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orion re: "Damascus"
Though the idea that "Damascus" = Qumran is attractive, I think it causes
more problems than it solves.
First- the NT account in Acts 9 clearly denotes the Syrian city: a) for Paul
finds a street called "straight" (I can't recall there being any streets at
Khirbet Qumran, though I will check again in March when I am back there).
B) Paul is let down over the wall by basket- but at Qumran he could have
lowered himself down the short wall. c) there are other "christians" there
(which seems VERY unlikely at Kh. Qumran).
Second- Josephus knows of Jewish connections at Damascus.
Third- CD speaks almost tellingly of the Northern lay of Damascus.
Geographically such a description is impossible for Qumran unless CD were
written in Egypt somewhere.
But there are still problems with Paul's journey to Damascus:
1- why would he go that far?
2- would his "letters" receive any attention?
Though these problems persist- more arise by attempting to define Qumran as