[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: orion Hirschfeld implications

    [The following text is in the "iso-8859-1" character set]
    [Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set]
    [Some characters may be displayed incorrectly]

George Athas wrote:
> 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?)

	I agree with you since I am one of those who consider several origins
for the various caches within the caves.  I am hard pressed to assume an
origin for the Copper Scroll and perhaps the cave 7 material.  Having
said this,
however, a library by its nature is diverse.  If my own library is
found intact 2,000 years from now the finders will notice much material
the DSS, the Semitic languages and scholarly works on NT history and
By this they would be able to divine my interests.  On the other hand,
they will
also find, albeit on lower shelves (g), the works of Thiering and von
which I neither find authoritative or even reasonable.  They may assume,
that the appearance of these works indicate some approval of their
content rather
than my propensity to know the widest range of thought on various issues
the reasonable debate within consensual scholarly opinion to the absurd
fringes.  Much of the sectarian literature from the caves represent
with the temple autorities on matters of the calendar and purity.  One
assume that the writer had the "other team's" literature at hand as

	We cannot assume that the DSS sect themselves subscribed to all
of the literature in the caves simply because it was there.  Add this as
well to paradigm shifts in the beliefs of the sect between their
and the time of Pliny...perhaps some 200 years...and we can account for
some of the dissimilarities between what is in the texts and what Pliny
or Josephus may relate at the time of the "twilight"of the DSS sect.

	I don't know whether the study has been done but it would be
interesting to examine the texts in categories between the oldest and
latest for shifts in paradigms.  I would not expect the beliefs of
an Essene of Maccabean times to conform to the beliefs of the group
in 70 CE.  I would think that the library which seems to have been
accumulated over 300 years would reflect this.

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