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RE: orion-list Pacifism of Essenes deconstructed

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: RGmyrken@aol.com [mailto:RGmyrken@aol.com]
> Sent: Thursday, December 16, 1999 11:54 AM
> To: orion@mscc.huji.ac.il
> Subject: Re: orion-list Pacifism of Essenes deconstructed
    It is possible in these incidents that Josephus exaggerates the 
> peacefulness of protests against Pilate and Caligula -- there 
> may have been 
> other Jewish elements prepared to act more violently, which 
> Josephus neglects 
> to report -- but we lack sufficient evidence to draw such a 
> conclusion.  (It 
> does however seem to me that Petronius was worried about the 
> possibility of a 
> general violent uprising of the Jews, despite the peacefulness of the 
> delegation that came to him with an appeal.)  

I believe that Josephus represents Petronius in his correspondence with
Gaius as concerned about an agricultural strike, or possibly about the
impact that armed resistance activity would have on the planting.  The
point, as far as I am concerned, is not to support the idea of the Essenes
as pacifists, but to suggest that there is a sufficiently complex set of
ideas available in the society concerned with forms that resistance might
take that some care needs to be taken in the interpretation of the texts.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College
For private reply, e-mail to "Suter, David" <dsuter@stmartin.edu>
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