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orion Pre-Macc TR, was "brief responses"
My thanks to Russell Gmirkin for clarifying something that has puzzled me about
Qumran-DSS studies. That is, why have theories of Qumran origins ignored the
Hasmonean Revolution and the ten or 15 years before it began? Without an idea of
why scholars have ignored the obvious, it's hard to understand what is said about
> The question is whether these historical gaps exist and a historical
> approach relying heavily on conjecture are required relative to our
> sectarians. Since the late fifties there has been a common, even dominant
> presupposition that the sectarians built and occupied Qumran and that
> sectarian origins need not be sought earlier than Qumran's foundation
> (variously put between 150 and 100 BCE, modern opinion leaning towards a
> later date).
> But if Qumran archaeology is ultimately irrelevant to the earliest history
> of the sectarians, then we are now free to look earlier than Qumran, in the
> pre-Hasmonean period, for sectarian origins. In that period one may identify
> the major figures, factions and events in the pesharim, CD, etc., utilizing
> only conventional history without having to postulate unrecorded events.
I would modestly propose that Teacher of Righteousness may NOT refere to an
individual. The sectarians may have had Moses in mind.
Another candidate for Wicked Priest would be the High Priest Jason, the man
responsible for "changing the Jews' religion" in 2 Macc.
When I say I would "modestly propose," I mean that I want to put these ideas on
the table at this point; any attempt to shoot them down provides information, I
hope, that answers my questions about how scholars can hold as they do about
As Russell Gmirkin said,
> This raises the question whether the field has been looking for the history
> of the sect in the wrong period, and whether the constant recourse to
> historical conjecture has been unnecessary all these decades.
However, given my modest proposal above, and the number of people who are
ego-involved with their conjectures about later points in time, wouldn't we
(if successful) simply widen the area of scholarly debate?
> Best Wishes,
> Russell Gmirkin
Sigrid Peterson University of Pennsylvania email@example.com