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Joseph M. Baumgarten misrepresented: annals of Essene denial

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  • goranson@duke.edu
    The late Joseph M. Baumgarten (of blessed memory) was one of the finest scholars of Dead Sea Scrolls and rabbinic literature. Now there are misrepresentations
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 18, 2010
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      The late Joseph M. Baumgarten (of blessed memory) was one of the finest scholars
      of Dead Sea Scrolls and rabbinic literature. Now there are misrepresentations
      of his life work. For example, an unsigned article that suggests that "Essenes
      never existed" claims that the scrolls are Sadducee and that "A pioneer
      proponent of the counter-thesis was Joseph Baumgarten of Baltimore...." [1]

      In fact, Joseph Baumgarten, who was the first to notice one legal agreement
      between 4QMMT and rabbinic texts, in many publications over many decades added
      Essene and Qumran shared characteristics and cautioned against Sadducee
      identification. For example, in:

      "The Avoidance of the Death Penalty in Qumran Law." In Reworking the Bible:
      Apocryphal and Related Texts at Qumran. , ed. Esther G. Chazon, et al., 31-38.
      STDJ 58. Leiden: Brill, 2005.

      "The 'Halakha' in Miqsat Ma`ase ha-Torah (MMT)." JAOS 116/3 (1996) 512-516.

      "Tannaitic Halakhah and Qumran--A Re-Evaluation." In Rabbinic Perspectives:
      Rabbinic Literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls. , ed. Steven D. Fraade, et al.,
      1-11. STDJ 62. Leiden: Brill, 2006.

      "The Disqualification of Priests..." In The Madrid Conference, pub. 1992

      "The Qumran-Essene Restraints om Marriage," In Archaeology and History in the
      DSS, 1990, 13-24.

      "The Sons of Dawn in CDC 13:14-15 and the Ban on Commerce among the Essenes,"
      IEJ 1983, 81-65. And in other publications and lectures.

      Anyone is free to propose that Essenes never existed or that they have nothing
      whatsoever to do with Qumran; but no one should misrepresent Joseph M.
      Baumgarten as if he wrote any such thing. Rather, J. M. Baumgarten provided
      evidence of the Essene Qumran association.

      Stephen Goranson
      http://www.duke.edu/~goranson

      [1]http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/content/module/2010/2/15/main-feature/1/a-dead-issue
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