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Ancient Jewish sectarianism.

One of the dominant characteristics of Jewish life in Palestine in the period preceding the destruction of the Temple by the Romans was the prominence of Jewish sects, including the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and those who lived at Qumran.(1) Alongside these groups, there were many other Jews, perhaps as much as 95% or even more of the population, who were not members of any of these organizations.(2) Nevertheless, these associations formed an elite, which set the tone for Jewish life as a whole. Josephus, the historian of Second Temple Judaism, felt that his reader would not understand events of that era adequately if he did not include an extensive discussion of the three main groups - Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes - in Jewish War 2.119-166. In Antiquities 18.12-25 he added an explicit account of the so-called Fourth Philosophy, the Sicarii, a group at the more extreme nationalist end of the spectrum, which Josephus himself despised and placed first on his list of those responsible for the debacle of the failed revolt and the destruction of the Temple by the Romans (Jewish War 7.254-274).

Indeed, as the story of Second Temple Judaism unfolds in Josephus's works, these groups play a major political and religious role. Beginning with the competition of Pharisees and Sadducees for influence in the courts of the Maccabean rulers John Hyrcanus (135-104 BCE; Antiquities 13.288-298), Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 BCE; e.g., Antiquities 13.401), and Salome Alexandra (76-67 BCE; Antiquities 13.408-415), these groups alternated in setting the religious standards adopted by the monarchy (Antiquities 13.296 & 408). Josephus also focused attention on Essene support for Herod (37-4 BCE; Antiquities 15.371-378) as well as on a Pharisaic plot against him (Antiquities 17.41-45). Josephus's account of the sects culminates in the part played by all four groups and their leaders at the time of the Great Revolt (67-73/4 CE): Pharisees and Sadducees provided some of the members of the moderate coalition which governed the rebels for a time (Jewish War 4.159); Essenes supplied one general (Jewish War 2.567), and stubbornly resisted the Romans under the most trying conditions (Jewish War 2.152-153); and the Sicarii took part in several key events, such as the last stand at Massada, after the destruction of the Temple (Jewish War 7.275-406).(3)

Sectarianism of the Second Temple era has rarely been a neutral subject, of interest only to antiquarians. The varieties of ancient Judaism have regularly aroused attention whenever there has been internal disagreement either among Jews or Christians.(4) It should be no surprise that the topic has returned to prominence in the current era of Jewish fragmentation, both in the diaspora and in Israel.(5)

Divisions are chronic in social life: there will always be groups of people protesting against something in their environment. As such, the existence of sects does not require special explanation. Nevertheless, the dominance of sectarian groups at a time and place, so that a historian such as Josephus felt the need to devote special discussions to the phenomenon - lest his reader otherwise not understand the story to be told - is a special event in human experience, calling for an explanation of the singular circumstances which helped yield the unusual result. Why, then, did sects flourish to such an extent at that time? What were the connections between context and consequence which help elucidate the results?(6)

I choose to call the ancient Jewish groups sects, knowing full well that the use of a modern term of this sort is potentially confusing. Nevertheless, I believe that the advantages outweigh the liabilities. Sects, in particular as I define that term, supply an intellectual context and backdrop, against which aspects of ancient Jewish movements emerge more clearly.

I begin with the classic perspectives of Weber and Troeltsch: a sect is a voluntary movement of dissent, usually small, protesting against something in the larger society. One is not born a sectarian, one elects to become a member of such a group. Furthermore, I would adapt for ancient Jewish sectarians a derogatory seventeenth-century definition of a Puritan; he is someone who "Loved God with all his soul and hated his neighbor with all his heart."(7) For religious reasons, whatever they may have been, an ancient Jewish sectarian hated his neighbor, and drew the appropriate conclusions from this fact. Ancient Jewish sectarianism as I understand it did not require the existence of a normative orthodoxy, from which a sect had split off, as a necessary prerequisite.(8) All that was needed was the choice made by sectarians to declare war against significant aspects of the religious world in which they lived.

This dissent against the way of life of one's neighbor was expressed by sectarians through boundary - marking mechanisms - the classic methods employed by virtually all cultures to distinguish insiders from outsiders (however these terms be understood, from one culture to another). As opposed to a two-fold division of the world into insiders and outsiders, ancient Jewish sects organized humanity in a three-fold manner. On the inside were the sectarian brothers (or sisters, in those movements which had female members),(9) around whom were other Jews, normally recognized as fellow insiders, but whom the sect treated as outsiders of a new sort. Finally, at the furthest remove, were the "real" outsiders, such as non-Jews, acknowledged as outsiders by all.

The realms in which these boundaries were maintained by ancient Jewish groups included food, dress, commerce, marriage, and worship. In analyzing these barriers and understanding their implications, special attention must be paid to food regulations, for food rules played a part in virtually every known ancient Jewish group, while dress, commerce, marriage, and worship did not.(10)

The social consequences of commensality are of the highest significance. Those from whom one accepts prepared food, or are eligible to share one's own food, are those with whom one identifies to the highest degree. If properly prepared food from an acceptable source is unavailable, wild food, taken directly from nature and eaten without human intervention, is the only alternative. Rules of commensality thus indicate those whom one considers insiders or outsiders.

Ancient Judaism provides a number of examples of these notions. Josephus writes of his priestly friends, captives in Rome, who survived on figs and nuts (Life 14).(11) At the time of the persecution of Antiochus IV, according to 2 Macc. 5:27, Judah and his forces "continued to live on what grew wild, so that they might not share in the defilement." As the verse makes clear, this was a matter of purity, not a mere tactical step. Ancient Jewish sectarians, as I'll show in detail, behaved in a similar way. When properly prepared food was not available, they survived on what could be eaten raw, directly from nature. Their actions, however, require a different explanation. "Real" outsiders had not defiled their food, and left them no choice but to survive on "grasses:" they were not Roman captives, nor were there persecutions of Antiochus IV in their day. The impurity from which these sectarians wished to separate themselves was that of other Jews, whom these sectarians treated as outsiders, and contact with whom they believed imperiled the soul.(12)

The analysis of the boundary - marking practices of ancient Jewish sects, to follow, is intended to provide a deeper understanding of the reasons for which these sects flourished. Social consequences of this sort are normally complex processes, for which nuanced explanations involving numerous factors are appropriate. My essay, which will concentrate on the role of the encounter with Hellenism,(13) should be taken as one piece, albeit an important one, of an attempt to solve a much larger puzzle.(14)

