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Re: orion Epiphanius & Goranson

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I think David Crowder is wrong in his assertion of
anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity on the Orion pages.

If he is referring to the Copenhagen group then the good
news is that they seem to be anti-everything, perhaps nay
even motherhood and apple-pie:-)

Happy Easter and Pesach to everyone....happy weekend to our
Copenhagen friends.



Mike_Sanders@photoad.com (Private e-mail)
BibleMysteries@photoad.com (Web Site e-mail)
-----Original Message-----
From: David Crowder <DCROWDER@compuserve.com>
To: Orion Center <orion@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il>
Cc: David Mills <interservepers@xc.org>
Date: Monday, April 06, 1998 2:09 AM
Subject: orion Epiphanius & Goranson

>   I am posting the following letter from Neil Altman
belatedly.  It was
>some time ago in response to posts on Orion in December and
>concerning the apparent presence of CE Chinese in the
scrolls and other
>that I raised then and in response to statements by Dr.
Stephen Goranson
>concerning Altman and his writings.
>  Frankly, as time passed I questioned whether it was
really worth it to
>spend the
>hours necessary to counter Goranson, post and then deal
with the return
>However, a few new issues have come up, and I thought
before we got to
>we'd better clear the decks of this cargo just in case
Epiphanius, the
>and Altman's earlier articles come up again.
>   I wouldn't be surprised to hear objections to Altman
being posted since
>he is
>not a member, but other non-member writers and researchers
are posted here.
>And articles bearing Altman's name have been widely
published in newspapers
>and magazines reaching well in excess of 3 million homes in
the U.S. and
>Canada since 1992.
>   Nonetheless, we appreciate Orion's indulgence.
>David Crowder
>El Paso
>The following letter comes from Neil Altman:
>  Dear Stephen Goranson and Orion readers,
>  For the past five months, while we were busy working on
an international
>that involved hundreds of hours of research, interviews and
writing, we had
>time to respond cogently to what was taking place on Orion
and what was
>said about us.  Now, in the coming weeks, we are going to
deal with the
>appropriation of our research, which David Crowder dubbed
"The Chinese
>Connection Heist."
>  Even before we had a chance to publish our research, it
was stolen,
>and falsely reported on Orion and elsewhere.  It was
unethical and
>unprofessional but only a few of the Orion members said a
word.  I would
>like to
>personally thank those who did speak up.
>   Before getting to the bones we have to pick with Stephen
Goranson, I
>like to put something else on the table -- that
anti-Christianity and
>that exists among scroll scholars and in the departments of
>dedicated to the study of the Bible.
>   I would like to ask how many members of Orion have
Orthodox Jews,
>Evangelical Christians or Messianic Jews in their secular
>departments? I
>raised this question to a secretary at one of the top
universities in the
>U.S. and
>she told me that in 40 years, the department had never had
anyone teaching
>who fell into one of those three categories.
>   A senior editor at Baker Book House told me he knew of
only five
>in secular religion departments in the country.
>   Can anyone tell me why were Jews kept off the
international team until
>Or, how many Orthodox Jews are on the team of translators
now? If only a
>why? Are they not from the strictest sect in Judaism who
are messianic in
>outlook? Who best to translate and interpret the Dead Sea
Scrolls than
>who can most identify with them?
>    Now, Goranson, in going after us, made a number of very
>regarding, among other things, the writings of Epiphanius.
>   I'm sure he is acquainted with A.F.J. Klijn and G.J.
Reinik. and their
>book, "Patristic Evidence for Jewish-Christian Sects,"
published in Leiden
>E.J. Brill.  Yet on Dec. 31, 1997, Goranson wrote that he
had read two of
>articles in which I supposedly had made incorrect
assertions.  He said,
>Altman asserted that Epiphanius wrote that the name
'Essene' was used to
>designate early gentile followers of Jesus. But that is not
so. ..."
>   Sorry, but it is.
>   On page 169 of "Patristic Evidence,"  Klijn and Reinik
>Epiphanius as
>writing, "All Christians were Nazoreans once. For a short
time, they were
>also the name Iessaeans, before the disciples in Antioch
began to be called
>Christians. When they were once called Iessaeans during a
short period,
>again withdrew at that time after the ascension of the Lord
when Mark
>in the land of Egypt."
>   When Goranson said that Epiphanius never mentioned that
>Iessaeans/Essenes were Christians, which I cited in my 1994
article in The
>Lutheran, he again painted a false picture.
>   In that article, I wrote: "Another important clue in the
search for the
>Essenes is
>offered by Athanase Negoitsa in "Revue de Qumran. He writes
of a document
>Nilus the Ascetic of the 4th century AD that indicates THE
>THEN. (Emphasis mine) Nilus praises their 'meditative and
lofty moral
>life.' But
>he regrets that the Essenes do not follow in the true
philosophy of the
>gospel of
>   "Is there a source that clearly states the Essenes
originated in the
>period and not before?
>   "We know from the writings of the Church Fathers that
the Jews who
>in Jesus were called Nazarenes" and that they kept the laws
of Moses and
>customs of the Jewish people.
>   "And we read in Acts of the Apostles (11:26) that the
gentiles who
>believed in
>Jesus were called 'Christians.'
>   "But between the time that the first  gentile
(Cornelius) believed and
>the time
>that large numbers of gentiles in Antioch were converted,
what name
>differentiated gentiles?
>   "I found the following statement in Epiphanius: 'All
Christians were
>Nazoraeans (Nazarenes) once. For a short time they were
given also the name
>Iessaeans, before the disciples in Antioch began to be
called Christians.'
>   "... But even Negoitsa doesn't mention Epiphanius'
statements about
>'Iessaeans.' What is the derivation of this Greek word, and
does it have
>bearing on Christianity?
>   "Phillip Comfort, professor of Greek and New Testament
at Wheaton
>and senior Bible editor at Tyndale Publishing House,
states: 'The word
>(Iessaeans/Essenes) comes from Iessaios=Jesse, the father
of David. The
>Christians may have called themselves this because the
Messiah was called
>Son of Jesse.' "
>   I think Comfort's statement lends weight and a better
understanding to
>Epiphanius'  statement that the Essenes were a Christian
>   What I cited is a small part of The Lutheran article,
which went into
>much more
>   I will have more to say about Goranson, Epiphanius, red
ink, etc.,
>this week.
>Neil Altman
>Philadelphia, Pa.
>(610) 789-2730