Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

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StephenGoranson
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Re: Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

Post by StephenGoranson » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:30 am

John2,

I think there are additional reasons why James (who may well have been influenced by Essenes) was not the Qumran-view Teacher of Righteousness besides the one that you mention and that gives you, perhaps, some pause: the date of 1QpesherHabakkuk. You wrote:


"But what I take into consideration when it comes to the Habakkuk Pesher and James is that the pesher appears to have been written during a time of war, when a new scroll (or the resources to make one) may not have been available."


(Barbara Thiering used to make a related, but somewhat different, argument: she proposed that special, old writing surface had been saved for special texts that were written several decades later. Some replied that there is no evidence for that; that special texts are often written on newly-made surfaces; and that the proposal seems to be special pleading.)


Leaving aside the question of which war you might be referring to, here are some questions:


If writing surface (animal skin--were animals scarce also?) was scarce, how was it that they putatively found lots of unused old surface. Would not available old surface suggest writing surfaces were not rare, as they had not been used already?

When writing surface is scarce, one strategy is to reuse old surface, with old ink scraped off.

Is there any evidence that 1QpHab is a palimpsest?

When writing surface is scarce, another strategy is to write on both sides of the skin.

Does 1QpHab have writing on both sides?

When writing surface is scarce, one strategy is to write in the margins of another text. Is 1QpHab characterized in this way?

When writing surface is scarce, a strategy is to write in small letters, and with lines close together?

Does 1QpHab have small letters and lines close together?

When writing surface is scarce, a strategy is to have very small margins.

Does 1QpHab have small margins?

Does 1QpHab have signs of scarcity of writing surface?

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John T
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Re: Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

Post by John T » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:24 am

John2 wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:57 pm
In fact, the only dating issue I can think of with respect to the idea that the Teacher was James (which I'm not stuck on but do think is the best option I'm aware of as far as what the DSS say) is the Habakkuk Pesher, which is carbon dated only up to 2 CE (plus or minus however many years, but still well into the Herodian era).

Given my impression that carbon dating gives us a good estimate of age, I don't rule out the possibility that the Teacher could be someone who lived a bit after 2 CE (such as Judas the Galilean). But what I take into consideration when it comes to the Habakkuk Pesher and James is that the pesher appears to have been written during a time of war, when a new scroll (or the resources to make one) may not have been available.
The c14 dating of 1QpHab Habakkuk Commentary is not without its problem since it has two possible ranges: 160-148 BCE or 111 BCE-2 CE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_da ... ea_Scrolls

I of course (admitted bias) go with the older range which places it right were I want it, that is, the Wicked Priest is High Priest Jonathan Apphus 153-143 BCE.

Returning back to the 390 years found in Damascus Document 4Q268; there are indeed respected scholars that find it to be chronology accurate from the time of the Temple destruction in 587 BCE to the forming of the Community, e.g. Wacholder (The Dawn of Qumran, 176-81).

Just because Josephus and Demetrius the Chronographer made dating errors of other historical empires does not mean the writer of the Damascus Document did not know the actual year that Solomon's Temple was destroyed. Nor does 390 in the Damascus Document mean it had to come from Ezek 4:5 just because that is the only place in the Bible that the number 390 is used.

Finally, the Qumran community was absolutely obsessed with keeping a proper calendar and hence the friction between the Wicked Priests and the Teacher of Righteousness see (4Q394 1-2) MMT.

I hope that didn't come across as closed-minded and/or confrontational. I encourage/enjoy respectful debate and appreciate your input. I am learning much from your comments/links. :cheers:

Sincerely,

John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

John2
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Re: Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

Post by John2 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:34 pm

Stephen Goranson,

I don't know that I can answer those questions and I will keep them in mind.

John T,

I've seen dating ranges (for carbon dating and paleography) for the Habakkuk Pesher that span the Maccabean era to the early Herodian era and (not that they agree with it) possibly even up to the 66-73 CE war according to Lonnqvist and Lonnqvist in The Dead Sea Scrolls in Context (2 Vols): Integrating the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Study of Ancient Texts, Languages, and Cultures (2011), edited by Lange, Tov and Weigold:
The lower calibrated radiocarbon ages of the Community Rule (1QS) and Pesher Habakkuk (1QpHab) around the turn of the millennium and the Common Era, however, could even indicate a date towards the end of the Qumran settlement and the First Jewish Revolt (66-73 CE).

https://books.google.com/books?id=xM7En ... ng&f=false
So for me the only thing that seems certain is what the pesher says and I'm willing to consider how it relates to whoever or whatever in these time periods. And while I don't care if the Teacher was James or if the Wicked Priest was Ananus, I think what we know about them syncs up better with what the DSS say about the Teacher and the Wicked Priest than any other candidates I have looked at.