Ways Not Taken

One distinctive aspect of the argument to be elaborated below is that I have deliberately chosen not to emphasize certain sorts of explanations. The first is the role of ideology. I have deliberately kept the place of ideology/theology to a minimum. Obviously, I acknowledge its presence - even its necessity to create the underpinning of the phenomena. Without ideology or theology the importance of proper observance of the commandments, crucial to the argument, would be missing. Nevertheless, I would assign to ideology the role of making sense of results, after they have already been determined by other factors. Ideology, in this case, I would submit, was reactive to results, rather than generative of them. Furthermore, as has been well emphasized by others, ideas do not advance of their own accord.(15) They require specific circumstances to nurture them, and render them effective. Inquiring concerning these conditions, I submit, is a much more rewarding task than investigating ideology or theology on their own.

Next, is the place of legal dispute. Sects, in their own accounts of themselves and their origins, such as the Halakhic Letter (4QMMT), stress legal issues about which they disagreed, and because of which they felt they had to split off. In my reconstruction below, it is not the issues but the circumstances which determine the outcome. I have stressed the circumstances rather than the issues because, when there is a will, compromise can be worked out concerning virtually any practical point-even the calendar or purity. Thus, Rabbinites and Karaites, in spite of their calendar differences and reports that these led Rabbinites to refuse to marry Karaites, did in fact marry.(16) Catholic and Greek Orthodox Christians worship at the Church of Holy Sepulchre, celebrating the same holidays on different days, each according to their own calendar, in the same holy site. When there is no will, however, any issue becomes non-negotiable. There is none too small to be the point of division. The significant question is therefore not what were the legal issues being debated, but rather what were the circumstances, and why did these circumstances encourage fragmentation.(17)

Scales of Comparison

With these concepts in hand, one can proceed to an analysis and comparison of the various ancient Jewish groups. Indeed, one conclusion is apparent from the outset, even on the basis of the most superficial acquaintance: the boundaries erected by the different sects were not uniformly high. Some groups erected much higher barriers to protect themselves from the impurity on the outside, while the barriers of others were lower and had many more openings to the outside world. In the terminology suggested by Brian Wilson, some sects were reformist, others introversionist.(18) That is, reformist sects believed that Jews outside their boundaries were still worth the effort of trying to save, and treated those Jews accordingly, while introversionist sects had given up so completely on other Jews that they despaired totally and turned inwards. Furthermore, groups required differing levels of sacrifice of identity - sexual, personal, financial and familial. Lewis Coser's terms are helpful: some were much more "greedy institutions," demanding total commitment, than others.(19) Indeed, the scales of reformist/introversionist and of greediness overlap. In general, the more introversionist a sect was, the greedier its demands on the identity of members. The analysis to follow will begin with the Pharisees, at one end of the continuum, continue with the Essenes and Qumran closer to the other pole, and conclude with the most extreme example known, that of Bannus the teacher with whom Josephus spent three years. As I compare these movements against the same standards, they should throw light on each other, and on the unusual epoch in which they all flourished.


Pharisees had homes of their own, to which they could invite guests (Luke 11:38). They participated in the life of the court, and there are accounts of incidents when they dined with the Hasmonean ruler {Josephus, Antiquities 13.289, and bQiddushin 66a). A hostile source such as Matthew 23:6 accuses them of seeking places of honor in the synagogue, but even if this charge were true, the hostile source concedes that the Pharisees were found in the same synagogues as other Jews. In Matthew 23:5 they are denounced as having broad phylacteries and long fringes, but these were distinctive variations within the common patterns of dress. These distinctive variations allowed recognition by outsiders, if Matthew 23:5 is to be believed, and such recognition is a crucial aspect in the formation and reinforcement of sectarian identity. Nevertheless, Pharisees achieved this goal by varying the common patterns of dress, rather than by adopting a special uniform. As Luke 11:38 makes clear, outsiders could join them at their meals, if they met their requirements, and the latter were not onerous, simple immersion sufficing: the ugly scene of recrimination between Jesus and his host described in Luke 11:38 would have been avoided had Jesus immersed. In general, as noted by the Church Father Hippolytus, who lived in the second century CE, Pharisees observed purity laws moderately.(20) They belong at the reformist end of the spectrum.


The contrast with the Pharisees is explicit. Essenes had no personal homes but lived in the movement, inhabiting Essene houses, scattered across the villages and towns of Palestine (Josephus, Jewish War 2.124). Theirs was a greedy movement, that demanded celibacy of at least some of its members (Philo, Hypothetica 11.14; Josephus, Jewish War 2.120, 160; Pliny Natural History 5.73), that regulated body functions (defecation was forbidden on the Sabbath, Josephus, Jewish War 2.147-149), and that controlled relations with a member's family (presents to relatives required permission of the group, Josephus, Jewish War 2.134). New members made over their property to the sect, and all possessions were held in common, like brothers, sharing a single patrimony (Josephus, Jewish War 2.122). Essenes lived on the fringe of the Temple, and had an odd attitude towards it: they sent gifts, but were excluded from worship there because of their special purity practices (Josephus, Antiquities 18.19).(22) Essenes could not eat food prepared by outsiders. Even more extreme, the latter were excluded from Essene meals, hence inclusion in these meals was a mark of membership (Josephus, Jewish War 2.130, 139). An Essene expelled from the order was restricted to raw food (Josephus, Jewish War 2.143). Finally, Essenes wore a special uniform (Josephus, Jewish War 2.126), which helped them be recognized, both by each other and by outsiders.(23) Essenes were considerably more introversionist than the Pharisees.


The Qumran movement defined itself as a place where its members ate together, prayed together, and decided together (Community Rule, vi, 3). Accordingly, someone outside that community could not participate in the common meal, because he and his food were impure. For that same reason his food was prohibited to members (Community Rule, v, 13-16). In Qumran too, the new member went through a process of acceptance which culminated in his being allowed to participate in the pure meal, signifying his status (Community Rule, vi, 17-23). One of the means of control extensively employed in the Community Rule was reducing the food allowance of members as punishment for infractions. The expelled Qumran member was in an even worse position: he was assumed still to be bound by his oaths to eat only food prepared by the community, but was now denied all access to those meals. Thus he was perceived as asking friends, still members of the community, to supply him with food. Current members were therefore warned not to comply with such requests, lest they also be expelled (Community Rule, vii, 22-25).

