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Re: orion-list Leo's Objections - Essenes, Zias article, etc.

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----- Original Message -----
From: George Brooks <george.x.brooks@Juno.Com>
To: <orion@mscc.huji.ac.il>
Sent: Friday, December 10, 1999 2:28 AM
Subject: orion-list Leo's Objections - Essenes, Zias article, etc.

George wrote:

> 1) The Qumran manuscripts do not SAY they are Essene?;
> Do they really have to say anything so specific?  If we go on a document-
> -by-document basis (ignoring the fragments for now), we know
> that the significant documents are NOT Sadduccean, because
> they OPPOSE the Temple.

IMO somewhat overhasty you try to link the known anti-establishment politics
of the last two centuries BC with Josephus' so-called Essenism of the late
1st c. CE, ignoring the latter's clear political intentions to camouflage
his own 'sins of the youth', i.e. his temporary right winged (=xenophobe)
studies in the surrounding of a certain 'banished Ban(n)us' or John the
Baptist lookalike.
So the significant works of Qumran are *not* anachronistic products of
Essene fashion neither in nature nor per se, but merely pious duck-tales for
a Hellenistic peace faction audience by a grayed white washing duck hunter
building a wall of political peace-lies around his own bloody political
I recall his trustworthy as a comrades' pig who had sacrificed his men of
war for his own damned survival in good Judas Iskariot fashion - a
remarkable fact not only overseen by Hippolyt the ecclesiastical pathfinder
in the dark forest of heresy. Things seemingly should become system...
The contemporary political groups of the scroll age don't fit so easy into
the classical 1-2-3 reduction schemata of our virulent hopes of salvation
despite evil works by an idol on St. Never-ever-Day. So I bet gold nuggets
vs. pepper nuts that one day we'll find at least three times three political
factions in ancient Judaea...

 > In fact, he [ie., Josephus] even served as a military leader in an
> Essene-supported revolution.

How many Essene combatants do we know aside the commander-in-chief of the
middle sector? None...

> The only thing that PROTECTED the Essene camps was their
> "story"of being peaceful and loving.

That's a nice tale for novices in bear hunting.

>Where ARE these Essenes if there are so many?

Presumably lost in the depth of  Josephus' brain...

> If the Qumran communities do not sufficiently qualify as Essene,
> there are no other contenders.

Their descendents probably survived e.g. in the 'Galilean movement'.

>The long speech just before the "Zealots"
> take their lives describes a "world view" of spirituality and the
> afterlife
> which does NOT fit with the Saduccees or with the Pharisees.... but
> fits well with what we read at Qumran.

The categorical Church imperative, we know now.

> Finally.....
> 4) The evidence of female skeletons contradicts the picture
> of celibate Essenes?

Of course not. We likewise found the skeletons of newborn babies behinds the
walls of Catholic convents. But it indeed contradicts the assumed virginity
of the military location.

> In the New Testament we get a very convincing account of spiritual
> celibate males living in close association with their "sisters" and
> "mothers."

The mentioned mother-theme in the Gospels we better should compare with the
necessity-to-leave-the-family-theorem in the same corpus...

>And both Hippolytus and Josephus mention Essenes
> that DO get married.  So who CARES whether there are more or
> less female skeletons than we expected in the graves?

Every (military) observer would do so, for that's decisive for the
determination of the stage of development (its Sitz-im-Leben)of possible
social conflicts.

> The point is the Qumran documents fit no other group better
> than the Essenes

Exactly that's what the white washing Josephus tries to make us wish when
setting the fox to keep the geese.
IMO no soldier ever want to share a bomb crater with such a glamorous bird
of pray, for he'd force the man to kill him as a precaution.

Best regards,
          Never stop thinking

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