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Re:orion dss and rabbis
Dear Mr. Stephen Goranson,
Rather than having an opinion about your guesses concerning 4QpNah,
however blind (the reference to your potential blindness here, was
not intended as an insult, but was offered as a potential for
face-saving: no one blames a blind man for not seeing), I
had merely pointed out that you misunderstood Popper. It is not that
I have any great enthusiasm for Popper or for Fred's guesses about
Qumran. I do believe however that statements about history should be
falsifiable for them to be considered sophisticated enough for an
historian to take them seriously. Otherwise it is just guesswork: a
function of theology not history.
> Dear Thomas L Thompson,
> With all due respect, it is not a "blind guess" to hypothesize that
> 4QpNah was written by an Essene, or that it refers to Pharisees, or that it
> refers to a crucifixion dating during the rule of Alexander Jannaeus.
> I admit to being less persuaded than some that Karl Popper has the
> best approach toward historical research. And, I concede that experience
> generally is mediated, and that not autograph texts, nor my current sight
> and vision escape hermeneutic philosophical issues. But reasonable people
> can discuss plausible reconstructions of history.
> Ferdinand Rohrhirsch in Wissenschaftstheorie und Qumran (Freiburg,
> 1996) is less hesitant in finding adequately-framed hypotheses in Qumran
> research available for analysis than you or Fred Cryer appear to be. But I
> could be wrong. The book by Rohrhirsch, whatever one makes of its many
> positions, has the virtue of making coherent arguments and including a
> wealth of information and bibliographic references. And, as I say, I am not
> a proponent of Popper for history. I read others' approachs, but Popper is
> not really my interest. (Even so, when invited, I submitted a favorable
> review of Rohrhirsch's book to Religious Studies Review.) My approach in
> this exchange you may find unsophisticated. Fred Cryer said my assertions
> concerning 4QpNah were false. All I asked was to show me. With or without
> the baggage of Popper. This neither you nor he has done. I, like most who
> have published on this text, consider the lion to be a reference to
> Alexander Jannaeus. Several aspects of the historical references in 4QpNah
> are supported by attestations elsewhere. This may not amount to absolute
> certainty, but, I do suggest to you, that it does not deserve scorn.
> With or without Popper, hypotheses have been examined, and in cases
> dismissed as false. For example, the hypothesis that the Qumran mss were
> medieval Karaite texts is now generally recognized as false.
> I am content to let the late Karl Popper rest. I only ask of you
> that if you think a particular, supported, historical proposal is mistaken,
> and wish to write that on orion, please show, with information and
> argument, how the proposal is not plausible, rather than belittle it as a
> "blind guess."
> Thank you.
> Stephen Goranson firstname.lastname@example.org