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Re: orion Several

Jim West wrote:
>  WIth the
>help and insight of Dave Washburn we have been kicking around the idea that
>the authors of the Qumran texts are actually interested in what might almost
>be termed a "revival" intended to return "all-Israel" to its religious
>roots.  Therefore the scrolls are not "sectarian" at all but "pan-Israelite".
>(p.s.- a note on an earlier comment by Fred: not all Americans are
>uninterested in theoretical issues).
I respond:
The suggestion that a group which considers itself to be attempting a
"revival" of  "all Israel" cannot  simultaneously be considered by some
outsiders as "sectarian" or separatist or mis-directed is plainly false.
The Essenes at Qumran and elsewhere considered themselves to be attempting
what could be called a "revival" yet were considered wrong-headed by some
outsiders. Essenes considered themselves the true Judah and the true
observers of torah. Not everyone was pleased by that self-description.
There are other examples in Judaism and many other religions.
	On this list, with the reeruption of belligerence from Dr. Cryer,
even as I write about Essenes, I know some on the list appear fixated on
denial that some Essenes lived at Qumran and had some scrolls with them.
I'm not speaking of those who merely advocate a methodology of first
studying discretely, say, archaeology of cylindrical jars [evidently not
available in 63 or 55 BCE] , but of those actively intent--as if by
oath--to deny what de Vaux, early cave four editors, and several before
them, have recognized. At this point the historical observation of a Qumran
Essene presence is less puzzling than the psychological questions of why a
few modern scholars would be so irrationally committed to excluding it.
Stephen Goranson   goranson@duke.edu