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Re: orion "damascus"



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Jim West wrote:

> >I must admit that  FM Cross's theory becomes  quite attractive when
> one
> >wonders exactly WHITHER Saul of Tarsus was pursuing his quarry of
> "renegade
> >Jews"  when his life -- and ultimately that of millions  -- was
> changed for
> >ever by that vision on the road to  "Damascus."   One can at least
> imagine
> >that in Paul's time, a fugitive from Jerusalem with eschatological or
>
> >apocalyptic ideas  might be far more likely to escape through the
> desert
> >towards  not-too-distant  Qumran  (which, however,  does NOT require
> a
> >theory  that its inhabitants were proto-Christians) than to attempt
> flight
> >all the way north into Syria.  Besides,  would it have been worth
> anybody's
> >while to send Saul on a wild goose chase all that way?  BTW, does
> anyone
> >know who exactly were the  "brothers in Damascus" to whom Paul is
> >delivering letters patent from the Temple authorities?
> >
> >Judith Romney Wegner jrw@brown.edu
>
> The whole of Judith's post is excellent- but it is the last sentence
> which
> interests me at the moment; for if "Damascus" were Qumran, then why
> would
> the Jerusalem leadership send Paul there with arrest warrants, if, in
> fact,
> the Qumranites were hostile to or lived in opposition to, the
> Jerusalem
> priesthood?  Or were Paul's warrants simply general?  If so, why would
> he
> expect the Qumranites to honor them?

    I would be more inclined to ask why warrants issued by Temple
authorities,
or the High Priest, would be honored in Syria.  In fact, given the
political climate
and tensions between the two would think that Paul himself would be
arrested
for trying to enforce a foreign dictate in Syria.  I would have to
research the
matter but would think that Qumran came under the same political
jurisdiction
as Jericho, hence it would not be off limits for  arrest warrants.  A
religious
sequestration would not mean a political sequestration.  There may have
been
a "hands off" policy under Herod the Great, who seems to have admired
the
Essenes, but I am not so sure under the system at the time of Paul.
    I am puzzled why a "Pharisee of Pharisees" would be an agent for the

Sadducee High Priest and why anyone in authority would be interested in
the activities of N'tzarim in Syria when there was a whole "passle" of
them in
Judea, including the original disciples.  Like Cross, I am inclined to
believe
that "Damascus" was a code name for Qumran but also realize that Paul,
in another context in Galatians, is referring to Syrian Damascus.

Jack

--
Díman dith laych idneh dínishMA nishMA
   Jack Kilmon (jpman@accesscomm.net)


 http://users.accesscomm.net/scriptorium