Another indication of the high degree of introversionism which characterizes the Qumran community is their vocal denunciation of the Temple and its leadership. Perhaps the most extreme example of Qumran introversionism is their prohibition of all commercial contact with non-members (e.g., sales for credit, partnerships or employer/employee relationships), except for transactions for cash, in which no bond between the parties is created (Community Rule, v, 14-20).

One way in which Qumran members sacrificed their identity was by making over their property to the community.(24) The Qumran cemetery is another expression of the sacrifice of identity required of members. Ancient Jews expected to be buried with their families, as exemplified by Jacob's request to his sons not to bury him in Egypt, but to bring his remains to the family tomb, Genesis 47:29-30.(25) The desire to be buried in the family tomb was so strong that Judah Maccabee returned to the scene of the battle against Gorgias to recover the bodies of his fallen soldiers and bury them in their family tombs (2 Macc. 12:39). As part of the punishment of executed criminals, according to mSanh 6:5-6, they were buried in special cemeteries, and their bones returned to their families only after a year, at the time of secondary reburial. A Qumran member, however, renounced his family connection, even after death, choosing to be buried at his or her "true" home, with his sectarian brothers or sisters, in an egalitarian manner, in the large burial ground which adjoins the site.(26)

There is a substantial scholarly debate whether the Qumran sectarians were celibate.(27) If they were, this would be a considerable sacrifice of identity to a greedy movement. However this issue be resolved, the Damascus Document permits marriage and regulates the manner in which family life is to be lived (see above n. 12). Among the tasks it assigns to the sectarian leader, the "overseer of the camp" is to approve marriages and divorces, and educate children (4Q266 9.iii.4-7//CD XIII: 16-18). These were the responsibilities of the biological father (e.g., Exodus 13:14; Deuteronomy 6:7, 32:7),(28) here delegated to the sectarian master, who is supposed to have mercy on the members as a father does to his sons (CD XIII:9). Thus, even in this wing of the movement in which marriage and reproduction were permitted,(29) there was some degree of sacrifice of identity, in that the overseer usurped some of the roles normally played by the father.


Josephus spent three years in the desert, from ages sixteen to nineteen with his master Bannus, before deciding to leave him to return to the city and live as a Pharisee (Life 10-12).(30) No other source mentions Bannus, and it is unclear from Josephus's account whether Bannus had any other disciples. Nevertheless, Josephus's report of Bannus's eating and dressing practices can serve as a mark of the extreme introversionist end of the spectrum sketched here. Bannus ate only such things as grew of themselves, and wore only such clothing as trees provided (Life 11).(31) Bannus had no sectarian brothers, whose processed food he could eat, hence he had no choice but to survive on wild food consumed directly from nature. His concern extended to processed clothing as well. Bannus thus treated all other Jews as outsiders, who could render him impure, and from whom he needed to remain apart.

Until the Maccabean Victory

What historical circumstances led to the flourishing of these movements? It is important to be as specific as possible in attempting to answer this question, as well as to avoid the generic fallacy of assuming that all that needs to be discovered is the point of origin of these groups. The flourishing of many sects to the extent shown in the Second Temple era is a complex process, requiring equally nuanced explanations.

Sectarian practice as described above gives a first clue. It indicates the sense of disapproval of the manner in which fellow Jews observed the laws of the Torah, making separation from those Jews to a greater or lesser extent inevitable. I suggest that this sense of inadequate stringency is part of the debate which had been taking place between Jews, virtually since the return from the Babylonian exile, concerning the degree of permitted contact with the surrounding nations.

The issue had been alive since the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, at the very least, when Nehemiah had opposed Tobiah, who was married into the high priestly family (Nehemiah 13:4). Tobiah had been given a room in the Temple in which to keep his valuables. When Nehemiah had Tobiah's effects removed he had the room purified (Nehemiah 13:8-9). The process by which opponents - considered Jews by others, but inadequately observant by more stringent standards - were deemed impure is here well under way. Tobiads of later generations provided poor examples of separation from the gentiles, eating and drinking freely at the table of the Ptolemies, as related by Josephus (Antiquities 12.173, 187, 211-213). For those who judged the Tobiads by Nehemiah's standards, this would have been confirmation that this family was to be marked off as outside the bounds of the covenant.

The persecutions of Antiochus IV made the situation worse, with Jewish practice which distinguished between Israel and the nations, such as circumcision and food laws, forbidden. These actions were supported, at the very least, by the Jewish Hellenists, who collaborated with Antiochus IV (176-163 BCE), according to 1 Macc. 1:41-50.(32) The loyalists, however, elected not to eat unclean food, defiled by Antiochus IV or his Jewish allies, even at the price of their lives (1 Macc. 1:62-63), and the revolt led by the Maccabees ensued.

Some time around 160 BCE, 1 Enoch 91:9 proclaimed as its slogan: "all that which is (common) with the heathen shall be sundered." At about the same time, from a similar perspective, perhaps even quoting the Enochic literature known to us as the Epistle of Enoch (1 Enoch 91-108), in Jubilees 4:18,(33) the author of the Book of Jubilees attempted a "last stand" on the old national perimeter,(34) restating the need for reinforcing the boundaries between Jews and other nations. As part of his rewriting of the Biblical account of the Book of Genesis, the author of Jubilees has Isaac warn Jacob: "Remember my words, observe the commandments of Abraham your father. Separate yourself from the nations, and eat not with them, and do not according to their works, and become not their associate, for their works are unclean, and all their ways are a pollution and an abomination and an uncleanness (22:14-16)." This sense of Jubilees as the final attempt to bolster the external wall is reinforced by the discussion of marriage with foreign men or women in Chapter 30. In a law unparalleled elsewhere, any man who gave his daughter or sister to a foreigner has committed a capital crime: both he and the bride were to be executed (30:7). Later in that same chapter a different tack was taken against those who married foreigners and thus defiled the nation with a contemptible act. They were to be excluded from the Temple. No sacrifice, holocaust, fat or other offering was to be accepted from them (30:16). Just who these offenders might have been, the author of Jubilees did not specify. Perhaps they came from the nation as a whole, perhaps they were concentrated among the priests. In my view the latter is the likelier alternative, as offering fat was normally the prerogative of the priest (see e.g., Ezekiel 44:15: the Sadoqite priests who were faithful when the children of Israel strayed - they and only they will minister to God, offer "fat and blood," a verse quoted with favor in the Damascus Document, CD IV:12). If this interpretation is correct the author of Jubilees was arguing that certain priests who have not remained loyal to the external boundary of the nation in their marriage practices (compare the difficulty posed by the marriage patterns of priests in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah-Ezra 9:1-2 and Nehemiah 10:28-30, 13:4) were to be disqualified from service in the Temple. Priests who defied these restrictions were forbidden to serve in the sanctuary, an explicit way of marking them off as having forfeited their priestly status.

