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Re: orion-list Investigates the 3 Sects, Invests 3 Years, Joins the Pharisees

At 06:57 PM 02/14/2000 -0500, you wrote:

I don't wish to belabor the point here. Especially since all of what I
could say (and others also) is speculation.

>Some want to reject Josephus's text because how can he
>investigate the sects when he only spends 3 years in the desert?  And
>there are many more than 3 sects.  But this is not what Josephus
>says.  He says that he is interested in investigating the top 3. 
>is highly connected with the High Priestly families and so he is probably
>genetically and economically fit to be a Sadducee, and only
>has to  perform a perfunctory investigation, and perhaps only a
>decision as to whether he will or will not fulfill his destiny as a

The main argument here that I have heard is that:  Since Josephus was
raised within Judaism of his time, and was familiar with Sadducee and
Pharisee Judaism, he did not need a long amount of time to become

This has a factual error in it based on a lack of appreciation of the
difficulty to 'learn' what these systems are.  From some of the DSS
research by Schiffman, we see the complexity of the halacha of these
groups. The talmud, and the concepts around it did not spring from the
imagination of people living hundreds of years later. Does anyone imagine
that in one quarter one can learn sufficient to be knowledgable? That is
doubtful. Having been raised in the religion makes things familiar, but
doesn't reduce the volume of material needed to be learnt. Knowledgable,
means knowing the whys of the issues. I just don't see this as being
possible. There may be things he is not telling us, or he is exaggerating
his abilities. The only thing that appears obvious is that at face value
what he says does not add up.

moshe shulman mshulman@NOSPAMix.netcom.com    718-436-7705
CHASSIDUS.NET - Yoshav Rosh            http://www.chassidus.net
Outreach Judaism                       http://www.outreachjudaism.org/
ICQ# 52009254

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