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Sorry to barge in, perhaps I missed the beginning of the thread. But could someone tell a layman
about the current available proposals for the etymology of the name Essene/Ossene?
>From the piece below I deduce that
1) There are several around from Aramaic or Hebrew. If i understand correctly
deriving from 'asah = "to do, to execute" is Mr. Goranson's favourite? ( 'ose hatorah
= 'doers of the Law' ). What are the other suggestions? I once read: from Aramaic
chasiyah = 'holy', but in my eyes the 'ch' would be a problem? (or is it a h?, in which case it
could drop in Greek)
2) What is in short the Frankel/Kohler proposal?
Philo apparantly thought there was a connection with a [Aramaic?] word for 'to heal' [is there
such a word?], thus translating Therapeutae, but his explanation sounds not very
credible. The quotation of Philo with Eusebius is much more logical: "who are called Essene,
being, as I imagine, honoured with this appellation because of their exceeding holiness".
Which would link in with the 'Saints' proposal above? Or at least a like meaning.
Of course i cannot resist...:)... Could someone tell me why a suggestion like deriving Ossene
/Essene from the root of hoshie'a = 'to save, deliver' (as in hosha'ana and Hoshua) would
be impossible? How would 'the Saved Ones' translate in Hebrew or Aramaic? Seems
such a 'logical' name for such a group in my ignorant eyes....
Thanks for any answers,
Verzonden: maandag 14 oktober 1996 12:08
<snip>.... I find the etymology of Essenes from
"the ones of Isaiah" and/or "the Isaiahites" not persuasive, as well as a
few notes on 'asah as the source I find persuasive...<snip>... the two forms of "Essene"
.....<snip>.. so you seem neither to be following the pattern of the Aramaic proposals
nor the Z. Frankel and K. Kohler two separate etymologies pattern. ..[snip]....One could
add the two forms of Ossene and Sampsaean, both in Epiphanius.....[snip]...
Wm. Brownlee said, in effect, gee, these are (or include) Essene texts; I
wonder if 'ose hatorah in 1QpHab is the source, as pre-Qumran scholars
suggested? This proposal corresponds with Philo's uncertainty about its
Greek origin (QOPLS 75)--because the origin was not Greek. Philo wrote
(QOPLS 91) about Essenes or Ossenes (or pretty close): Essaion e osion.
This corresponds with what Epiphanius (Mr. Retentive) tells us of
Jewish Ossenes, who are especially concerned with observance of the torah.
Best wishes, Stephen Goranson UNC-Wilmington
home: 706 Louise Circle J, Durham NC 27705