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Re: orion Re: dss and rabbis
On Tue, 30 Sep 1997, philip davies wrote:
> If we arer going to debate DSS and Pharisees, let us please reread Ginzberg
> first (in German or English). And Rabin, too (on haburot). When we have
> done that, let us talk. If they were right after all, we should let them
> have the credit.
> (And if you don't know these works, don't ask me for the
> bibliographical details! I never give my PhD students any - I insist they
> find out. It is called research.....)
L. Ginzberg (*Eine Unbekannte juedische Sekte* , ET: *An
Unknown Jewish Sect* ) and C. Rabin (*Qumran Studies* ) were
both superb scholars who, accepting the historical paradigms of their
times, assumed an unproblematic continuity between Pharisaism and
classical Rabbinic literature. Thus they used their considerable erudition
to establish numerous suggestive linguistic and conceptual lines linking
the language of CD to rabbinic traditions. They then fastened on the
Pharisees as the hypothetical link. Ginzberg's argumenet depends on the
piling up of numerous minute links many of which are in themselves
debatable, yet which in aggregate become imposing. Yet no one, to my
knowledge, has systematically examined how many of these links remain
plausible in light of later knowledge. Rabin's strongest argument for the
filiation of the CD community with the Pharisees and the later Rabbis lies
in his discussion of M/T Demai's rules for the havurah, which include
maintaining the purity of foods, etc. What troubles me about Rabin's
discussion is that the mishnaic-toseftan materials clearly reflect a group
that lives in and among a larger Jewish community with which it shares
work-space and, to a degree, domestic space. This makes it hard for me to
draw the line to even the "non-Qumranian" covenanters who live in the
"cities". And, still, the connection of the Demai mateiral to Pharisees
remains posited rather than defended.
Can we talk now?
> My own comment on this topic is that if dorshei halaqot is
a pun on
> (Pharisaic) halakot, then we should also consider why the writers of 4QMMT
> use the verb parash of themselves not their opponents? Personally, I don't
> lay much weight on either argument.
I entirely share your willingness to keep open the identity of the
dorshei halaqot. But I wouldn't be too hasty about "parashnu". I suppose
could have said "hevdalnu". But it seems to me a bit hasty to take a
simple word choice as intending some sort of technical meaning associated
with the name of a movement. We know from rabbinic literature, after all,
the "perushim" can refer to a variety of ascetically inclined types in
addition to the historical Pharisees. No?
I'm really not trying to be pig-headed about the Pharisaic issue.
My main hobby horse is the ascription of "halakhah" to Pharisaic usage. If
the dorshei halaqot turn out to be Pharisees, fine. But the title dorshei
halaqot isn't a pun on "halakhah" until someone turns up the word
"halakhah" in a Sec Temp Jewish text (pharisaic or otherwise). Or so it
seems to me.
Philip R Davies > Department of Biblical Studies > University of Sheffield