[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Essene name
On Fri, 20 Sep 1996 GORANSONS@UNCWIL.EDU wrote:
> 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 from an unpublished paper, in case it is of interest: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), the name actually
> proclaims several of these texts as Essene, rather than the converse.
> Sociologically, it is not plausible that other Jews would have given
> them this name (the Hebrew name--the sectarian texts are mostly Hebrew not Aramaic
> after all-....
> Stephen Goranson
As a sociologist many groups are named via outsiders. Christians,
Mohamadians, Apiru, nigers or nigros (please may all African-Americans
exuse the use of such a word,but it is a fine example of the majority
culture's tendency to name it's minorities), Sephardim used to refere to
all oriental Jews is another example of this, just to name a few examples.
Chances are very slim that the Essenes called themselves Essenes, a
Anglo-Hellenistic Greek name. Thier name sake is all over the Community
Rule called <Brit Hesed> or Covenent of the Righteous. But for a long list
of the etymology of <Essene> see <CD Ginsburg "The Essenes" 1955> But
Hasidim is very plausible for the name sake of the Qumran Cult.