Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

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

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 5 , Dec 2, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      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




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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 2 of 5 , Dec 3, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 5 , Dec 3, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          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]
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.