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Re: orion Hirschfeld implications

Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 09:11:18 -0500
From: Jim West <jwest@Highland.Net>

At 07:51 AM 2/23/98 -0500, you wrote:

>	In any case, the early ASOR group and Sukenik and others introduced
>the possibility of the Essene identification for reasons which have not
>been shown "wrong" or "false," including the communal group described in
>1QS, a group known as Essenes, and Pliny's text locating Essenes by the
>Dead Sea. 

Their identification was, indeed, based on a model of community known to
them in their own practice, and in the opinion of many, this model is
inadequate and really quite anachronistic.  To prove that this model is
accurate, one would need a thorough sociological study of the Qumran
manuscripts, and I do not think that such a study has been completed yet.
Or have I missed it?  (This is quite possible as one can hardly keep up with
everything that flows out of the publishing houses).  In short, failing a
thorough study of the "group" at Qumran and a separate study of the
"group/s" which authored the scrolls- we cannot identify them with any
confidence.  That is the chief reason I find the ongoing pronouncements
about Essenes at Qumran quite distressing.

>Their introduction was not "gratuitous." The idea was not
>"trotted" out, despite the rhetoric of derision below; it was suggested as
>a possibility by numerous scholars from differing backgrounds. The evidence
>has increased since then.

Really?  So I have missed the thorough sociological study I mentioned above.
Please pass along the bibliographic data, if you would.