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orion Focus of DSS research

From: "David W. Suter" <dsuter@catadon.stmartin.edu>
Subject: Re: orion Focus of DSS research

On Tue, 16 Sep 1997 dwashbur@nyx.net wrote:

> Agreed.  The question, I think, as raised, is "Which should come 
> first?"  Do we go scrambling through the ancient sources looking for 
> some group that resembles some things we see in the scrolls, or do we 
> immerse ourselves in the scrolls as they are, sans organizational 
> presuppositions, and let them tell us who wrote them and what 
> he/she/it/they were trying to say?  I would hope the answer is fairly 
> obvious...
> Dave Washburn


I wish the answer were as obvious as you seem to think, and I sympathize, 
because I'm bothered by the intensity of the battle over the 
identification of the group also.  I'd like to listen to the various 
sides make their best cases and then think about it for awhile.  The 
problem with reading without context is that we inevitably supply our own 
(modern) context without thinking about it, as Paul's analysis of the 
different interpretations of the Adam and Eve story should make clear.  
To me, the ancient contexts are important as an aid to understanding the 
texts in terms of the ancient world rather than our own (as best we 
can).  There is something to be learned by trying various possibilities, 
and while I have my preferences, I'm not completely convinced so far by any 

David W. Suter
Saint Martin's College
Lacey, WA 98503