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>> the most plausible etymology of the name Essene would be Philo's association
> with the Greek word 'Essaioi' or 'Osioi' which means holy; pious; purity fro
> defilement.< [J Kilman]
Liddell & Scott says that *'osios* means "sanctioned or approved by the law
of nature" (in contrast to *dikaios* which means established by human law,
and also to *hieros* which means "sacred, reserved to the gods", *'osios
means"what is not so reserved but is permitted for man's use" (in other words,
secular, "profane" as opposed to "sacred").
That would seem to be just the opposite of the above. But then the dictionary
gives a secondary meaning: (of persons) "pious, devout, scrupulous, religious"
(in the ritualistic sense). This secondary meaning certainly seems to fit the
Essenes. But how does one get from meaning (1) to meaning (2), which would
seem to be diametrically opposed to (1)?
Puzzled in Providence