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orion brief responses
Dear orion list,
Today I wonder whether it is worthwhile to continue on this list, given
the large amount of misrepresentation and rudeness from some--not
all--participants. I have only the heart for brief comments now, but given
my long-term interest will likely try some more substantial post yet again,
later. Though, to do so, some threads--for myself and others--IMO, may need
to be started from scratch.
Dear Mark Dunn, I have written many times that some mss at Qumran
obviously came from outside; that they were not all prodced there; that
they did not arrive all at once. So perhaps we disagree less than appeared
to you. I am not persuaded by the crises you offered as causing scrolls to
be moved to Qumran, but I take no offense at your offering them. As for
livelihood: Essenes worked in agriculture, pottery, etc. and gained money
from initiates, and did not have an expensive life style.
Dear Russell Gimirkin, I have learned from some of your previous
posts. But I am not arguing from lacunae, and it is wrong for you to say
so. You have not answered the critique of many of Hasidim origins of
Essenes, which is a major issue, IMO. There was a TR; there was a "land of
Damascus"; and it is reductionism and/or misrepresentation to dismiss my
datings (and those I have borrowed from others) on the grounds you have.
You must know that I do begin with tentative givens as to historical
context into which to fit the new data, a proceedure more like yours,
really, than like F. Cryer's, despite all the opportunistic disingenous
posts from him. I simply admit that history-writing is not totally
objective and scientific--all the better to alert one to test it and to
beware of fraudlent claims which exclude evidence on whim while pretenting
to be scientific. I have questioned the use of 1,2 Macc without adequate
account for its different perspective than, say, the pesherim. Perhaps we
can have usefl exchanges in the future.
Dear Jim West, You write of "inclusive" non-sectarian Qumran
texts. But the pesharim and war scroll, for example, wish death on some
other members of Israel. To use the term "sectarianism" usefully, IMO, as I
wrote before, it's useful to also consider the evolution of Greek
"hairesis" and Hebrew "minut." Sure, reading Bryan Wilson, Religious Sects
(NY, 1970) for instance, would remind you of what you surely already know
from your studies of Christianity: more than one group claims to be the
true Christians, and views of sectarianism are not far to seek. Again: the
requirements for entry into the Qumranite group and the Essene group were
Dear Albert Bamgarten, That last sentence was for you, really. : -
) Did you notice how I listed Qumranites and Essenes separately? Did you
also recognize that the "requirements for entry" are the same--hey, this
might be the same group! Otherwise, of course, I welcome your sanity here.
I admit, I look to folks like you to read more sociology than I can force
myself to, and learn at times, though trying out, say, Mary Douglas on
grid-and-group at Qumran, always seems to require some squeezing.
Dear Asia Lerner, Thank you for resisting bullies and obscurantists.
Dear Fred Cryer, If all it took was one self-absorbed philologian
to settle the etymology of Essenes, it would have been settled long ago,
for the world is in no lack of such--but such a being may not have been the
source, either. Or there would not be 60 proposals. If you were really
interested in the O, you'd consider Philo more carefully on osios, not
dismiss Epiphanius on Ossenes so lightly, consider the history of
scholarship, which I have sketched before,........etc. there is of course
more data, including from Qumran, some of it written on orion last fall. I
continue to appreciate the fact that Philip Melanchthon, in 1532, had a
better understanding of Essenes than you do in 1997--even without C14 and
Karl Popper. But there is no point attempting dialogue with you, as far as
I can tell, from your posts. You have declared it over. (Have you also
declared the true etymology? I will read it if you do.) I hope I'm wrong. I
hope Greg escapes Copenhagen with some integrity left. You are a reminder
that the task of historians, to persist, must not be discouraged by such
meretricious anti-intellectualism dressed up as if rational.
I do hope some of the other participants will attempt new threads
afresh, sans misrepresentations which can only muddy the waters. I may
myself, after this appalling display fades.
Stephen Goranson firstname.lastname@example.org