I can see JohnT has appeared for this 'good cop/bad cop' schtick to follow (John2 setting up a calm rational approach and JohnT the rabid pit bull ...
He also wrote (with respect to me reading and thinking about the DSS and Christianity):
I thought you
were the cop, since you wrote on another thread:
And Ephesians uses the same fucking word (= Peshitta) to speak about a fence. But here is what annoys me about you. YOU KNOW THAT A SIYAGA IS A FLIMSY BARRIER NOT A BRICK WALL typically separating fields or paths from fields. It is not the same term used at Qumran. Stop this fucking disinformation exercise!! You're just using the fact that 99% of people don't have a clue what the terminology means in order to further the idiotic Eisenman agenda. A syaga is basically a couple of stakes set around a garden or path and a string strong between the stakes. It might be a hedge, it might be a couple of stones - but in all cases it's not a solid 'wall.' It basically says 'this is mine' but does not effective prevent anyone from going to 'my area.' My god I hate being the policeman but ...
And maybe you
should dig a little more
so you don't make comments like the above (to which I responded with this citation from Wacholder):
Here in 5:20 the text deals with the rise of the opposition, the מסיגי הגבול (the Shifters of the Boundaries), a sobriquet for the Pharisees or Rabbanites, introduced in this section [8.12] as החיץ בוני (the builders of the wall).
https://books.google.com/books?id=ZZ58U ... ES&f=false
Stephan also wrote on another thread:
This stupid theory has a threefold superficiality
1. saying that (a) the Qumran texts are (b) the product of the Essene community
2. saying that the (b) the Essene community were (c) early Christians
3. ignoring the obvious fact that the Qumran texts were produced before early Christianity.
To which I responded:
I don't agree with any of that. As I've said a number of times, I see the DSS as being writings that various Jewish sects created or older ones they brought with them when they joined the Fourth Philosophy that were deposited in caves for safekeeping during the 66-70 CE war, similar to what Golb proposes, and I see Christianity as being a faction of the Fourth Philosophy.
I don't mind any constructive input, but if you're going to bring your customary hostility to this thread, at least be aware of what I and the DSS actually say.
And Stephan wrote on this thread:
1. the scrolls can't have anything to do with James so who cares and
2. there must have been dozens if not tens of dozens of people who (a) murdered a sectarian leader and then (b) died a violent death themselves.
I don't know if this is going to decide anything. If you were intellectually honest you'd have to admit that what we are allowed to consider are individuals who are named and for whom detailed biographical information is preserved owing to the survival of sources from antiquity. Ezra is not on that list. Ezra's death is not preserved. But he is surely not the only candidate either. To focus on Josephus and people from Josephus's perspective who might have been 'teachers of righteousness' and 'wicked priests' is uncritical folly in itself. Surely the people whom Josephus might have thought to be 'righteous' and 'wicked' would have been inverted by other Jews and so on. I think a new avenue of consideration is the cipher 450 which is the gematria of both 'teacher of righteousness' and a number found in another scroll and which is the value of 'Damascus.' The likelihood under this scenario is that the teacher of righteousness was a royal figure who was taken to be the messiah. Not clear if Ezra qualifies. His social role is not clearly defined in the literature.
Regarding the idea that the Teacher was Ezra, as I said above, you're isolating one
factor, the deaths of the Wicked Priest and the Teacher, but it is also (for example) commonly argued that the writings that mention the Teacher also refer to the Pharisees, and they are first mentioned as existing during the Maccabean era, long after Ezra. I also pointed out some scholars who argue that the Damascus Document is not in agreement with Ezra-Nehemiah, such as Grossman:
We have seen that the Damascus Document makes no mention of the Second Temple or the return from exile ... In fact, the text appears to ignore entirely such post-exilic priestly claims as those found in Ezra/Nehemiah and Chronicles, which offer genealogies and accounts of the return of the exiles in an attempt to confirm the authenticity of the post-exilic priesthood. In place of such claims, the Damascus Document locates the authority of its priestly remnant in a very different sort of departure and return: the willingness of the covenanters to 'depart from' sin and also from sinful people and places, while 'returning to' righteousness, whose location is articulated in similar geographic terms.
