BAR errors on Essenes
- Several errors appear in an article in the March-April issue of Biblical
Archaeology Review, available online (bib-arch.org), "Spotlight on Scroll
Scholars: Dissecting the Qumran-Essene Hypothesis" by Edna Ullmann-Margalit.
Two of the errors:
1) According to the BAR article:
"And what are we to make of the fact that, in describing the Essenes, he
[Josephus] does not discuss predestination, a central tenet of the Scroll
But Josephus does.
Here, for example is what Kaufmann Kohler wrote in the Jewish Encyclopedia about
a century ago (before the Qumran discoveries):
"The Pharisees held that not all things are divinely predestined, but
that some are dependent on the will of man; the Sadducees denied any
interference of God in human affairs; while the Essenes ascribed everything to
divine predestination ("B. J." ii. 8, § 14; "Ant." xiii. 5, § 9)."
2) According to the BAR article:
"For example, regarding the Scroll-Essene connection, what are we to
make of the fact that the term 'Essenes' occurs not even once in the entire
corpus of the scrolls?"
But it does.
Even if one disagrees with me (and James VanderKam, Philipp Melanchthon, and
many others writing both before and after the Qumran discoveries) that the
Hebrew self-designation is present (in the Qumran pesharim, 'osey hatorah),
anyone making such a claim (with no citation either in the article or in her
book) should at least reveal what spellings she would accept.
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