Separating oneself from the gentiles was also connected in at least one place in Jubilees with another of the central themes of the book - the solar calendar.(35) In the mind of the author the lunar calendar was associated with the error of the foreign nations. This conclusion had a certain degree of plausibility, as every nation of mediterranean antiquity (but one, Egypt, to be discussed below) set their months by the waxing and waning of the moon.(36) From the perspective of the author of Jubilees, the only way not to forget the feasts of the covenant and to avoid the feasts of the gentiles, with all their errors and ignorance, was to adopt a year of thirty day months (6:32-38).(37) Such was the ancient Egyptian calendar, which consisted of twelve months of thirty days plus five supplementary (epagomenal) days.(38) To employ the Egyptian version of the solar calendar, however, would not avoid the error of the ways of the gentiles: that calendar too was tainted with the ignorance of one of the surrounding nations. I therefore suggest that it was no accident that the solar calendar favored by Jubilees consisted of 364 days, twelve months of thirty days each, plus only four epagomenal days, for a total of fifty two complete weeks per year.

After Hasmonean Victory

The successful revolt of the Maccabees, culminating in the purification of the Temple (164 BCE), their assumption of the high priesthood (152 BCE), and the eventual achievement of independence (140 BCE), all raised hopes for a reimposition of boundaries between Jews and non-Jews, restrictions which had suffered so much damage in the preceding decades, in particular. Confirmation that these were the expectations can be found in Maccabean propaganda, which asserted that Judah had fortified Mt. Zion with high walls and strong towers, to keep the gentiles out (1 Macc. 4:60). Simon, Judah Maccabee's youngest brother (who ruled 142-134 BCE), also worked to achieve these same objectives: Simon established peace, and in his time "every man sat under his vine and his fig tree and there was none to make them afraid (1 Macc. 14:11)." Principal among those "none to make them afraid," were the gentiles, and a zealous hatred of gentiles pervades 1 Macc. as a whole.(39) Furthermore, as the decree affirming Simon's rule asserted, Simon "put the Gentiles out of the country," as well as expelling the men in the citadel of Jerusalem, "from which they used to sally forth and defile the environs of the sanctuary and do great damage to its purity (1 Macc. 14:36)." Simon, in summary, according to his supporters, continued in the footsteps of his brother Judah, and "built the walls of Jerusalem higher (1 Macc. 14:37)," in every sense of the word.

In fact, however, Maccabean policy concerning the surrounding culture was inconsistent.(40) While on some fronts they opposed practices associated too closely with the surrounding culture, the needs of government in playing the international game of politics, required paying the price of adapting to the surrounding culture.(41) The tension between these objectives was present when Jonathan accepted the high priesthood from the hands of Alexander Balas in 152 BCE. It was expressed in the decree confirming Simon's rule, quoted above, which praised him for his actions against the gentiles, but which was formulated in Greek style, and was based on the political ideology and practice of Greek democracy.(42) The double names, Hebrew and Greek, of the rulers of the Maccabean dynasty, from the generation of John Hyrcanus (134-104 BCE) down, as well as the nickname adopted by Judah Aristobulus I (104-103 BCE) - philhellen, "lover of Greeks"-are further evidence of the forces pulling in the direction of accommodation with the outside world. Maccabean success was thus to undermine the walls protecting the Jews at least as much as the confrontation with Hellenism.

Comparing expectation and claim with reality reveals the disappointment provoked by the new dynasty. The trauma, I suggest, was greater than it had been at the time of any of the prior attacks on the external border - whether by the old hierarchy or royal decree - hence the consequences more far-reaching. Now the rulers who had just won a revolt and restored traditional rule were being inconsistent in their attitude towards the surrounding cultures. I propose that it was in response to this sense of disillusionment, of a mixture of blessings and curses,(43) that sectarianism became fully mature. With the old national perimeter facing a new sort of danger, as a result of an outcome of which Jews might have only dared dream, but possessed of a cultural bias in favor of a situation in which they found themselves protected against the outside world by a perimeter, sects flourished which established new voluntary boundaries of their own against other Jews.

Up until Maccabean times, there had been some boundary marking against Jews not considered faithful to the laws which divided Israel from the nations. Nevertheless, the boundary marking was neither that extensive nor that stringent. Thus, for example, the author of the visions in Daniel 7-12 distinguished between faithful and unfaithful Jews. Jubilees punished those Jews who did not adhere to the requirements of separation from the nations. Nevertheless, in neither of these nor in any other pre-Maccabean source have the faithful organized into some form of socially significant movement against the unfaithful. Even Nehemiah's covenant of law-abiders (Nehemiah 9:110:39) was not to last long.

