[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
orion Responses to Ms. Pinnick and Mr. Gmirkin
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 10:31:18 -0400
From: David Goldman <email@example.com>
Subject: Responses to Ms. Pinnick and Mr. Gmirkin
May I respectfully submit the following responses to the following reactions:
>It seems to me that the topic of rabbinic law, handed down to Moses on
>Sinai, is off-topic, where Orion is concerned. Questions which cannot be
>resolved by academic methods and which are based on faith propositions
>tend to produce ill feeling and waste a lot of time and bandwidth.
I am a little surprised that you would approach it this way, since the
belief/context of the scroll writers took Sinaic revelation into
consideration whether they were at the time of Herod or before. Why does
this specifically create more ill feelings than other controversies? Why is
a scholarly analysis of the content and context of the scrolls from the
traditional Judaic faith perspective inappropriate, inasmuch as rational
analysis is also based on a faith.... I detect a little prejudice here.
Since the issue of who authored the scrolls cannot be resolved conclusively
on academic method either, then much of the field is based on alot of
faith..... some Jewish-faith based, some Christian-faith based, some
>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.
I WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT ALL THE SCROLLS, ONLY THE DD. DID THIS POINT NOT
> Also, the scrolls do not take positions consistent with the Pharisees.
I HAVE READ SEVERAL OF THEM WITH AN OPEN MIND, AND IN A NUMBER OF CASES
THERE IS NOTHING IN THEM TO SAY THEY ARE NOT PHARISAIC.
> 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.
THAT IS TRUE, BUT I WASN'T TALKING ABOUT MMT. IN ANY EVENT, I WONDERED WHY
IT WAS DETERMINED THAT MMT WAS WRITTEN BY UNPROVEN RESIDENTS OF QUMRAN TO
THEIR FELLOW-BELIEVERS, PHARISEES, WHEN THE MMT IS A FEW FRAGMENTS, AND
COULD HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY SOME SCHOOL OF PHARISEES (ALONG THE LINES OF A
DISPUTE, FOR EXAMPLE, BETWEEN CONFLICTING SCHOOLS SUCH AS BAIT SHAMMAI VS.
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
I NEVER SAID THE SCROLLS WERE ALL WRITTEN BY PHARISEES. I DON'T REMEMBER
MENTIONING THIS IDEA AT ALL. I HAVE SIMPLY BEEN PROPOSING THAT THERE IS TOO
MUCH POLITICAL CORRECTNESS (OR ACADEMIC CORRECTNESS) OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS
WHICH SEEKS TO "KVETCH" THE ENTIRE BODY OF WRITINGS FOUND AT QUMRAN INTO A
PARTICULAR PRECONCEIVED MOLD.
> 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.")
FORGIVE ME, BUT I REALLY THINK YOU ARE OVER-REACTING.
> Best wishes,
> Russell Gmirkin