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orion-list 63 BCE (answer to Geoge Brooks)
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In answer to George Brooks, I think the issues of dating the Qumran
text deposits and the analysis of the origins of groups are best
evaluated separately, although it is inevitable that proposals
concerning one will impact perceptions of the other.
In my version of the 63 BCE theory the "yachad" of the Qumran
texts becomes of very recent, late-end origin within the texts, that is,
a phenomenon occurring in the final generation of the texts, instead
of c. 200 years earlier than the late end, as in the conventional view.
This has to do with my "single generation hypothesis" proposal that
the largest number of Qumran text scribal copies, and all compositions
and copies of "yachad" texts, come from roughly a single generation
at the late end, a much shorter span of time than usually thought. The
absolute dating of the "single generation" of the bulk of Qumran text
scribal activity would be the late Hasmonean era, early 1st century BCE.
The identification of the "yachad" is a puzzle. Although departing from
common interpretations of 4QpNah in many other particulars, I agree
with the conventional interpretation that 4QpNah is anti-Pharisee
(that is, the group 4QpNah is opposed to are those who in the
schematic picture of Josephus's late-Hasmonean-era source were
called "Pharisees"). It is appealing to link the "yachad" to the
Essenes, but it is also appealing to link the "yachad" to the Sadducees.
Alternatively, it could be some fourth or fifth type of phenomenon.
In any case, by my analysis the "yachad" would seem to have begun
in the time of Alexander Jannaeus, at least in the understanding of
the authors of the texts. (This is based on my interpretation of the
Teacher of Righteousness as a figure who is contemporary with the
late end of the texts, but who also is associated with the founding of
the "yachad" in the world of the texts; plus an added premise--some
would dispute--that the Teacher of Righteousness was some single
figure in history.) Of course you know there is plenty of
discussion in the Qumran field concerning the authoring groups of
pre-"yachad" texts, etc.
The "single-generation" thesis is formally independent of the case
for a 63 BCE terminus. As illustration of this, two who either hold or
are sympathetic to the 63 BCE case, Ian Hutchesson and Russ
Gmirkin, both see the major "yachad" texts reflecting 2nd century
BCE hellenistic crisis, and tell me privately I am wrong about the 1st
century BCE "yachad", and single generation, etc. But this reflects
a wider debate along the whole history of Qumran scholarship as to
whether the Teacher/Wicked Priest figures, etc. reflect 2nd or 1st
century BCE. I used to think 2nd century BCE also on this but was
converted to the 1st century BCE in the process of study of 4QpNah.
The introduction of the Wise, Abegg, & Cook translation of the Scrolls
gives an interpretation of the historical issues of the scrolls¨which is
in many ways parallel to mine (even though Wise, Abegg, & Cook
do not question the 68 CE terminus for the deposits).
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