James Davila has posted a summary of his good first, Indroduction, lecture for 
his DSS course, linked at:


To this good introduction, may I suggest a little nuancing of one matter. It 
is quite true that Joseph M. Baumgarten was the first to publish (in J. of 
Jewish Studies 31 [1980] 157-70) on comparison of a portion of (what was 
eventually fully published as) 4QMMT and some rabbinic legal views attributed 
to Sadducees. That is, shared view, not group identity--for one 
thing, "Sadducees" has a different range of meaning in rabbinic literature 
than in second temple period literature. These legal matters are best not 
termed here "halakha," because that rabbinic term is not used at Qumran in the 
rabbinic sense; rather, as recognized, for example, in the good articles by 
Albert Baumgarten (no relation) in Encyclopedia of the DSS, Qumran texts 
include negative puns rejecting Pharisee halakha. See also JMB in volume 1 
(1958-9) 209-21 of Tradition: a Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. Joseph 
Baumgarten's insights are important. A quite learned Orthodox rabbi and 
emeritus Professor, who did his PhD dissertation on Qumran mss (The Covenant 
Sect and the Essenes, Johns Hopkins, 1954) with Wm. Albright, Joseph 
Baumgarten has spent more than five decades comparing these legal texts. So I 
think it is appropriate to note that his publications (bibliography on 
request) not only caution against identifying Qumran texts as Sadducee, but 
also advance several reasons to recognize in Qumran characteristics of 
Essenes. There may be some who still say Qumran was Sadducee (in the second 
temple period sense), but, as far as I can tell, Joseph Baumgarten is not one 
of them.

Stephen Goranson

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