Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Official Blog of Dr Robert R. Cargill UCLA (March 15, 2010)

Robert Cargill wrote:

"if after reading the scrolls, we read about a community of initiates (that is, not born into the sect, but joining from the outside) that sought to remove itself from what it considered a corrupt temple and into the desert,"

This does not mean the priests wanted to remove themselves from Jerusalem. Nor does it mean that they went into the desert.  This was figurative language.   At a certain stage of their history, they were barred from the temple, but not from Jerusalem.  There were priests in every city, town and village. Damascus was a symbol to every priest.  and "This is the rule for the assembly of the CAMPS".

And the big question: who was making the temple corrupt?  It was the 'seekers of smooth things' who some mistakenly believe were Pharisees (who were non-existent).  They were the prophets, "the congregation of those who seek smooth things in Jerusalem...[who despise the] law and do not [trust in God] ... As robbers lie in wait for a man...they have despised [the words] of the law." 4Q163.  Ever since Judas Maccabeus they had tried to ban animal sacrifices.

And where does Cargill get the idea that initiates could join this community from 'outside'?