Abstract of Boccaccini Essay
Gabriele Boccaccini's book Beyond the Essene Hypothesis: The Parting of the Ways Between Qumran and Enochic Judaism is a re-examination of the Essene hypothesis and its validity in accounting for the Dead Sea Scrolls. Considering the Essene hypothesis to be broadly accurate, and fundamental disagreement fruitless, Boccaccini instead addresses the inadequacies of certain aspects. While he accepts the relationship between the scrolls and the ruins, the presence of a Qumran sectarian community and the correspondence between Essene beliefs and the scrolls, Boccaccini argues that ideas about the sect's origins and their religious context must be refined. This paper engages with Boccaccini's theory in order to outline the historical context of the Qumran community and to situate the group known as the "Essenes" in second temple Judaism. The evidence for a movement of "Enochians" will be examined and Boccaccini's proposed schism between Enochic factions will be considered as an explanation for the origins of the Qumran group. Finally, potential problems will be addressed in the light of scholarly objections to Boccaccini's Enochic/Essene hypothesis.
Apologies for Qumranica's blogging hiatus. A cold kept me home and relatively unproductive over the long weekend.