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orion Unjustified: Qumran Damascus - 'J~sus people' Connection
At 00:46 27/07/97 -0500, Jack Kilmon wrote:
>Why would the high priest be concerned about Netzarim in Syria...
> Since "Damascus" also seems to be a code word for the Essene
>community, probably at Qumran (yes, I am aware of the debate on this), is it
>possible that Paul's Damascus was Qumran/Irhammelah? If so, this would
>suggest that the Jesus people and the DSS people were pretty tight.
I don't feel this justifies representing *ANY* connection, closeness, *or
tightness* between the DSS group and 'J~sus people' for the following reasons.
Your observation might reasonably suggest that the DSS people and the
Netzarim were 'pretty tight'. So might, for that matter, their relationship
with Yokhanan 'Ha-Matbil' Ben- Zekharyah Ben-Tzadoq Ha-Kohen, the first
cousin of Yehoshua and Yokhanan's supervision of his miqvah.
But none of this brings any of the 'J~sus people' -- which logically
implies Christians intractably antithetical to both the Qumran group and the
Netzarim -- into the picture. Christianity, alone, defines J~sus and
Christianity. It's their right. Parkes, et al. have demonstrated that their
definitions are the product of 4th century institionalization and reflect
strictly post-135 CE non-Jewish institutions diametrically opposite to the
original Jewish group. Christian definitions of *their* Church and *their*
savior are an integral part of the facts which must stand and within which
we must reason. No outsiders have any right to redefine *their* definitions
for them. That logically means that where *their* definitions are different
from the historical record and/or what we're talking about, especially when
they are intractable opposites -- one of which eradicated the other, we
don't impose a change of *their* definitions on them. Rather, we
acknowledge that we're talking about something else, not J~sus,
Christianity, or 'J~sus people'. Basic logical definitions which
distinguish between diametric opposites aren't merely pedantic. While logic
alone is a sufficient basis to insist on logical definitions, such precise
definitions are also essential in distinguishing between intractable
opposites which are still being routinely blurred, unnecessarily
perpetuating confusion. Those with a 4th century axe to grind would take
literally your assertion that the DSS people may have been 'pretty tight'
with the 'J~sus people' and *logically* conclude *from what you wrote* that
the DSS people were *therefore* some kind of proto-Christian or
Christian-sympathizing group when, in fact, they were intractably
antithetical on an issue that has been thoroughly discussed in this forum
already (clearly remaining intractably antithetical today). Christians, and
their defined J~sus, were opposite to *both* the DSS people and the
Netzarim, and remain so. Consequently, while there's nothing amazing in a
closeness between pro-Torah Netzarim and the pro-Torah DSS group, it's
impossible that their diametric opposite, anti-Torah Christianity and their
defined J~sus, were close to either the DSS group or the Netzarim --
particularly in view of Christianity's eradicating all remnants of the
Netzarim in 333 CE and Eusebius' record of the animosity between them.
This is where 'in the pluperfect holy smoke' I keep getting the idea that
you keep looking for some side door to slip Christianity into the picture.
As long as the DSS group is used as a launching pad for retrojecting
Christianity, proto-Christianity, 'J~sus people' or whatever nomenclature is
dreamed up next, not much is going to be known about them. Let's settle on
some definitions that don't beg this question and let logic drive the process.
Paqid 16, Qehilat Ha-Netzarim (Nazarene Jews)