[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

orion-list Essenes, Zias article, etc.

	I look forward to reading Joe Zias' article. If, for example, it
turns out (after reading it and, presumably, a German response, etc.) that
Zias considered certain burials bedouin, and then someone (who?) came along
and pretty much confirmed that with C14, then that would seem to me a
rather impressive result. Naturally, it is especially useful to hear about
physical anthropology from those experienced in it; about C14 from
laboratory experts like Jull; about dirt archaeology from folks who know it
like Jodi Magness who has corrected de Vaux's periods; about Greek/Hebrew
etymology from those who work with these (a view I commend to George X.

	The cemetery issue is complex, as Dr. Doudna intimated. Josephus
includes married Essenes. (By the way, Doudna's suggestion on orion,
welcomed by R. Gmirkin, that the hard-to-read little scrap 4Q468g has
Peitholaus is also averred by D. Schwartz and W. Horbury in the latest
JJS.) As several (e.g., Pfann) have suggested, corpses can have been
transported there for burial. Qumran Essene celibacy may have been related
to certain times and places. Feminists observe--quite rightly--that women's
history has generally often been understudied; but that may or may not
apply specifically to the central, well-ordered north-south burials. Dating
is also important. Pliny's source M. Agrippa can be dated. (This source, in
Latin, is "purement romaine," as explained by Martine Dulaey in a 1987
Helmantica article which I found only after having been led by different
evidence to Agrippa. A look at three new further editions of Pliny merely
confirms that Qumran is in what de Saulcy called the land of Essenes.)

	Some of the scrolls plainly tell us they are Essene. Pretending
Essenes did not live at Qumran for some years is, in my opinion, somewhat
like insisting Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare. There is, IMO, no
point to it, though anyone can pursue such rejections, and assert that the
Shakespeare identity is a result of foul play. The real task at hand is to
learn more about Qumran Essenes, including correcting misunderstandings and
wrong assumptions. I suggest that maximalist vs. minimalist arguments (such
as the Franciscans including Bagatti and Testa as countered by Joan Taylor)
are not the best method--coal to Newcastle. There's plently not yet known
about the Essenes and the Stoics who wrote about them. We could really use
a good, comprehensive history of relevant scholarship. But it does not
exist. In the meantime, please note that de Vaux was a latecomer to the
Essene identification. Though scholars carry all sorts of influences: there
certainly is no single Jewish view of the scrolls, nor one Christian view.
Claiming Qumran mss cover the whole range of second temple period Judaism
is mistaken, whether done (if it has been) by Golb or Stegemann. As Abegg,
Flint, and Ulrich recently reminded, there is no Esther and no Purim at
Qumran; also no 1 or 2 Maccabees and no Hanukkah; and, despite some
publication titles, no halakha at Qumran. Yet S, pesharim and MMT are
Essene (regardless of non-Popperian claims about the order of their
discovery). There have been occasional retrojections, both of later
Christian and Jewish ideas. Is Jewish learning germaine? Of course: those
who haven't, please read Joseph Baumgarten's publications, much more
helpful in this case than Zeitlin's scolding of Morton Smith in JQR on
history of [medieval] halakha.

	The many spellings of "Essenes" (e, o, one or two sigmas, Philo's
osios, Slavonic, etc.) help explain how the name origin became largely
forgotten. Following up some references in Krauss Gk. & Lat. Leinworter,
VanderKam's defense of the etymology, etc., confirms this. Too numerous for
here, but consider the angel name "god has made" in Aramaic, Greek, and
Ethiopic as given in Milik's Enoch (153, 156). Or the Bible PN Asah'el--one
sigma in some Greek Bibles, two sigmas in the Lucianic version (the reverse
occurs elsewhere). Or take Jerome's commentary on Daniel 6:4 (Vulgate; 6:5
MT) Essaitha. The rabbinic put-down of those separatists who ask "what is
my duty that I may do it," is, apparently, an echo.

Stephen Goranson

For private reply, e-mail to Stephen Goranson <goranson@duke.edu>
To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to majordomo@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il with
the message: "unsubscribe Orion." For more information on the Orion Center
or for Orion archives, visit our web site http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il.