[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Essene name
> On whether the Essene name appears in Qumran mss, here are two paragraphs
> from an unpublished paper, in case it is of interest:
> Inviting "proponents of the Essene hypothesis to make their case,"
> Martin Goodman (JJS 46, 1995, 161-66) wrote that "none of the published
> documents from Qumran refers to the sectarians as Essenes or by any Semitic
> word of similar derivation or meaning." Though sentences similar to this
> one are quite commonplace in the literature, such ubiquity does nothing
> to diminish the fact that it serves as a clear case of circular reasoning
> It begs the question of the derivation or meaning. In other words, it is
> not logical to assert that the Semitic spelling(s) for "Essene" do not
> appear in Qumran mss unless one has specified what spellings one would
> accept. Since--along with others from at least 1532--I find the name essene
> is derived from Hebrew 'asah, used in self-designations such as "observers
> of torah" (similar to Samaritan self-designations)
Allegro states, in "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth" that
"Although the name "essene" was known only in its transliterated Greek forms,
ESSENOI, or ESSAIOI, there seemed good reason to believe it represented an
Aramaic, ie Semitic, word meaning "physician" (`asa,' plural `asayya'),..."
Since the Essenes were known as healers and the Egyptian sect called
themselves the "Therapeutae," I have reason to believe him.