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Isaiah and Essenes
Dear David Jay Kaufman,
Thank you for your response.
First, I can report with a certain amount of confidence that my name is
Stephen, not Seth, Goranson.
I have no problem with your making proposals. You're clearly an industrious
fellow, and who knows what you may turn up. My concern, which I may not have
expressed well enough, is that you sometimes declare what cannot be known.
E.g., your declaration that one cannot know whether the Qumran cave mss are
connected with the khirbet involves an unwarrented assumption of knowledge itself.
Argue against such a link, as you please, but how can you rule out the the
possibility of learning of such a link. To take another example of a
declaration which is less than fully open-minded (intentionally or not),
consider Ed Cook's recent assertion that "nobody knows" the etymology of
Essene. In my view that statement involves a presumption more difficult
than actually learning the answer.
You wrote that "Josephus seems to refer to Judah as one of the Hessaioi
in War I 78." This is simply false. Was it a typo?
To the best of my knowledge, so far, there is no reason to suppose that
Philo would fail to recognize a Greek spelling of Isaiah and misspell it.
(Are you suggesting Philo's source did this?) On the other hand, it seems to me
quite plausible that Philo (and/or his source) may have not fully
understood Hebrew, from which, you will have noticed, I am persuaded it came.
Sincerely, Stephen Goranson UNC-Wilmington