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orion-list Was Josephus Exhaustive?

One other point in the discussion also is worth a short comment. Did
Josephus mean to be exhaustive when he wrote there were three Jewish
groups? Did he mean to say three and only three, no more?! Are there only
three pigeonholes and every group must fit in one or the other?
Put that way I think the answer is obviously NO. Josephus himself used the
three philosophy framework to polemicize against the fourth philosophy in
War 2. He was aware of other groups, such as that around John the Baptist
or the early Christians. He writes of any number of sign prophets and
their followers. The three philosophy model is convenient - handy at best,
but by no means exhaustive. 
For those who haven't read it see the excellent article on this theme by
Martin Goodman in JJS, about 1996 (I apologize again for not being able to
give an exact refernce).
The implication of this point for the discussion of Bannus is that we need
not say that he "must have been" a member of one of the three groups and
since the Essene fit seems best (a point on which I agree) he therefore
was necessarily an Essene. Lots of room is left for Bannus to have been an
ex-Essene, as I suggested in my previous note.
Al Baumgarten
Bar Ilan University  

For private reply, e-mail to Albert Baumgarten <baumgaa@mail.biu.ac.il>
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