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Re: orion-list A Theory of Qumran Theories...

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----- Original Message -----
From: "George Brooks" <george.x.brooks@Juno.Com>
To: <orion@mscc.huji.ac.il>
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2000 12:11 PM
Subject: Re: orion-list A Theory of Qumran Theories...

> I think David Suter's implication that I want people to write "historical
> fiction" is
> just a tad much.  I could write in defense forever, but I can see too
> many
> wince with this thought.  Prof. Suter, I can take a joke as well as
> anyone, but I
> don't want  people to think I am looking for historical fiction.


Don't you think that suggesting that scholars who engage in critical though
are simply trying to advance their careers is more than just a tad too much?
For that matter, characterizing Greg's argument as an "I won't budge stand
on 63 BCE" is a misreading of what he's up to.  In every post that he's
written, Greg has been quite clear about putting forth an hypothesis to see
whether it will stand or fall.

In looking at scholarship on the scrolls at present, several different
approaches strike me as promising:  among them Schiffman's connection
between the halakhic material in MMT and the Sadducees in Rabbinic sources
and Davies' argument that the scrolls reflect the work of more than one
group.  At the same time, there is enough similarity between the rules in
the scrolls and the material about the Essenes in Josephus and Philo that
the possibility of a connection of some sort cannot be easily dismissed.
The details of what we think we know about the scrolls at present don't seem
to me to add up, and when that is the case, the way forward is not to build
scenarios but to test the details.  Discussions about carbon dating may be
dry to some, but I've found them among the more interesting and informative
exchanges that have taken place on Orion over the last six months or so.

Sorry if I offended with my remark about fiction, but I was equally bothered
with the comments on the motives of scholars.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College

For private reply, e-mail to "David Suter" <dsuter@stmartin.edu>
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