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Re: orion Hirschfeld implications

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But thatīs the interesting part of what I have called the "great elastic
Essene hypothesis", Jack-- namely the fact that only a fraction of the
collection are what might be termed *sectarian* texts, even by Emanuel
Tovīs careful examination of texts bearing evidence of what he terms
"Qumran Hebrew and scribal praxis", which demonstrates at most ca. 120-130
"sectarian" texts. So the smallest portion of the ca. 850 texts is used to
define the main body of material, and those responsible for assembling such
a heterogeneous body are assumed to have been the authors of the
"sectarian" materials. And yet there are no signs in the "Biblical" texts
of deliberate interpolations, such as were performed by the Samaritans in
smuggling "Garizim" into their version of the Pentateuch in numerous
passages. So our Qumran "sectarians" turn out by the same token to be
*fundamentalists" with respect to the wording of the Biblical texts which
they are supposedly in disagreement with on many issues...I canīt free
myself from the impression that these "sectarians" only exist for the sake
of the hypothesis, and people keep redefining them, either as pan-"Essenes"
(Hartmut Stegemann) or mini-"Essenes" (Joseph Patrich) as their fancy
strikes them. This is not historical methodology in any form that is
acceptable today-- though it is not different from the methodologies
current in Old Testament and ancient historical research  back in the

best regards,

Fred Cryer