https://books.google.com/books?id=quDpw ... ra&f=false
... the literature of the sectarian Association appears to bypass the Ezra-Nehemiah account. This is an important elision, the reason for which is not hard to deduce: the literature of the Association does not countenance a successful attempt at covenant renewal during the Persian Period. In fact, the Association's construal of Israel's history contradicts the idea that the Sinaitic covenant had been renewed prior to the sect's own formation ... Since Ezra-Nehemiah reports a return of Diasporic Jews to Jerusalem and may imply an attempt at covenant renewal there, [the Damascus Document] does not make mention of these books, as they provided information that would have weakened [the] claim that the covenant, broken prior to Jerusalem's destruction by Nebudchanezzar, was only renewed during the time of, and by the Association.
https://books.google.com/books?id=rdaTp ... ra&f=false
The situation of Ezra and Nehemiah differs from that of the Damascus Document ... The movement described in the Damascus Document has power to enforce internal discipline and to expel members who fail to conform, but it does not have power over the society at large, and so it relies on the threat of divine punishment. It also offers the prospect of reward in the afterlife, an idea that is not attested in Ezra and Nehemiah.
https://books.google.com/books?id=13ZxD ... ra&f=false
Regarding the flow of ideas from the first century BCE to the first century CE in the DSS (as per Eisenman), Flint notes in The Book of Daniel, Volume 2 Composition and Reception
... 4Q245 differs from 1 Chronicles 5 in extending its list of priests into the Hellenistic period. The name חוניה (Onias) occurs in fr. 1 i.9, שמעון (Simon) in line 10, and the name preceding Simon is reasonably restored as יונתן (Jonathan). While there were several Smons in the Hellenistic period, the sequence Jonathan-Simon is found only among the Maccabees. The list of priests then continues beyond the last Zadokite High Priest, Onias III, and includes the Hasmoneans Jonathan (152-42 BCE) and Simon (142-35 BCE).
The priestly list ended in line 10, since line 11 initiates a new list (here of kings), presumably with some introductory comment: This suggests that Simon was the last High Priest in the sequence.
https://books.google.com/books?id=BK29C ... as&f=false
And in Eschatology, Messianism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls
So unlike with the Teacher of Righteousness, the DSS have no problem with naming Onias, and the content of the text (and paleography) indicates that it was written after
his time and
that the DSS sect was fine with Jonathan and Simon Maccabee (which goes against the idea that one or the other was the Wicked Priest, as some argue).
Regarding the dating of the writings that mention the Teacher of Righteousness, I've already pointed out that all of them are dateable by paleography and carbon dating to the Herodian period. This is also noted by Oegema (with respect to the pesharim that mention the Teacher) in Qumran-Messianism: Studies on the Messianic Expectations in the Dead Sea Scrolls
The Qumran writings Pesher on Habakkuk (1QpHab), Pesher on Psalm 37 (4QpPs or 4Q171)
, War Scroll
, Commentary on Genesis
(4Q252) and Midrash on Eschatology
(4QFlor or 4Q174) can be dated in the time from the beginning of the Roman-Herodian period up to the destruction of the Qumran community in the year 68 CE ... One of the latest Qumran writings is the Pesher on Habakkuk (1QpHab).
https://books.google.com/books?id=-j4YA ... gs&f=false
They are also commonly thought to be the last writings of the DSS sect (like Oegema above regarding the Habakkuk Pesher), well after the time of Ezra and Onias, so in my view, whoever the Teacher was, I don't reckon it was either of them.
Regarding not knowing the details of how Ezra died, as I pointed out above the earliest account of it is in Josephus in Ant. 11.5.5, which gives no indication that he died a violent death:
So it came to pass, that after he had obtained this reputation among the people, he died an old man, and was buried in a magnificent manner at Jerusalem.
But if you are fine with the idea that Ezra was tried and sentenced to death by a wicked priest (and that he believed in an afterlife, as the Teacher did), and if you don't think the DSS refer to the Pharisees, that's fine, but it doesn't work for me.
Look at the sky, look at the river, isn't it good? Winding, finding places to go.