoqim could argue that Jews should follow only what is *written* -- which
included their version of Torah sheBa'al Peh -- deftly excluding the
Perushim version (halakhah).
It is clear if you'll read Sussmann and Qimron that none of them rejected
Torah sheBa'al Peh. It's clear from MMT and NOT disputed by Josephus. The
notion that Josephus represented a contradiction turns out to be based on a
wrong understanding of Josephus based on what, until fairly recently, was a
lack of information (MMT).
It's also telling that the Pseudo-Tzedoqim couldn't sell it to any of the
Jewish community except for a few rich fellow-collaboraters with the Romans;
clearly it was never sold to the Beyt Din Ha-Gadol.
That leaves only Ma'aseh and Halakhah as serious interpretations of Torah
Paqid 16, Qehilat Ha-Netzarim (Nazarene Jews)