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Re: orion Re: Washburn on: WHO SAYS "ESSENES"?
In response to the 26 May post of Fred Cryer:
I agree, e.g., that the graves and water system were carefully made, but:
A) Here are clear examples of straw man caricature of the view that Essenes
lived at Qumran: "a sect supposedly quivering in the darkness against the
next incursion from the authorities in Jerusalem." And : "...the
hole-in-the corner establishment the 'Essene' hypothesis would lead us to
B) The fact that a minority of the excavated graves contained wood hardly
justifies the sweeping--and rather too long to requote here--scenarios and
conclusions about imports and the use of the site which Prof. Cryer
C) From E. Tov's article, "Scribal Practices and Physical Aspects of the
Dead Sea Scrolls," pages 9-33 of _The Bible as Book: The Manuscript
Tradition_ edited by John L. Sharpe III and Kimberly [*not* J.] Van Kampen
(London and New Castle DE, 1998) , Prof. Cryer quoted one sentence. Since
the article's conclusion begins, "The present article, mainly descriptive,
is not meant to propose a specific theory," and since the sentence Prof.
Cryer quoted is entirely consonant with the fact that Essenes lived
throughout Palestine, and since Prof. Tov has written extensively on
precisely a theory of sectarian scribal practice, it should be mentioned
that Tov's article does not necessarily lead to the conclusion toward which
Prof. Cryer's post moves.
D) Finally, Prof. Cryer wrote that Qumran mss include "the gamut from
'Biblical' to 'deutero-canonical' and even 'extra-cononical' (for example,
the commentaries consciously comment on an existing written tradition, and
so emphasise that they are external to it), and hence is also quite
heterodox in nature." Perhaps some readers will share my surprise
to hear that the writing of Biblical commentaries is a heterodox activity.
Even were we to accept such news, the relevance in his argument attempting
to banish Essenes is not obvious.
Stephen Goranson firstname.lastname@example.org