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Re: orion Re: Cemeteries and Celebacy

> "The better information about women at Qumran will come from materials
> such as
> spindles and/or spindle whorls at the main Qumran site, as well as
> reanalysis of
> the sectarian texts. The celibacy model seems to be based on Josephus
> etc" - Sigrid Peterson
> The evidence for celibate sectors in Essene society is compelling:
> stated in no uncertain terms by Josephus and Pliny. 


> The lack of
> mentioning the separate purity needs for women members in the Community
> Rule (1QS) would seem to infer that, in the Yahad, at least, there were
> no female participants. 

1QS doesn't deal with a whole lot of purity needs for anybody.  It 
deals primarily with rules of order when the group is together, as 
well as handling of money and such.  

> On the other hand the Rule of the Congregation
> (1QSa) and the Damascus Covenant (CD) specifically provides for the
> needs of sectors of society which have female participants (as Josephus
> clearly spelled out). 

I'm a little fuzzy as to what exactly Josephus clearly spelled out.  
He said nothing at all about sectors of the Essenes that had female 
participants as far as I know.  If by "sectors of society" you mean 
society in general, that tells us nothing at all about the Essenes 
and whether or not these documents refer to them.

> This segregation within society led to separate
> settlements. It is not surprising to find a segregation of these groups
> in burial grounds composed of the deceased from more than one
> settlement. 

Whoa!  This is a flying leap, as far as I can see.  I haven't seen 
any solid evidence for this kind of segregation among the Essenes 

> The form of the celibacy implied by Josephus does not necessarily imply
> that celibacy was life-long for all male members. In fact the the camp
> of married volunteers described in 1QSa: its male participants are
> married at the age of 20, serve the Yahad at 25 and actually join the
> council of the Yahad at the age of 30 (perhaps leaving their families
> either temporarily or permanently).

We can spend the rest of our lives and the lives of several 
generations that come after us saying "perhaps this" and "perhaps 
that."  Given Josephus' description, I tend to think that if the 
celibacy had not been lifelong, he would have said so.  And there's 
nothing in either Josephus or 1QSa that even remotely hints at 
leaving one's family in this fashion.  We are in the realm of pure 
speculation here, and I for one find it phenomenally unproductive.

With all due respect,
Dave Washburn
"Now I have $2736.15.  Every time I count my $500,
I get a different amount."