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Re: orion DSS and rabbis
In my opinion, the answer to the final question in Greg Doudna's post "DSS
and the rabbis" is plainly no, though I am open to considering attempts to
argue yes. I do find his question more heuristically interesting than the
attempt to import Christians to Qumran via putative Chinese and X-shapes
interpreted as Christian crosses, or than the supposition that autograph
mss cannot have neat margins. If Greg is going to publish a compendious
study of 4QpNah, I welcome that, as it is surely an important text. I
responded to Martin Jaffee's cross-listed initial question on ioudaios, and
we had subsequent posts there. I mention this becase I disagree with Greg's
assertion that 4QpNah does not provide "independent" evidence which may be
of interest for reading MMT. Without repeating today arguments made in
detail by many (including myself), the connections of "Pharisees" with
Ephraim, and with the "dorshei halaqot," and the history attested outside
the text are quite compelling, not "plausible" at best, as Greg wrote, IMO.
If Greg has a different and better reading, I would like to read it. That
the Rabbis are often, and reasonably, described as "heirs of the Pharisees"
has also been discussed lately on ioudaios. Of course there are other
factors, as well (e.g., the temple destruction; mystical texts; etc.)
The paraphrase of the initial issue in MMT as "we say that
Jerusalem is the only right place" seems to me to be inadequate for any
Further, it is widely recognized that MMT--and 4QpNah--involves
three Jewish groups, not two.
That some of the legal bases which have been used to speak of
Sadducee views in Second Temple period have been overdrawn, as Joseph
Baumgarten (who first raised the issue vis-a-vis MMT in JJS 1980), and
others, have written, is true, IMO; but, legal isses are not the only
identifying characteristics of Saddcees, either.
Finally, I make a request. If one wishes to discuss differing
opinions of Second Temple period Jewish groups, please do not assume that
the term "halakah" is appropriate for all of them. We know the rabbis used
this term. We have strong indications that the Pharisees did, and that term
itself was a bone of contention. We know that the Rabbinic (and presumably
Pharisee) sense of that term does not appear in Qumran mss.