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Re: [ANE-2] Berossus and Genesis (was toilets and Dead Sea Scrolls)

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  • Yitzhak Sapir
    ... Can you give an example of a ruling from the preserved substantial legal materials of the Judaism of circa 273-272 BCE ? Also, how do the Samaritans fit
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 2, 2006
      On 12/1/06, Russel Gmirkin wrote:

      > But let's stop talking theory. Extra-biblical Jewish tradition provides a
      > very direct, compelling case for the existence of an unwritten body of Jewish
      > law that the populace attributed to Moses. [...] Their priestly descendants, both
      > spiritually and literally, the Sadducees, from whom the Pharisees parted ways
      > in the 170s-160s BCE, naturally only recognized the Pentateuchal regulations
      > which their own circles had earlier authored, while ordinary Jews recognized
      > and preserved other extra-Pentateuchal legal traditions the Sadducees
      > rejected. [...] It is likely that the
      > Pharisee "Oral Torah" preserved substantial legal materials from the Judaism of
      > c. 273-272 BCE which the Pentateuchal authors chose not to record. The
      > Pharisees claimed these legal materials had been transmitted orally through the
      > generations from Moses down to their own time, per Talmudic tradition (and
      > indeed these rulings were not recorded in writing until Jamnia according to most
      > historians).

      Can you give an example of a ruling from the "preserved substantial
      legal materials"
      of the Judaism of "circa 273-272 BCE"?

      Also, how do the Samaritans fit in with the Sadducees?

      Yitzhak Sapir
    • RUSSELLGMIRKIN@aol.com
      Yitzhak Sapir wrote: Can you give an example of a ruling from the preserved substantial legal materials of the Judaism of circa 273-272 BCE ? Also, how do
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 2, 2006
        Yitzhak Sapir wrote:


        Can you give an example of a ruling from the "preserved substantial
        legal materials"
        of the Judaism of "circa 273-272 BCE"?

        Also, how do the Samaritans fit in with the Sadducees?



        Fair questions. First, let me answer in generalities. Wellhausen posited
        an "Oral
        Torah" of traditional Jewish religious practices preserved by the priesthood
        prior to
        the formal written codification of Jewish laws which he believed was
        complete by
        458 BCE, but which we may ascertain from the Elephantine papyri had not yet
        occurred by 404 BCE, and which I argue only took place in 273-272 BCE,
        facilitated
        by the largesse of Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The priests that authored the
        regulations
        in P only recorded a subset of the Oral Torah of that time, which for
        instance we know
        differed in many particulars from other contemporary legal traditions found
        in D, and
        which also omitted other legal traditions that later became part of Pharisee
        practices.
        According to Josephus, the essential dispute between Sadducees and Pharisees
        was
        over Pentateuchal vs. extra-Pentateuchal legal traditions that the Pharisees
        believed
        also reflected Mosaic law. This extra-biblical legal tradition was
        sufficiently well
        developed and commanded enough loyalty in the 170s-160s BCE to serve to
        define the
        Pharisees as a sect distinct from Judaism of the ruling priestly faction
        that subsequently
        became known as the Sadducees. It seems unreasonable that the Pharisees
        developed
        their distinctive legal principles out of thin air, but rather inherited a
        respectably older
        tradition that they could credibly claim descended from Moses. Hence the
        general
        inference that Pharisee legal traditions likely had their origin in Mosaic
        "Oral Torah"
        excluded from the Pentateuch.