But whoever the Teacher was, it looks to me like they lived during the Herodian era (given the description of the "kings of the peoples" as engaging in niece marriage and such in the Damascus Document, for example, which is something that to my knowledge isn't documented regarding Maccabean kings), and they seem like a Fourth Philosopher (among whom I include Jesus), and the Kittim seem like the Romans. In my view, if Jesus or James were not "the" Teacher of Righteousness, they were at least teachers of righteousness cut from the same Fourth Philosophic cloth. Plus we have to reckon with the references to practicing "the way" and "the new covenant" in a place called Damascus in the writings that mention the Teacher, concepts that are also used in Christianity.

As Bauckham notes regarding "the way" in The Dead Sea Scrolls as Background to Postbiblical Judaism:
Although the Qumran community and the early Christians were certainly not the only Jews to focus their hopes on the Isaianic picture of the way ... they are the only two groups we know to have applied the image of this way to their own way of life.

https://books.google.com/books?id=U7-Qe ... re&f=false

And Lim notes regarding "the new covenant":
... the [Dead Sea Scrolls] sectarians and early church were the only ones to have used the concept of “the new covenant” from the prophecy of Jeremiah. Other Jews did not comment on “the new covenant” nor did they use it in their writings.

http://www.christianorigins.div.ed.ac.u ... t-seventy/
These similarities (and there are many more, with these being the more "obvious" ones) warrant an explanation, whenever you think the Teacher lived. And I think these concepts are as applicable to (other) Fourth Philosophic factions as I do Christians. I can't escape the strong impression that the Teacher was a Fourth Philosopher, one who was similar to Jesus and James if not actually them.
Tell me all that you know and I'll show you snow and rain.

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John T
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Re: Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

Post by John T » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:58 pm

John2 wrote:
Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:34 pm
These similarities (and there are many more, with these being the more "obvious" ones) warrant an explanation, whenever you think the Teacher lived. And I think these concepts are as applicable to (other) Fourth Philosophic factions as I do Christians. I can't escape the strong impression that the Teacher was a Fourth Philosopher, one who was similar to Jesus and James if not actually them.
Awe, but my explanation is more closer to what you correctly understand than you may think. That is, the Essene community did not die out with Herod or the Jewish revolt but merged with the community of James the Just, i.e. Christians.

Sincerely,

John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

StephenGoranson
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Re: Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

Post by StephenGoranson » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:04 am

Aside. Though I think I gave reasons--well beyond one paragraph on disputed 390+20-- in http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf
why Jonathan (d. 142) is too early and James is too late for either WP or TR, the previous post reminds me of a joke, told here:

http://ntweblog.blogspot.com/2017/09/sa ... wayne.html

StephenGoranson
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Re: Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

Post by StephenGoranson » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:35 am

BTW, I used to think (many years ago) that Jonathan (d. 142) was a plausible candidate for WP, until evidence made me change my mind.

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John T
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Re: Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

Post by John T » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:17 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:34 am

4Q268, fragment 1, lines 12b-15a (Martínez & Tigchelaar): 12b And at the moment of] 13 [wrath,] three hundred and nin[ety ye]ars [after having delivered them up into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar,] 14 [king of Babylon,] he visited them and cau[sed to sprout from Israe]l and from A[aro]n a sho[ot of the planting, in order to possess] 15a [his land and to become fat with the goo]d things of his soil.

The phrase in question is: [ש]נים שלוש מאות ותשע[ים]:

שנים = years.
שלוש = three.
מאות = hundreds.
ותשעים = and ninety.

Thanks Ben,

However, I can't read a lick of Hebrew but I can match up letters. So, if you will be so kind, can you find the letters for the number 390 in the photo in the link below. Please tell me which line from the top and how many letters in from the right. Then again, I might not even have the correct photo.

If you can't find it don't worry, Dr. James Charlesworth said most Hebrew scholars cannot read some of the DSS (e.g. 1QS Community Rules) because the script/style is so different but other scrolls even a young Hebrew child today can read them. So, I hoping this 4Q268 fragment is an easy one.

Thanks in advance.

https://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/explo ... e/B-361417
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

John2
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Re: Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

Post by John2 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:28 pm

It looks to me like the second line from the bottom (i.e., line 13, which Ben noted above).
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:42 pm

John2 wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:28 pm
It looks to me like the second line from the bottom (i.e., line 13, which Ben noted above).
Correct. This is the line:

Image

I can do little more than point it out, though. I am no expert in ancient Hebrew paleography; but I can identify most of the letters at issue.
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John T
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Re: Who do you think was the "Wicked Priest"?

Post by John T » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:28 am

Thanks Ben,

I am very impressed with your ability to produce that image.

However, it is not the perfect match I was hoping for.
The first and last letters are missing. I wonder if any other letters inserted in their place would make the number 390 different or if another number is missing from the end of the sentence. Say, 390 and 9?

Still, based on the Strong's concordance the interpretation of 4Q268 looks correct.

Sincerely,
John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

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