This situation changed in the era when the blessings of independence were felt to have become curses, as described towards the end of the ideological section of the Damascus Document (CD VIII:3-21b).(44) The princes of Judah hope for healing, but they are really rebels. In fact, they have not forsaken the ways of the faithless, having defiled themselves. Quoting the verse in Deuteronomy 32:33, "their wine is the venom of serpents and the cruel head of asps," the author of the Damascus Document explained that the serpents were the kings of the nations, and their wine their ways (i.e., the ways of the gentile kings, adopted by the Jewish rulers), while the head of the asps was the chief of the kings of the Greeks, who will wreak vengeance upon the Jewish rulers.(45) That is, the Jewish rulers will pay the appropriate price for their sins: those foreign kings whose ways they aped will be the source of their destruction.(46)

All this does not fit the circumstances at the time of the decrees of Antiochus IV, as the hope for healing and the charge that their repentance is false make little sense in connection with the high priests of that era, prior to the victory over Antiochus IV. On the other hand, these hopes and accusations make excellent sense in the aftermath of Maccabean victory, when seen in the light of Maccabean propaganda. At that time, there was a hope for healing, which the author of this section of the Damascus Document shared. That hope, however, has been disappointed, hence this section of the Damascus Document holds out the threat of retribution at the hands of a great Greek king, the perfect punishment to fit the crime of the Jewish rulers in a world run according to the principle of measure for measure. On this interpretation, Maccabean victory, coupled with Jonathan's acceptance of the high priesthood from the Seleucid pretender Alexander Balas, was the first step in a series of accommodations with the foreign culture, which was to provoke the flourishing of ancient Jewish sectarianism.

Other groups existed, such as "those that built the wall and daubed it with plaster," who offered their own version of boundary marking (if their code name is any indication), as their solutions to the dilemma.(47) Yet these rival answers were inadequate and judged wanting by God, as suggested by the allusion to Ezekiel 13:10: according to the Damascus Document (CD VIII: 12) their wall was only "daubed with plaster," as opposed to the "real" fortress erected by the Qumran community (see below). In light of these circumstances, the best/only thing to do while waiting for the divinely ordained denouement, the author of the Damascus Document concluded, was to join the New Covenant in the Land of Damascus and to remain scrupulously faithful to its precepts (CD VIII:21//XX:33-34).

The need for such voluntary boundaries against fellow Jews, at a time when the old institutions had been shaken, was given explicit voice of a different sort in Thanksgiving Hymns (1QH, vi, 25-27). A sectarian portrayed himself as someone who: "shall be as one who enters a fortified city, as one who seeks refuge behind a high wall until deliverance [comes]; I will [lean on] Thy truth, O my God. For Thou wilt set the foundation on rock, and the framework by the measuring cord of justice; and the tried stones [Thou wilt lay] by the plumb-line [of truth], to [build] a mighty wall which shall not sway; and no man entering there shall stagger. For no stranger (zr) shall ever enter it, since its doors shall be doors of protection."(48)

With old foundations crumbling, a new fortified city was necessary. The excluded stranger who mattered most was now not a non-Jew, but a fellow Jew inadequately faithful to God's truth, whose way of life did not pass when examined by the measuring cord of divine justice. A life of purity now needed to be protected from that "outsider's" defiling presence. Now sectarianism was fully mature.(49)


1. As should be clear from the formulation, I believe that the Essenes of classical texts and the Qumran covenanters are to be distinguished, with the sources on each having no privileged position in attempts to understand the other. See A. I. Baumgarten, "The Rule of the Martian as Applied to Qumran," Israel Oriental Studies 14 (1994): 121-142; A. I. Baumgarten, "The Temple Scroll, Toilet Practices, and the Essenes," Jewish History 10 (1996): 9-20. For a slightly different perspective on these issues, but reaching a conclusion I share wholeheartedly, see M. Goodman, "A Note on the Qumran Sectarians, the Essenes and Josephus,"Journal of Jewish Studies 46 (1995): 161-166. See also S. Talmon, "Qumran Studies: Past, Present and Future," Jewish Quarterly Review 85 (1994): 11-14, 17-18.

2. On the common Judaism of the period, see E. P. Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief 63 BCE-66 CE (London: SCM Press; Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1992). A crucial foundation for Sanders's notion of common Judaism was provided by M. Smith, "The Dead Sea Sect in Relation to Ancient Judaism," New Testament Studies 7 (1960-61): 356: "Down to the fall of the Temple, the normative Judaism of Palestine is that compromise of which the three principal elements are the Pentateuch, the Temple, and the 'amme ha'arez, the ordinary Jews who were not members of any sect."

3. If scholars of our century fault Josephus, it is not for placing too much emphasis on the divisions within Judaism, but rather for not being detailed enough. Thus, while Josephus included descriptions of three groups in the excursus in Jewish War 2 and of four in Antiquities 18, it is clear from his own narrative that there were others, such as the Christians (of whom he wrote a brief account in Antiquities 18.63-64, whose authenticity as the text now stands is doubtful; but compare Antiquities 20.200, where they are mentioned briefly, and which is generally considered less problematic), the followers of John the Baptist (who aroused crowds by his sermons, Antiquities 18.116-119), and whose adherents were still present in the diaspora a generation after John's death, according to Acts 18:24-19:7, or the disciples of the hermit Bannus, with whom Josephus himself spent three years (Life 11-12). If only Josephus had provided more than the scattered information on the latter groups, and included a comprehensive account of them in at least one of his excursuses!

Another focus of criticism concerns Josephus's depiction of Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes: he presented them as the Jewish equivalent of Greek philosophies (e.g., Jewish War 2.119), employing hairesis - a term whose basic meaning is choice, and which was used as a technical term for philosophical movements, because one chose to be a member of a specific philosophical school - to characterize them (e.g., Jewish War 2.137). He identified Pharisees with the Stoics (Life 12), and the Essenes with the Pythagoreans (Antiquities 15.371). Thus, Josephus stressed the beliefs and ideology of the Jewish groups, while many contemporary scholars wish that he had written a more specific account of their legal practice (the exotic Essenes fared somewhat better - their way of life was so unusual that it merited extensive description).

4. For one Christian example, see my discussion of Hippolytus's account of the Jewish groups, A. I. Baumgarten, "Josephus and Hippolytus on the Pharisees," Hebrew Union College Annual 55 (1984): 1-25. A particularly interesting Jewish case is supplied by the discussion of ancient sects as part of the debate surrounding the reform of Judaism, since the enlightenment. See D. R. Schwartz, "'Kingdom of Priests' - A Pharisaic Slogan?" Studies in the Jewish Background of Christianity (Tubingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1992), pp. 57-80.

5. The present helps shape the questions and answers with which a historian turns to study the past. I take this to be one of the principal arguments of E. H. Carr, What is History? (Baringstoke: Macmillan, 1987(2)). An even more nuanced connection between past and present in historical research is one of the recurring themes in the studies of Christopher Hill. Note, for example, his comment in Christopher Hill, Change and Continuity in Seventeenth-Century England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 19912), p. 284: "That is why history has to be rewritten in each generation: each new act in the human drama necessarily shifts our attitude towards the earlier acts. . . . We ourselves are shaped by the past; but from our vantage point in the present we are continually reshaping the past which shapes us."

