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orion Stephen Goranson & Josephus

Dear Stephen,

>In a gratuitous attempt at evasion, I.H. wrote that Josephus likely
>recanted his War 2 account of Essenes by the time of Ant.  I.H.'s
>evasion was motivated by unhappiness that Josephus mentioned women and
>marriage. But Josephus wrote in Ant 13.171-3, after a brief account of
>the three groups:  "However, I have given a more exact account of these
>opinions in the second book of the Jewish War..."

(Great style.)

He gives the most essential information about the sects. Marriage for
Essenes simply didn't seem worth mentioning for Josephus. But then, it is
relegated to the end of the BJ report as if not particularly relevant
either, as it is only another order of Essenes (implying not the main
order). He is adamant in BJ that the rump don't marry: he puts it almost at
the beginning of his description so as to stress the point. Pliny knows only
of celibates. Philo says "they eschew marriage ... no Essene takes a wife...
" Hypothetica 11.14. Philo, Pliny and the AJ account contradict the BJ version.

>Since Josephus wrote War soon after the war, the chances that the War 2 
>account of Essenes is from a pre-70 source are good. 


>William of Ockham, I suppose,
>would not have been averse to a pre-70 date and Essenes located in the
>Qumran and Ein Feshkha area.

Stop flirting with William of Ockham. Josephus doesn't help you overcome
your difficulties with Pliny. You cannot assume the Essene location, no
matter how much you need to.

Remember, Stephen, you've got nothing without Pliny, but then with him you
still haven't got anything.

Ian Hutchesson