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orion Wise: First Messiah

Hello, orion list,
	On 19 Oct, I quoted the advertising copy for a forthcoming book by
Dr. Michael O. Wise, _The First Messiah: Investigating the Savior Before
Jesus_ (that's the correct subtitle, which included a typo last time).
Having seen the ad only--not the book--I wrote, among other things, that
the ad seemed sensationalistic. For another point of view and for further
information, below is a 21 Oct message from Prof. James D. Tabor. I forward
this with permission from him as well as from our list moderator, Dr.
Avital Pinnick. Thanks.
best wishes,
Stephen Goranson
fax (Duke U., Religion Dept.) (919) 660-3530

>Dear Stephen,
>I just spent the day reading a pre-pub ms. of Wise's First Messiah.  The
>name Judah is fictional and nothing I can see is built on "Judah the
>Essene" per se.  Although the HarperCollins hype is sensational, and you
>have to expect that from Harper, the book is very very well done in my
>view, with lots of sociological materials from the millennarian side of
>things (work on "crisis cults" etc.) and Wise's very careful reading of the
>primary sources.  Wise has come up with some new materials and connections
>that are going to make a significant impact I think--connecting readings
>from 1QH with 1QIsa (Great), Pesherim, etc.   He builds his main portrait
>on the nine 1QH hymns which he is convinced are thoroughly autobiographical
>(directly from the TR), set in the very very precise context of the
>post-Alexander period when Alexandra turns pro-Pharisee and Hyrcanus II is
>HP.  He does have Shimeon ben Shetah as the Man of the Lie.  I think the
>book is very very well done and will considerably contribute to our
>discussion of the "Messianic Figure" type.  Wise must of necessity enter
>into speculation at times, but his exhaustive notes, very very detailed and
>philological, attempt to back up his guesses.  I am not on the Orion list
>but someone forwarded me your post and you can use this reply as you
>like--post if if you wish.  Take care,
>James Tabor
>Prof. James D. Tabor
>Dept. of Religious Studies
>The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
>Charlotte, NC 28223
>FAX 704-547-3002