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Re: orion Hirschfeld implications

-----Original Message-----
From: fred cryer <fc.dss@pop.teol.ku.dk>
To: orion@mscc.huji.ac.il <orion@mscc.huji.ac.il>
Date: Monday, February 02, 1998 6:36 AM
Subject: Re: orion Hirschfeld implications

>That´s very much the wrong argument, Vernon. The question as posed by you
>reifies the Essene hypothesis vis a vis Qumran as something to be
>disproved. In reality, the question is whether the combination of En Gedi
>plus Pliny plus newly-discovered settlement(s) doesn´t simply render the
>search for a settlement 19km to the north irrelevant, superfluous, or
>tenuous at best.
>The settlements demonstrated by Hirschfeld and others are sufficient
>conditions for satisfying Pliny´s description. Pliny knows nothing of any
>collection of documents in any number of caves, and he certainly doesn´t
>identify them as products of his "Essenes", whatever he took them to be.
>Fred Crye
Thanks for your response...  my post was in direct response to the assertion
that with Yizhar Hirschfeld's new find "one of the burdens (interesting
choice of words for the Essene theory) holding down DSS studies has been
dropped".  The substance of my message, although not worded carefully enough
to avoid the debate over whether Essene theory is valid enough to require
'refutation' OR still needs to be proven, was to demonstrate that IMHO the
available evidence for this new find being one and the same as the Essene
settlement referred to by Pliny is scant at best and to express my surprised
that so many scholars seem ready to embrace (enthusiastically I might add)
the hypothesis based on what little is available at this time. I, for one,
have several fundamental questions that would need to be addressed before
seriously considering this.  If Pliny acknowledges 4000 Essenes, why when
locating them would he refer only to this particular settlement of only 25
or so.  Noting that you have used terminology denoting other possible
settlementS (perhaps anticipating that ONLY a settlement of 25 will not
work), I would inquire about the other nearby settlement referred to in the
AP article (this settlement was thought by the excavator not to be Essene).
Would this close proximity of the two constitute the Essenes as having 'only
the palm trees for company'?  What is it about "the settlements demonstrated
by Hirschfeld and others" that provide "sufficient conditions for satisfying
Pliny's description"?   I think that unless much more data about these finds
surfaces, Qumran still remains a viable consideration for Pliny's Essenes.
I ask again if we are applying the same rigorous standards to Hirschfeld's
settlement that are applied to Qumran when referring to possible assocaition
with the Essenes.  If you would answer yes, then I would sincerely trust
that you have access to data that is not yet available to the rest of us.

Best Regards,

Vernon Chadwick
Charlotte, NC