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orion 63/64 bce - or about then etc.
Perhaps Ian is "dead" to Orion.
His theory seemed to say that the DSS were written (enscribed?) in Jerusalem
and moved from there in about 64/63 bce as Aemilius Scaurus approached from
Armenia. I am a little suspicious of this theory because Aristobulus's
recorded reaction to Scaurus' approach was rather defiant and this seems
inconsistent with gathering up the library and taking it off to the
wilderness. Ian also speculates on his "page" entitled "The Deposition of
the Dead Sea Scrolls" that "the Sadducees as a religious-political force
were crushed with the fall of the temple (perhaps explaining why Josephus
knew next to nothing about them) . . . " and that this marked the
permanent rise of the Pharisees. At least I think that is a reasonable
Here is part of the problem I have with this viewpoint. Josephus says in
Wars, Bk 1, Ch. 5 that after Alexander died then the Pharisees (who had
gained the favor of Alexandra S.) "themseleves" slew Diogenes (presumably the
primary leader of the Sadducees - because he had advised Alexander on the
religous issue, i.e., crucifiction of 800 Pharisees, and because he was the
primary target of the Pharisees) and then the Sadducees were "dispersed all
over the country." The point is that when Scaurus arrived not too long
thereafter the Sadducees were not in Jerusalem because they had been
dispersed out of Jerusalem by Alexandra. Therefore, those slaughtered in the
temple in 64/63 bce were probably (for the most part) Pharisees, not
Sadducees. Would this possibly also suggest that 4QMMT might be a "letter"
or manifesto from the Sadducees who had been chased out of Jerusalem by
Alexandra (and perhaps taking some of their library with them - a more
reasonable explaination for the library leving J.) directed to the Pharisees
at a time just after being dispersed by Alexandra but just before Scaurus
arrives? This would leave room for a later arrival at Q by the E's under
Herod the Great their probable benefactor.
I have enjoyed Rochelle's missives but they make me wonder about a few
issues. Perhaps it is a function of things like the printing press,
typewritter, and computer, but my experience is that most "published"
documents are drafted and revised multiple times before they get to a point
parallel to a scribal (or copying) function. Is it reasonable to expect that
such a drafting and redrafting process existed during the period where the
DSS were prepared. Were "draft" and "revised" documents simply cast aside?
It would seem to me that some draft documents might be considered sacred?
I guess I am trying to picture the process by which these documents were
produced. For some, I assume that there was some "master" document used by
scribes? For others, there was some person(s) dictating to a scribe? Are
these reasonable assumption vis a vis the DSS?