>Perhaps others on the list can be more convincing than >I can be from your point of view. But having just >finished Boccaccini's BEYOND THE ESSENE HYPOTHESIS, I >would have to say his discussion of HOW MUCH to conclude >from the classical sources, and which sources mean what, >is about as good a presentation as I've seen online or >in hard copy.
This is because there are no serious arguments online or in hardcopy that justify the Essene Hypothesis. One can sift only so far through the same stuff that we have had before us for the last 50 years. There is nothing new in the way of source materials, other than scrolls made available which argue against the Essenes. (Think for example of 4Q502 [Ritual of Marriage], which cites a part of 1QS, the so-called sectarian foundational document. Oh, I know, it must be those marrying Essenes again.) To nearly all those parallels that people like Dupont- Sommer put together, the answer is either "too generic" or "unsubstantiated". We are left with the same lack of argument: "if the Essenes didn't write the scrolls, well, who did?" This is no argument whatsoever. Qumran is not off the littoral zone of the sea, yet Pliny tells us the Essenes flee from the littoral. (Salt land grows nothing. Fish hazarding into the sea die almost immediately and are eventually found along the shore.) As Pliny's itinerary at this point goes from east to west, there is no downstream movement not north to south movement, so the usually Essene Hypothesis explanations of Pliny's "infra hos engada oppidum fuit" simply don't hold water. ----------------------------- I think it's extremely hard to argue against the fact that the community in some of the scrolls reflects the temple centred community, with its reliance on the written torah (as opposed to the Pharisees), reliance on bloodlines (as opposed to the Essenes), headed by the sons of Zadok. This seems like a community based in the temple. One would expect those who maintain purity in order to go into the temple would ostensibly have little or nothing to do with women and those who belonged to the community were expected to maintain temple purity, similar to haburot. What we have in scrolls like 1QS may be an association of those who maintain temple purity -- which had its own possessions, while individuals maintained theirs, which was a male-only association, while individuals were almost certainly married (there is a lot about marriage in the scrolls). Ian For private reply, e-mail to "Ian Hutchesson" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> ---------------------------------------------------------------- To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to [EMAIL PROTECTED] with the message: "unsubscribe Orion." Archives are on the Orion Web site, http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il. (PLEASE REMOVE THIS TRAILOR BEFORE REPLYING TO THE MESSAGE)