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Re: orion Re: 4QpesherNahum and crucifixion
Dear John J. Hays,
Your post, quoted below, was somewhat puzzling to me.
My main point was to question whether the pNah writer (an Essene,
in my opinion) fully approved of the actions of the perceived agent of
divine wrath (Jannaeus, IMO). My list of five presuppositions was merely a
brief way to inform readers of my assumptions. These are well-known
observations, which have been argued at length elsewhere. I agree with some
old observations and not others. But I wrote nothing about history as a
Neither did I address, e.g., the origins of crucifixion, though one
needn't go to Assumption of Moses to consider Antiochus IV and crucifixion,
since Josephus wrote of that (Ant 12.256). Herodotus wrote of the Persians,
and so on.
Perhaps you would reevaluate your comments on the relationships of
some scholars if you revisited Allegro, M. Horgan's _Pesharim_, Schiffman's
article in the Nahum Sarna Festschrift, and Saldarini's review of
Schiffman's book. Or perhaps not. : - )
You wrote that there is "nothing to substantiate" that the author
of pNah (a pesher on a rather negative prophetic book) was an Essene. I
disagree with that, and with other statements you made, but wonder whether
the post quoted below is a useful starting point for dialogue.
Perhaps you could tell me one thing: What does the word "bodgey"
Durham, NC email@example.com
>It is with a certain amount of dismay that I read the following:
>>Many readers of 4QpesherNahum--not all readers, certainly, but many,
>>including me--agree with the following:
>>1) The Lion is identified as Alexander Jannaeus.
>>2) Ephraim, the Pharisees.
>>3) Manasseh, the Sadducees.
>>4) The author is an Essene.
>>5) The crucifixion account is paralleled in Josephus.
>I'm pleased to say however that history is not a democratic process and I
>would urge those who would like it to be to think again. As we know so
>little about what actually happened in Judah down to the time of Josephus,
>it would seem imprudent to take the above list as given.
>1) If the furious young lion is indeed Alexander Jannaeus, what about that
>other reference to a furious young lion in pHosea(b)? Alexander might be a
>bit more credible had we a name (as in 4Q448).
>2) If I remember correctly, this is a Schiffman gem. Ephraim has already
>been worked overtime as an allusion to the Samaritans. Will a term that
>already has such a rich content be used perversely for some other meaning?
>Such terminology would have been transparent to the users, not confusing.
>3) This naturally is a corollary of the previous guess. If one cared to read
>Saldarini one might not be so hasty as to say much at all about the
>Sadducees, especially considering the high position given to Manasseh in
>pNahum: Saldarini sees the Sadducees a rung or two lower.
>4) I suppose the author could be an Essene, though there's nothing to
>substantiate the proposal: this has been a problem with the idea from the
>5) Crucifixion was known in Judah at least from the time of Antiochus IV
>Epiphanes, as should be clear from a perusal of the Assumption of Moses 8:1.
>(It might be worth pointing out that Josephus's is a lonely, unattested
>Incidentally, while the diviners of pNahum are at it, who are the House of
>Peleg? When did Manasseh (not the king) actually have control over Israel?
>When did the Pharisees have sway over kings and princes? (Again Saldarini
>only finds one brief period under Alexandra when they were "unleashed".)
>Dr Goranson goes on to say "the use of a widely-debated text, 4Q448, to
>attempt to clarify 4QpNah is an iffy procedure". The basic iffiness of the
>original analysis of pNahum doesn't help the whole bodgey business. I must
>admit that what is said here regarding the text seems similar enough to what
>was said forty years ago (for example, Allegro's vintage book) to wonder why
>no progress has been made with pNahum since then. This may be because there
>isn't enough in the text to make anything stick.
>For those interested in Damascus, one might like to know that the decrepit
>Seleucid Empire had collapsed into factions by the time of Alexander
>Jannaeus and the infamous Demetrius III had the region whose center was
>Damascus. Perhaps this salvation through Damascus has something to do with
>the Qumran interest in that place, ie the real one. (small grin)
>Have a good weekend.
>John J. Hays
>I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto!