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orion Advice to David Goldman

Dear David,

  First, let me point out a few basics that you may not be aware of.  Many of
the scrolls predate Herod's time, as shown by radiocarbon dating.  The
scrolls contain not a single reference to Herodian figures, historical
events, geographical sites, etc., or to a Judea currently ruled by Romans.
 Also, the scrolls do not take positions consistent with the Pharisees.
 Indeed, MMT has been argued by several scholars to allude to several ancient
disputes between Pharisees and Sadducees, taking up the Sadducee position in
all cases.  Who wrote the scrolls is a matter of great dispute, but everyone
appears to agree it was not the Pharisees.  It's difficult to point these
facts out to you without appearing rude.  I think this is why the
participants on this list are ignoring your well-intentioned by clearly
ill-informed suggestions.  

  Also, your interests appear to be primarily religious rather than
historical or scholarly.  That is fine, and if you want to study the scrolls
in comparison to late rabbinic Judaism, I'd encourage you to do so.  As a
starting point, I would recommend to your Lawrence Schiffman's 1994 excellent
book, Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls:  Their True Meaning for Judaism and
Christianity.  However, it's a little presumptuous for you to try to set the
research agenda of scholars in the field who are already doing productive
work at a level far above your own.   We have had a number of important
scholars who have dropped off the list because of excessive participation by
obvious amateurs, and the scrolls field is losing an important resource.
 Please be considerate.  Feel free to eavesdrop on the conversations in this
list, but try to resist the temptation to participate at this stage in your
life.  (This last is just a personal plea, not anything "official.")

  Best wishes,

  Russell Gmirkin