        In terms of general theoretical methodology, one may propose that Pharisaic
        legal
        principles that can be shown to have originated in the 160s or earlier and
        which differed
        from Sadducee and/or Pentateuchal laws may be an artifact of the Oral Torah
        of the pre-
        Pentateuchal period. The difficulty is in establishing Pharisee and
        Sadducee practices of
        this early period. The Dead Sea Scrolls are highly relevant here, but also
        highly
        controversial, so I will tactfully omit them from the present discussion.
        Talmudic traditions
        could probably be invoked to identify such questions as the impurity
        conveyed by liquids
        and such-like as issues that divided Pharisees and Sadducees from time
        immemorial. But
        I think Ezra-Nehemiah may be one of the most interesting sources of
        extra-Pentateuchal
        legal traditions. Although some of the Aramaic letters in Ezra likely came
        from the Persian
        period, the (predominantly) LBH portions that contain Pentateuchal
        references must thus
        postdate 273 BCE, and in my sequel volume Berossus and Kings I will argue
        that the LBH
        texts date to no earlier than 200 BCE. Select chapters in Ezra-Nehemiah
        critical of the
        high priests and the Tobiads contain obvious polemics against the
        association of the last
        Oniag high priests with the Tobiads and may be dated to c. 175 BCE based on
        comparisons with 2 Maccabees and other considerations and come from the
        anti-Oniad circles associated with Simon the temple captain. There is a
        historical argument to be
        made that the overthrow of the Zadokite high priestly line by Simon and his
        party was
        related to the schism between the Pharisees and Sadducees about this time.
        If that is
        the case, then the anti-priestly post-Pentateuchal chapters in Ezra-Nehemiah
        may come
        from the earliest Pharisee circles, and the requirement that priests put
        away foreign wives,
        without a basis in Pentateuchal law, and predating the Hellenistic Crisis,
        may be an
        example of the type of older Oral Torah you asked about.

        The question regarding the Samaritans is a tricky one. It is likely there
        was a Samaritan
        contribution to the authorship of the Pentateuch reflected in E, and some
        anti-Samaritan
        content in J, whose authors appeared to have dwelled in Judea proper. That
        both J and E were incorporated in the Pentateuch probably reflects the
        diverse composition
        of the Sanhedrin (council of elders) of 273 BCE, reminiscent of the
        involvement of
        Samaritans in the governance of Yehud in the Elephantine papyri. Both J and
        E are
        quite accepting of "heterodox" practices, illustrating the diversity within
        Jewish religion.
        Theophrastus also describes heterodox Syrian practices in c. 315 BCE, with
        astrological
        observations in conjunction with night burnt offerings with honey at an
        unidentified temple
        which was likely the one at Mount Gerizim, and Pseudo-Eupolemus provides
        further
        witness to Samaritan syncretism in c. 250 BCE. I don't see much evidence to
        connect
        the Samaritans to the Sadducees (or to the proto-Sadducee priestly circles
        behind P).

        Best regards,
        Russell Gmirkin




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      • Peter T. Daniels
        Mr. Sapir asked a very specific question. It was not addressed in the succeeding reply, which (where it did attempt an argument) argued quite circularly. --
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 3, 2006
          Mr. Sapir asked a very specific question. It was not addressed in the succeeding reply, which (where it did attempt an argument) argued quite circularly.

          --
          Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...



          ----- Original Message ----
          From: "RUSSELLGMIRKIN@..." <RUSSELLGMIRKIN@...>
          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, December 3, 2006 12:40:17 AM
          Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Berossus and Genesis (was toilets and Dead Sea Scrolls)


          Yitzhak Sapir wrote:

          Can you give an example of a ruling from the "preserved substantial
          legal materials"
          of the Judaism of "circa 273-272 BCE"?

          <...>

          Fair questions. First, let me answer in generalities.

          <...>
        • David Hall
          I have prepared a web page with a photo gallery of drawings from the Beni Hasan, Egypt tombs. These images of domesticated animals were photocopied from a
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 3, 2006
            I have prepared a web page with a photo gallery of drawings from the Beni Hasan, Egypt tombs. These images of domesticated animals were photocopied from a 1900 art folio Beni Hasan, by Newberry, Carter, et alia. From what I have read Howard Carter was probably the chief artist responsible for the drawings. This is the same Howard Carter who discovered King Tut's tomb.

            The drawings are in the public domain.

            http://dqhall59.com/Beni_Hasan/index.htm

            David Q. Hall
            dqhall@...







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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