A source of particular insight in my understanding of the contemporary scene is E. Sivan, "Enclave Culture," in Fundamentalism Comprehended, edited by M. Marty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), pp. 11-68.

6. In order to answer these questions a determination of when ancient Jewish groups flourished is essential. I believe that these groups had their origins in the Persian period (539-333 BCE), after the return of Jews from the Babylonian exile, but flourished in the aftermath of the establishment of independence by the Maccabees (the mid second century BCE). They remained a vital force in Jewish life down to the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 CE. Thus, it is the Maccabean era and its aftermath which should be investigated to understand the flowering of these movements.

7. See Christopher Hill, Society and Puritanism in Pre-Revolutionary England (London: Secker E. Warburg, 1964), p. 41.

8. Cf. Talmon, "Qumran Studies," 6.

9. Josephus employed the analogy of kinship/brotherhood for the Essenes-Jewish War 2.120, 122, 127, as did Philo, Omnis Probus 79; Hyp. 11.2. The analogy of kinship was also important in Qumran (Community Rule [1QS], vi, 10, 22) and in the early Church, where addressing his "brethren" is a regular feature of Paul's rhetoric, for example. See further W. Meeks, The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983), p. 87. Female members are known in the early Church and at Qumran, from texts such as 4Q502. The wives of those Essenes who married, according to Josephus, wore a dress in the bath (Antiquities 2.161). If, as seems likely, this immersion was prior to the communal meal, this would mean that they were considered full fledged members of the community.

10. Those who travel on El-Al airlines will understand the aptness of the focus on food regulations, when they remember that a number of different special kashrut supervisions are available for meals served there, in addition to the "regular" food, itself kosher and under the supervision of the state recognized rabbinate. Sometimes, alas, a passenger who has requested special kosher supervision A, receives a meal under special kosher supervision B. In most instances, that passenger will refuse to eat the food, treating it as if it were not kosher at all. That passenger is giving explicit expression to the gap which she or he has imposed voluntarily between those Jews who insist on supervision A and those who will only eat food prepared under supervision B. Many of these disagreements go back to the introduction of special procedures of ritual slaughtering by Hassidic groups, on which see C. Szmeruk, "The Social Significance of Hassidic Shekhita," Zion 20 (5715): 47-72 [in Hebrew].

11. It is uncertain whether the youths of Dan. 1:8, 12, 16 fit this pattern, as it is not explicit whether the vegetables they ate were consumed cooked or raw. See John J. Collins, Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993), p. 128, n. 34, and pp. 141-143.

12. My analysis draws its inspiration from social scientific approaches to sectarian movements. Its aptness is indicated, however, by the extent to which the language of the group best known to us in its original sources in native languages-the Dead Sea Sect-echoes the concepts employed above. See in particular the opening and closing sections of the Damascus Document, known for a century from copies found in the Cairo Geniza, but now known even better from several exempla found in Cave IV at Qumran. See J. Baumgarten, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert XVIII-Qumran Cave 4 XIII- The Damascus Document (4Q266-273) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996). The beginning and end of the Damascus Document were not preserved in the Geniza copies, but are now known from the Cave IV manuscripts. They are particularly valuable for my endeavor, as conceptual statements of the meaning and purpose of a document, or of the way of life it prescribes, are often concentrated at the beginning or end of works.

The relationship of the Damascus Document to other Qumran sources, and the overlap between the sectarian life it prescribes with that described in other texts, have been much discussed. That issue is still not adequately resolved. Nevertheless, the multiple copies of the Damascus Document found at Qumran indicate that this was a text of great importance to its members.

In the discussion below, Qumran sources are cited by text number or name, fragment number, column number and line number, as appropriate. Thus, the Cave Four copies of the Damascus Document are cited as 4Q266-273, while the Cairo Geniza manuscripts as CD.

The voluntary nature of sectarianism as conceived in the Damascus Document is apparent when sectarian life is described in terms of the Nazirite, the paramount Biblical example of someone who undertook voluntary restrictions (40266 1.1). The boundary marking character of sectarianism is also explicitly acknowledged in the Damascus Document. The wicked disregard these boundaries (see e.g., 40266 2.i. 19-20//CD I:16; 40267 3.1-2//CD XX:25), while the righteous observe them (40266 11.12-13). Rival groups were also understood as raising boundaries, but one of these is called by the code name "those who build the wall and daub it with plaster (CD VIII: 12)." As the code name makes clear, the boundaries maintained by these rivals were deemed wanting. See further above, 11.

13. The role of the encounter with Hellenism at that time has long been posited as a significant factor in yielding the known results. See Gerd Theissen, Sociology of Early Palestinian Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1978), pp. 84-93; Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in their Encounter in Palestine in the Early Hellenistic Period (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1981), pp. 224227; S.J.D. Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987), p. 161; A. J. Saldarini, Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees in Palestinian Society: A Sociological Approach (Edinburgh: M. Glazier, 1988), p. 95; Sanders, Judaism: Practice and Belief, pp. 13-29; L. Schiffman, Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: The History of Judaism, the Background of Christianity, the Lost Library of Qumran (New York: Jewish Publication Society, 1994), pp. 65-81.

I accept that conclusion, but Hellenism has often been invoked as one might wave a flag, whose meaning is supposedly self-evident and requires no further explication. I would like to examine the meeting of Jewish and Hellenistic culture in detail, so as to understand its role in the flourishing of Jewish groups as fully as possible.

14. See further A. I. Baumgarten, The Flourishing of Jewish Sects in the Maccabean Era: An Interpretation (Leiden: Brill, 1997).

15. See Elias Joseph Bickerman, The Jews in the Greek Age (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988), p. 305: "As Vico observed more than two centuries ago, people accept only the ideas for which their previous development has prepared their minds, and which, let us add, appear to be useful to them."

In a similar vein compare Christopher Hill, The Intellectual Origins of the English Revolution (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965), pp. 1-3: "Ideas do not advance merely by their own logic. . . . The logical implications of Luther's doctrine could not be realized in practice in England until political circumstances-the collapse of the hierarchy and the central government-were propitious. Ideas were all important for the individuals whom they impelled into action; but the historian must attach equal importance to the circumstances which gave these ideas their chance."

