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Eisenman, was Re: orion James and DSS
On Thu, 11 Sep 1997 PWEGNER@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU wrote:
> >From: David Goldman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > What do people make of Eisenman's thesis that James was the opponent
> > of Paul, and that there was some connection to the Scrolls? Thanks.
> The shortest answer to this question is (I think it is fair to say) that
> the overwhelming majority of Scroll scholarship disagree and dismiss
> that theory.
Eisenman's theory is not exclusively dependent on DSS - it's much more
inspired by patristic accounts, which Eisenman sees as historically valid,
except that what the patristic writers judge wrong and deplorable he often
(but not always) sees as pure-minded and admirable.
I do not find the theory quite convincing as it stands, but I do think
that Eisenman has something to say about the quality of 1st century
historical Judea vs. the way this experience tends to be presented to the
later Hellenistic world. And the DSS point of departure for this is pretty
clear: look at the differences between the description of Essenes in
Hellenist writers vs. the kind of world picture that the scrolls present
(this of course assuming that they are somehow referring to the same group
of people). The difference between fire-and-brimstone DSS on one hand,
and the anodyne monks of Josephus on the other is exactly the difference
Eisenman posits between his early and late "Christians".
Best, Asia Lerner