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Re: orion Hirschfeld implications

Jack Kilmon wrote:

>         That Pliny does not mention that the Essenes had a library does not
> mean that they did not.  Almost certainly they did.  I am not sure
> whether
> you are questioning whether the DSS were the property of the Essenes or
> whether they were maintained at Qumran.  I realize there are other
> possible alternatives but the evidence at this time seems to indicate
> that the DSS belonged to the Essenes or a closely related group.

Why must we assume that all the Dead Sea Scrolls were either the property or
product of one particular sect or group? The diverse nature of the contents
suggests that the origins of the scrolls lie in many different sources. One of
the greatest pressures on the Essene Theory has been this pluralism that the
scrolls suggest. The fact that they were all found together in the one place only
tells us that all the scrolls had a common fate. It does not tell us that they
all had a common origin. A healthy dose of skepticism and clear sightedness
should rule our estimation of the scrolls. (Perhaps the new Hirschfeld find may
do something to help wipe away the grime of decades of tenuous scholarship?)

George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591
Email: gathas@mail.usyd.edu.au

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