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Re: orion-list Philo
I enjoyed Russell Gmirken's summary of his position regarding
why he thinks Philo "falsified" aspects of the Therapeutae in order
to parallel an Egyptian writing. This is the first time he has gone
into this level of detail. Very interesting. However:
1) Russ has not explained why Philo would "invent" the part
about women participants within the Therapeutic community.
2) Russ has not explained away the equally possible scenario
that Chaeremon was copying Philo.
3) Russ does not make it clear whether he believes the
Therapeutae are Essene or DSS related or not. From earlier
explanations, it appeared to me that Russ questioned the
very existence of the Therapeutae. Now, it seems, he admits
that there were refugees, but he does not explain whether or
not they were Essenes or part of the DSS community in some
way. I look forward to an explanation of these ideas.
4) The tone of Philo's work suggests a community that has
been in existence for ages. It seems hardly likely that this would
be connected with a time frame of 38 CE (which is within
Philo's own lifetime as I recall). If the Therapeut's were
"Iketon, a term meaning fugitive, suppliant, one seeking
protection," it would seem more likely that they fled Palestine
decades earlier. Candidate time periods: A) the Maccabeean
conflict, following in the footsteps of the last surviving Onias,
never to return to Palestine where their "brethren" became
the more militaristic, rank-oriented, punishment oriented
community that we call the DSS community; B) refugees
from the conflict between the two Hasmonean brother
princes in the 80's BCE; C) refugees from the hostilities
against Herod when he wiped out large sectors of the
Zealot leadership resisting his rule. Any of these times,
and perhaps others?, are better candidates than the
38 CE time period.
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