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Re: orion dates, method, invitation

Dear Russell Gimirkin et al.,
Perhaps there's been a little misunderstanding. Of course historical claims
should be open to scrutiny by all reasonable means available. I merely ask
that we not pretend that our current methods and sources are better--or
worse--than they are. I think it is a potential strength that some on orion
value various sources of information and methodologies somewhat differently
and have different areas of expertise. I prefer not to have my historical
proposals characterized as mere random conjecture, but that's a risk one
takes in writing, I suppose. : - )
	Of course I'm interested in the conventional historical sources,
though they must be used critically; I assume you would agree.  You think 1
and 2 Maccabees are more relevant to Qumran than I do. I  have emphasized
some other texts as more relevant. I'm not opposed to  falsification; it's
useful; I use it; but it's not sufficient. I think part of history writing
has to do with how one puts the pieces together and how one integrates
various trajectories. Science has not solved the boundaries of the problem.
It's not a new observation (though I can't cite a source at the moment!)
that history writing is partly science, partly art. Honest scientists and
honest historians, IMO, recognize their endeavors as works-in-progress.
There are some pretty impressive provisional works, nonetheless!
     	 And I find history interesting.
	You say ignoring a Maccabean setting has hindered Qumran studies,
yet cite HH Rowley--it hasn't been ignored. The challenge to your proposed
Hasidim/Essene link by P. Davies, J. Kampen and F. Millar and others has
not been answered on orion, I think.
	I invite falsification attempts on the proposal which I have
promoted more than any other on orion: The etymology of "Essenes" (Greek,
Essaioi/Esshnoi ) has its origin in the Hebrew root 'asah, and not in
Hasidim nor its Aramaic cognate, nor in the approximately 60 other proposed
etymologies. Corollary: the Qumran mss themselves tell us they are (some of
them) Essene, by the self-identification interwoven with characteristics of
Essenes reported by Philo, Josephus, Pliny, Epiphanius, et al.
Best wishes,
Stephen Goranson  goranson@duke.edu