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Re: orion WHO SAYS "ESSENES"?
> But even the documents that contain those terms exhibit a
> significantly large number of hands, a number that is unlikely to
> have stemmed from the small body of scribal activity that would
> have been possible at Qumran.
I think we may be in agreement here.
1) Except for those scrolls which exhibit patent community
characteristics (physically and lexically), not all scrolls found in the
caves were of Essene origin.
2) Certainly not all scrolls of Essene origin were actually penned at
Qumran (in fact, a large number of the characteristic community scrolls
were penned during the interim period when the main community had moved
away [to Jerusalem?])
3) The number of scrolls derived from the mass of fragments
(approximately one scribe per scroll) only represents a fraction of the
scrolls which once existed among the group during its more than two
hundred year history.
Turning the Dead Sea Scrolls into the saved Jerusalem library (pace Golb
et al) of the Sadducees and Pharisees creates more problems than it
solves. That is, unless we would like to paint the following outlandish
The Jerusalem Temple Library decided to house and preserve a body of
literature produced by, what was to them, a heretical sect (who
condemned the Temple authorities and supported a conflicting calendar =
more than 50% of the scrolls by count are characteristically of this
group), along with some other scrolls. Yet they systematically and
totally excluded any books of their own!
Not a very convincing picture.