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Re: orion-list 63 BCE
Greg Doudna seems quite adamant about the 63 BCE position.
I am not sure that this position has much of an affect on my own
thoughts about the origin of the DSS/Essene sect(s). So I am a bit
more tolerant (and even interested) in what he might have to say.
Perhaps Greg Doudna could "paint a picture" about how he perceives
the Essenes emerged, perhaps including a brief mention of how he
believes the Pharisees developed? And finally, perhaps these two
can be tied in to how he pictures the Assideans/Hasidim connecting
to both or either of these two groups (if he believes there is a
While an earlier or later date of deposit of the scrolls really doesn't
affect my own position that factions within the Hasidim-style "alliance"
of the Maccabeean period began to differentiate as the legitimacy of the
Hasmonean kings came to be derived from tradition and institutionalized
military & commercial interests, rather than from the military prowess
even relevance) of the Hasidim Militia/Yahad/Doers. I believe that these
factions eventually became the Sadducees, Pharisees and Essenes. It
help me if I had an idea of how Doudna "sees" these groups evolving or
developing over time.
While I am specifically interested in Greg's viewpoint, I certainly
and encourage the same kind of discussion from other Orion participants.
It is too easy to simply "shoot down" other people's theories; what is
is to develop an internally coherent theories that do the least violence
the facts or interpretations at hand. And I'm not sure that there has
enough exploration of fully-integrated scenarios of the origins of the
Essene or DSS-style communities.
On Tue, 4 Jan 2000 12:48:28 +0100 Greg Doudna <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> Ian Hutchesson's argument that all of the Qumran texts were
> deposited in the caves no later than 63 BCE will appear in the
> forthcoming Dec 1999 issue of _Qumran Chronicle_. As many
> on this list know, Hutchesson has been prohibited for several
> years from discussing his 63 BCE theory on the scholarly
> discussion lists on which it would be relevant: this list, ane,
> and ioudaios.
> I also have an article ("The Case for 63 BCE") which will appear
> c. Jan 2000 in _Qumran Chronicle_ which gives my argument for
> the 63 BCE theory. In this way, through both of our articles, the
> theory will be in print and can be discussed on that basis. My
> article gives additional discussion of palaeography and radiocarbon
> (both of which I argue are ambiguous in establishing post-63 BCE
> Qumran textual activity) and particularly a treatment of the
> of Qumran (for the issue of the deposit date or dates of the texts
> fundamentally an archaeological issue). I argue that there was a
> significant temporal gap between Period Ib and Period II; that there
> was no continuity between Period Ib and II; that all of the text
> are associated exclusively with Period Ib; and that Period Ib can be
> shown independently to have ended most probably about 63 BCE.
> Although radiocarbon is the best means for resolving this dating
> one way or the other, the problem with the existing data is there is
> a lack of security that individual datings are free from
> If the dates are accurate the issue would be settled (we would
> know there was post-63 BCE textual activity). But the issue is
> whether the dates are accurate. I believe now I underestimated both
> the incidence and the potential effects on datings of contamination
> of samples in my Flint & Vanderkam 1998 article. For full
> of this see the forthcoming _Qumran Chronicle_ article, but
> it builds from the information at p. 449n44 in Doudna, "Dating the
> Scrolls on the Basis of Radiocarbon Analysis", Flint & Vanderkam,
> vol I, as well as a separate article in the same volume by
> & Libman, "Preserving the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran artifacts",
> pp. 535-544.
> There are basically four methods of dating the deposits of the
> texts. The first, internal references, gives an _a quo_ of c. 63
> but does not in principle rule out a later deposit date. The
> palaeography, is ambiguous (per my discussion) and I see no
> realistic hope that palaeographic means will produce a clear
> answer on the 63 BCE issue. The third, radiocarbon, is also
> presently ambiguous (per my discussion) but is the best hope
> for a clear resolution of the 63 BCE issue. The fourth, Qumran
> archaeology, has a fairly good argument (in my opinion, being
> the author of the argument) for the 63 BCE case, but in the
> absence of a publication of the excavation in a real sense all of
> us who discuss Qumran archaeology aren't playing with a full
> deck, and arguments over interpretation can be expected to
> For what it is worth, there is little doubt to me at this point that
> the c. 63 BCE theory in some form appears likely to be ultimately
> correct, and that the virtually unanimous scholarly consensus of
> the c. 68 CE dating is a mistake. I think the lengthy duration of
> 68 CE construction in the history of Qumran scholarship can be
> attributed in large part to the lack of a full publication of the
> of Qumran for all these years, which allowed in basic ways de Vaux's
> original, flawed interpetations to go without the means for
> challenge to them.
> Greg Doudna
> For private reply, e-mail to Greg Doudna <email@example.com>
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