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Re: orion response to R. Gmirkin (long)
Dear Philip Davies,
If we had only 1 and 2 Maccabees to rely on, the existence of the
Hasidim as a distinct group might be arguable as the invention of the writer
of 1 Maccabees, as you say. However, 1 Enoch (the Animal Apocalypse) does
represent precisely the additional data beyond 1 Maccabees you call for, as
it describes the history of a distinct group which (in the Maccabean period)
systematically conforms to our 1 Macc. information on the Hasidim down to the
year 163 BCE (when the Animal Apocalypse ends). I believe the relevance of
the Animal Apocalypse has been overlooked or at least under-emphasized by a
number of otherwise excellent critical discussions of the Hasidim in recent
>Re Hasifim, I am not sure whether I specifically posted a challenge to
>Russel Gmyrken. But now that he has responded, I can only say that the
>problem is whether 'Hasidim' as a distinct group is the invention of the
>writer of 1 Maccabees. I really do not see how Enoch can be said to reflect
>a group whose existence is itself problematic. That Hasidim may have been a
>term coined for those rallying to the banner of 'ancetrsal Judaism'
>(whatever that was) is not improbable, but to make these into a distinct
>group needs some conrete evidence beyond 1 Macc. One can make similar
>arguments, IMO for a distinct group called "sinners" if one uses similar
>evidence and logic.
>But let us agree to differ. No-one has any fresh evidence, only opinions.
>There is already too much theory chasing too little data on this list.
>Philip R Davies
>Department of Biblical Studies
>University of Sheffield