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orion Response to Goranson

(1) I am glad to see someone else calling for comment on my book, as my
note posted some time back has drawn no reaction. The question of whether
I equate Essenes and Qumran is very marginal to the argument of the book,
as was noted. The real point is in another direction, even if I do
separate out Essenes from Qumran in the presentation. Sons of Darkness on
this issue can disregard that aspect of the argument.
(2) On Synagogues. Discussion on this list and the news in Israel have a
curious way of anticipating each other. This afternoon's news announced
the discovery of a first century BCE synagogue at the Hasmonean palace
complex near Jericho. We were out this evening so I didn't see pictures on
TV, but it is being touted as the earliest synagogue ever excavated, even
having some sort of shrine for sacred books. I assume that more details
will be available very soon.
Al Baumgarten