16. See B. Chiesa and W. Lockwood, Yaqub al-Qirqasani on Jewish Sects and Christianity (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1984), p. 144. While Qirqasani may have been accurate concerning his time and place, his comments should not be taken as a blanket statement about Rabbinites and Karaites valid for all times. One must acknowledge the reality of Geniza marriage contracts, as analyzed by M. A. Friedman, Jewish Marriage in Palestine: A Cairo Geniza Study, II, The Ketuba Texts (Tel Aviv/New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1981), pp. 2.290-301. The entire subject, as Friedman, Jewish Marriage in Palestine, p. 291 notes, requires comprehensive study. That has been undertaken by J. Olszowy, Karaite Marriage Contracts in the Middle Ages: A Cairo Geniza Study (Ph.D. Diss., Cambridge, 1995). Her results are known from a recent article, J. Olszowy, "La lettre de divorce Caraite et sa place dans les relations entre Caraites et Rabbanites au Moyen Age," Revue des Etudes Juives 155 (1996): 337-362. Olszowy, "La lettre de divorce," 338, concludes that Karaite-Rabbinite marriages were common in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. In making these matches, differences of practice were negotiated and accommodated by clauses in the marriage contract. According to Olszowy, "La lettre de divorce," 338, n. 4: "ils contiennent tous des clauses speciales destinies a garantir la tolerance mutuelles des differences religieuses des parties."

17. Dispute does not always necessarily result in fragmentation, as the Rabbinic period proves. See S.J.D. Cohen, "The Significance of Yavneh: Pharisees, Rabbis and the End of Jewish Sectarianism," Hebrew Union College Annual 55 (1984): 27-54. To summarize these observations, one especially apt definition of a historian is as a digger in texts, uncovering layers of explanation, as an archeologist uncovers layers of site occupation. For the archeologist, more recent strata have their significance, but often the digger in the ground is more interested in deeper layers. The situation is similar for a digger in the text. He or she cannot ignore the upper layers of explanation, but also strives constantly to reach deeper levels of understanding. Ideology and legal disputes have their place, but I would argue that their places are close to the top, among the more superficial explications of the known results.

18. B. Wilson, Magic and the Millennium: A Sociological Study of Religious Movements of Protest Among Tribal and Third-World Peoples (London: Heinemann, 1973), pp. 18-26. The distinction between ancient Jewish groups encompassed by Wilson's reformist/introversionist classification has been noted by many other scholars, who have chosen other terms to characterize the same differences between groups. See for examples Sanders's discussion of the categories of party vs. sect, and his application of these terms to ancient Judaism, in E. P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism: A Comparison of Patterns of Religion (London: S.C.M., 1977), pp. 425-426.

19. See L. Coser, Greedy Institutions:Patterns of Undivided Commitment(New York: Free Press, 1974), esp. pp. 103-116.

20. The source of Hippolytus's remarks on the Jewish groups, clearly connected to the passage in Josephus, Jewish War 2, has been much discussed. In my opinion, it is a revision of Josephus, prepared by a Jewish author, notably more pro-Pharisaic than Josephus. See Baumgarten, "Josephus and Hippolytus on the Pharisees," 1-25.

21. On the distinction between Essenes and Qumran see above, n. 1.

22. See further A. I. Baumgarten, "Josephus on Essene Sacrifice," Journal of Jewish Studies 35 (1994): 169-183.

23. See further A. I. Baumgarten, "He Knew that He Knew that He Knew that He was an Essene," Journal of Jewish Studies 48 (1997): 53-61.

24. We may have a legal record of one such transfer in the Cross-Eshel ostracon recently published. F. M. Cross and E. Eshel, "Ostraca from Khirbet Qumran," Israel Exploration Journal 47 (1997): 1728. The Cross-Eshel reading of the ostracon has been much disputed, and the literature on this text is certain to grow. For the initial salvo against the Cross-Eshel reading see A. Yardeni, "A Draft of a Deed on an Ostracon from Khirbet Qumran," Israel Exploration Journal 47 (1997): 233-237. Compare the defense of their reading by F. M. Cross and E. Eshel, "A New Ostracon from Qumran," Qadmoniot 30, 2 (114) [1997]: 134-136 [in Hebrew].

25. For a brief history of the family basis of Jewish burial see N. Rubin, The End of Life: Rites of Burial and Mourning in the Talmud and Midrash (Tel Aviv, 1997), 140-142 [in Hebrew].

26. See Roland de Vaux, The Archaeology of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973(2)), pp. 47-58. Forensic analysis of remains exhumed indicated that men were buried in the main cemetery of about 1,100 graves, women and children in adjacent secondary cemeteries.

27. See e.g., E. Qimron, "Celibacy in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Two Kinds of Sectarians," in The Madrid Qumran Congress: Proceedings of the International Congress on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Madrid, 18-21 March 1991, edited by Julio Trebolle Barrera and L. V. Montaner (Leiden: Brill, 1992), pp. 1.287-294.

28. The situation remained unchanged in the Second Temple period. Compare T. Levi 13:2-3, in which Levi supposedly advised his children: "Teach your children letters also, so that they might have understanding throughout their lives as they ceaselessly read the law of God."

29. Appropriately, some contact with biological relatives was allowed in this wing. See 40266 3.iii.2-3//4Q269 4.ii.4-5//VII: 1; cf. 4Q266 3.iv.4//40269 6.2//VIII:6

30. On this passage in general see S. Mason, "Was Josephus a Pharisee? A Reexamination of Life 10-12," Journal of Jewish Studies 40 (1989): 31-45.

31. Compare the remarks in the Gospels, e.g., Matthew 3:4, on the clothing and diet of John the Baptist.

32. According to Elias Joseph Bickerman, The God of the Maccabees: Studies on the Meaning and Origin of the Maccabean Revolt (Leiden: Brill, 1979), the Hellenists took an even more active role, as the initiators of the persecutions of Antiochus IV. Bickerman's views have found at least one distinguished adherent in Hengel, Judaism and HellenisM

33. On the date of the Epistle of Enoch and the connections between it Jubilees see John J. Collins, The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to the Jewish Matrix of Christianity (New York: Crossroad, 1984), p. 49. On the difficulties in dating this section of 1 Enoch see C. Rowland, The Open Heaven: A Study of Apocalyptic in Judaism and Early Christianity (New York: Crossroad, 1982), p. 252.

