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Re: orion-list Kuhn and Popper

Dear Russell Gmirkin,

Brief responses. Please read the latest JBL, where Golb's assertion (and
yours) of Qumran "consensus" and Kuhnian paradigm change is clearly and
plainly refuted.

I am not at the library. Details later. For now: Kuhn's paper in the Popper
conference volume; a History and Theory (journal) article; Kuhn's
oft-quoted sentiment that he liked his critics better than his enthusiasts,

You suggest Vermes, Puech, Stegemann, Murphy-O'Connor et al. have quiety
conceded defeat of Jonathan as wicked priest. Are we talking about the same
people? :-)

Your definition of the "reigning paradigm" plainly failed to match the facts.

Before Golb, there was Rengstorf, and Zeitlin, and Pryke, Baer, Driver, del
Medico, Gottstein, Teicher, Roth... Even today, Schiffman says, in effect,
that they could be Essenes as long as we first call them Sadducees.

There are degrees of relative consensus on DSS. Most agree they date from
late second temple period (not Neil Altman). Many agree some Q mss are
Essene; but other views have been expressed every year since 1948, when the
Essene recognition arose in both groups with access to Cave One text. Most
agree that pNah refers to Jannaeus. From memory, at the moment, one writer
in Encyclopedia of the DSS (whose editors allowed differing views)
announced that, by consensus, the pNah writer approved of the crucifixions
mentioned there; yet Joseph Baumgarten, a fine scholar, argues precisely
the opposite on another page in that Encyclopedia. Not every announced
consensus is true consensus.

On Judah. Of course Essenes were in Jerusalem (cf. gate of Essenes).
Josephus reports him there in 104, before Alexander Jannaeus took rule,
and, after an early (truth-called?) period, stirred sectarian strife. Three
options for 4Q448: pro Jonathan; from his early period; contra Jonathan, as
a growing literature avers (e.g., Geert Lorein in Nederlands Theologisch
Tijdschrift 53 [1999] 265-73 reading against Jonathan --but J. Maccabee.).

You recommended we read G. Doudna's book on pNah as linked with events in
63 BCE, yet you announce that pNah actually refers to events exactly one
century earlier. Do I have that straight?


Stephen Goranson
Durham NC

For private reply, e-mail to Stephen Goranson <goranson@duke.edu>
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