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orion Reasonable Picture/Correction

To the extent that my previous message made it look as though David Suter
supported my entire speculation, I want to make it clear that was not my
intent.  Actually, I thought I was pulling together common threads in several
messages and trying (without asserting) to find a reasonable picture being

I do admit that I have had trouble understanding Qumran in isolation - i.e.,
as some outpost in the dry desert where a small sect sat day after day copying
scrolls, taking ritual baths, and grumping about how they should contol the
temple.  While the area around Qumran is fairly desolate now, it seems to me
that the area between Jericho and En Gedi was much more "alive" in the period
from about 163 B.C.E. until 68 C.E.   In my mind, I have been trying to
understand it a economic and political context as well as a religious context.

I'm sorry if I implied that David Suter endorsed my speculation because that
was not my intent.  Thanks for calling this to my attention.

Mark Dunn