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Re: orion-list 1, 2 Maccabees
To summarize what we have read so far about the Maccabee
texts being absent from Qumran:
1) Perhaps they weren't written yet...
2) Perhaps we haven't found the texts yet...
3) Perhaps the DSS community wasn't INTERESTED in the
Maccabee Era (NOT to be confused with the Hasmonean era)....
As you know from Dr. Wise's book THE FIRST MESSIAH, he suggests
that the Qumran literature was all written before 30 BC. Dr. Goranson,
do YOU have any strong feelings about when the Maccabee texts (the
ones SPECIFICALLY about the Maccabees, that is) were written?
Do you have a feeling about the absence of the Similitudes?
Finally, let's suppose the Maccabeean texts were written
BEFORE 30 BC. From Eisenman we get a very clear idea
that the DSS writers were VERY MUCH opposed to domination
by the Kittim. So why wouldn't the DSS writers WANT to have
text about National heros? You raise a question that is JUST
as difficult for you to answer as for me.
But I do have have a suggestion:
Epiphanius's Panarion lists The Scribes as one of the Sects
of Judaism (they also figure prominently in the New Testament).
And The Scribes are not only mentioned in the
Maccabeean text (in conjunction with the Hasidim), but they are
recorded in writings on Jewish sects as having a SPECIAL
fondness for the Maccabeean heros.
Scribes? They WRITE...
Maybe writing the occasional history? Maccabees were
their heros....? Just a coincidence? Somehow I don't think
But why wouldn't the Maccabees write their own history?
1) Maybe they did. According to Prof. Wise in THE FIRST
MESSIAH, the original FOUNDER of the precurser movement,
"THE STAFF" died and after his group "wandered" in the path
of righteousness for "20 years", the TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
joined the group and completely took over the movement. In fact,
he completely re-engineered it, according to Prof. Wise. I'm not sure
I can agree with Prof. Wise on the exact timing for his Teacher, but
I find his explanation for some aspects of the DSS literature to be
2) The Teacher of Righteousness, who apparently wrote
several grand hymns about his leadership role (i.e., he was
no shrinking violet), may not have had much interest in
preserving a PERSONAL history of his predecessors.... his ideological
peers and "rivals" for the TRUE interpretation of Torah. Whereas
The Scribes, who were NOT under the authority of the Teacher,
felt no such restrictions, wrote their books, and preserved them
for a later generation (barely).
3) Remember the name of Judah's father - Mattathiah. Strong
translates this Hewbrew name as "GIFT OF GOD." Interestingly enough,
this name is AWFULLY similar to the Hebrew for "STAFF OF GOD".
Could Mattathiah be THE STAFF? Even The Maccabee could refer
generically to THE STAFF (THE HAMMER = THE CLUB = THE STAFF).
They both died within just a few years of each other, each with a very
unique role in the development of the Maccabeean forces. Either
one of them could convincingly be called THE STAFF.
I personallly think THE STAFF was the elder priest, since I have
other thoughts about why Judah was named THE HAMMER. But
either way would be consistent with the history as we know it, and
would not dramatically affect the interpretation of later events.
I look forward to input on the further development of these
Now you've heard MY theory.... what is YOUR theory?
Does YOUR theory suggest that the DSS communities would have
OPPOSED the Maccabees?
On Wed, 17 Nov 1999 07:06:51 -0500 Stephen Goranson <email@example.com>
> The Books of the Maccabees have not been found among Qumran
> What might that suggest?
> Stephen Goranson
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