34. On the date of Jubilees see the discussion of O. Wintermute, "Jubilees," in J. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (New York: Doubleday, 1983-85), pp. 2.35-51.

35. Jubilees also connects the separation from the gentiles with the Sabbath, another focus of attention in the work as a whole (see e.g., Chapter 50). The separateness of the Jewish people is expressed in the uniqueness of their Sabbath observance (2:19).

36. See Elias Joseph Bickerman, Chronology of the Ancient World (London: Thames & Hudson, 1968), p. 17, quoting Ovid, Fasti 3.833: luna regit menses.

37. A similar idea can be found in 4Qp[Hos.sup.a] ii, 16. See the discussion of Jubilees and 4Qp[Hos.sup.a] in light of each other in M. Bernstein, '"Walking in the Festivals of the Gentiles' 4Qp[Hosea.sup.a] 2.1517 and Jubilees 6.34-38," Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 9 (1991): 21-34. In spite of the similarities between the texts noted by Bernstein, one difference deserves mention: 4Qp[Hos.sup.a] is less explicit. It charges that the opponents of the community make their feasts according to the appointed times of the nations, but it does not contain outspoken comments in favor of a solar calendar of 364 days, as in Jubilees.

38. Bickerman, Chronology, p. 40.

39. This disdain towards non-Jews may help explain the description of the response of the gentiles to the decrees of Antiochus IV, which according to 1 Macc. 1:41 2:19 also required them to desert their religions in favor of the new religion established by the king. According to 1 Macc. 1:43, "All the gentiles accepted the command of the king." Non-Jews, according to 1 Macc., are so far from real spirituality that they will even give up their own religions at the slightest provocation.

40. Compare the two classic studies by Elias Joseph Bickerman, "Genesis and Character of Maccabean Hellenism," From Ezra to the Last of the Maccabees: Foundations of Post-Biblical Judaism (New York: Schocken Books, 1962), pp. 153-165 and Avigdor Tcherikover, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews (Philadelphia:Jewish Publication Society of America, 1959), pp. 235-268. See also the recent summary, written from a different perspective than Tcherikover or Bickerman, one that does not demand consistency of the Maccabees in all aspects of their policy, and one less concerned with judging the Maccabean house as a success or failure, U. Rappaport, "On the Hellenization of the Hasmoneans," Tarbiz60 (5751): 447-503 [in Hebrew]. See also T. Rajak, "The Hasmoneans and the Uses of Hellenism," in A Tribute to Geza Vermes: Essays on Jewish and Christian Literature and History, edited by P. R. Davies and R. T. White (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990), pp. 261-280. Compare, however, E. Gruen, Heritage and Hellenism: Reinvention of Jewish Tradition (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

41. I summarize here the argument of my essay "The Hellenization of the Hasmonean State," in The History of the Hasmonean House, edited by H. Eshel and D. Amit (Jerusalem: Yad Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, 1995), pp. 77-84 [in Hebrew]. Examples of pagan practices outlawed by the Maccabees as part of their campaign against foreign ways would have been the "Knockers" and "Awakeners" in the Temple, mMaaser Sheni 5:15, as analyzed by S. Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine: Studies in the Literary Transmission, Beliefs and Manners of Palestine in the I century BCE-IV century CE (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, [(1962.sup.2]), pp. 139-143.

42. Bickerman, "Genesis and Character," pp. 157-158.

43. I would stress that the conclusion that sectarians saw their time as a mixture of blessings and curses for Israel is not a figment of my imagination. Note the proof in terms of blessings and curses that theirs was the time of the end of days in 4QMMT C:20-21.

44. My interpretation of this text takes its point of departure from that suggested by J. Murphy-O'Connor, "The Critique of the Princes of Judah (CD VIII, 3-19)," Revue Biblique 79 (1972): 200216. Note that I only use passages from the A text, on the possibility that he is correct in his argument that the A text was directed against the new ruling family, and that this denunciation was then re-worked as ammunition against internal apostates in the B text. On the various suggestions for understanding this text see further Philip R. Davies, The Damascus Covenant: An Interpretation of the "Damascus Document" (Sheffield: University of Sheffield Press, 1982), pp. 156-172. Against Murphy-O'Connor, see esp. S. A. White, "A Comparison of the "A" and "B" Manuscripts of the Damascus Document," Revue de Qumran 48 (1987): 537-553; John J. Collins, The Scepter and the Star: The Messiahs of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Ancient Literature (New York: Doubleday, 1994), pp. 80-82.

45. Note that at this stage of the argument in CD VIII, those who suffered punishment at the hands of the Greek king were the princes of Judah, as they have been the subject throughout the preceding section, and the "builders of the wall" have not yet been mentioned. Cf. B. Nitzan, Pesher Habakkuk (Jerusalem: Mossad Bialik, 1986), p. 137 [in Hebrew].

46. This was the punishment suffered by the Hellenizing priests of Jerusalem of the generation of Antiochus IV, according to 2 Macc. 4:16: having imitated the ways of the surrounding nations, these same nations became their enemies and punished them.

47. The code-name is sufficiently vague that the identity of this group can only be a subject of speculation.

48. I have modified Vermes's translation in rendering zr as "stranger," rather than his "enemy." In support of my understanding see the comments of J. Licht, The Thanksgiving &roll (Jerusalem: Mossad Bialik, 1957), p. 117 [in Hebrew].

49. This essay is based on presentations made at the World Congress of Jewish Studies,Jerusalem, July 1997, and the Annual Meeting of the New Zealand Association of Jewish Studies, Hamilton, NZ, August 1997.

ALBERT I. BAUMGARTEN teaches Jewish History of the Second Temple period at Bar Ilan University, and published The Flourishing of Jewish Sects in the Maccabean Era: An Interpretation in 1997. His article "Crisis in the Scrollery : A Dying Consensus" appeared in the Fall 1995 issue.
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Author:Baumgarten, Albert L.
Publication:Judaism: A Quarterly Journal of Jewish Life and Thought
Date:Sep 22, 1998
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