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Re: orion 1st BCE generation
First, thanks to Fred Cryer for his comments.
I agree with Stephen Goranson that a more precise clarification of the
limits of the "generation" that produced the scrolls would be welcome, but
perhaps there isn't sufficient C14 data to be so precise at this stage.
I would take mild issue with Stephen's characterization of my earlier
posting as a "defense" of Doudna's hypothesis "while also attacking it." I
believe what I was doing was exploring both sides to his very interesting
hypothesis. For the record, I think the lack of historical allusions in any
scroll after 63 BCE -- or now, after the Peitolus text possibly the 50s --
lends credibility to his hypothesis, yet the diversity in scrolls materials,
paleography, and multiple scribal hands raise questions.
Certainly I would welcome tests on the War Scroll, especially the cave 4
War Rules. A second century date on any of them would corroborate my analysis
of the military data. But I have no doubt the War Scroll and other important
Hasidean texts were copied well into the first century BCE by later groups
that claimed descent from the Hasidim, i.e. probably both Sadducees and
> I, for one, have not yet understood how his proposed War
> Scroll/Maccabee war mix fits the archaeological context of an Essene
> settlement where, shall we say, no Hanukkah celebration was likely.
First, Hanukkah's omission in festival lists is only to be expected, since
Hanukkah was a civil holiday, not a religious festival.
Second, I have yet to see any trace of anti-Hasmonean bias in the scrolls,
except for the possibility that the author of MishmarotC took sides in the
conflict between Aristobulus and Hyrkanus II. The dating of the Nahum Pesher
to the 160s BCE I will address at some point in article form. Other texts,
such as MMT (written to a Hasmonean ruler) and the Hymn to King Jonathan are
The dating of the War Scroll to summer 163 BCE seems to me exceedingly
This pulls related sectarian texts back to the Maccabean and pre-Maccabean
Era. In regards to archaeology, then, Qumran is simply of a later era than
the events in the War Scroll, pesharim, CD, etc.