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orion Not "Hassideans/Essenes"

	Bradley Harrison wrote of "Hassideans/Essenes at Qumran." But the
Qumran Essenes were not Hassideans. The proposal that they were was based
on an old assumption that Essenes evolved from the Asidaioi of 1,2
Maccabees. But that assumption has been shown quite problematic by, e.g.,
John Kampen in_The Hasideans and the Origin of Pharisaism: A Study in 1 and
2 Maccabees_ (Atlanta: Scholars, 1988). Plus, would Josephus, who used
Maccabees, and whose native language, apparently, was Aramaic, fail to
recognize the connection to "Essenes," were it true? On the other hand,
could Josephus have been oblivious to a generic self-description turned
specific? Would the Rabbis have been reluctant to call Essenes "observers
of torah" (as the Qumranites declared themselves)? The familiarity of this
old Hasidim theory has given this etymological proposal long life, but,
with the possible exception of one disputed fragment reading (discussed on
orion previously), the Aramaic cognate (without the D) for Hebrew Hasidim
is not found in Qumran mss.  Similarly the widespread but also mistaken
view that Philo's primary meaning of Therapetae was "healers" has given
that Aramaic proposal long life, despite the fact that Philo, while
discussing the Therapeutae, only once, as an aside, noted that other sense
of the word. And Philo wrote at the beginning of "On the Contemplative
Life" that Essenes lived the bios praktikos, the active life. Why? Philo
wrote in Quod Omnis of Essaioi or osaioi -- notice, an initial O and no
doubled S (as if that were even necessary). Not to mention variant readings
elsewhere. Epiphanius wrote that the Ossenes were especially intent on
observing the torah. Why? Why did Samaritans say they were true keepers of
torah? What of Sampsaeans? One can make up rules about how the name *must*
have appeared. Or one can look at the evidence. Philo is our earliest
extant Greek source. But he obviously (yes, obviously) did not invent the
name. How much Hebrew did he know? Try L. Grabbe's book on Philo's biblical
etymologies (Scholars), for a sample. Imagine, if you will, Philo, being
renamed and transported to earlier in our century and applying to Harvard
to study with Harry A. Wolfson or F. M. Cross. Would his application have
been rejected? Should we focus on grading Philo and his source as if in a
Hebrew class? Or shall we learn something new about history which the
wealth of evidence invites us to do? Why ignore that Posidonius of Apamaea
Syria was interested in both etymology and ethnography and that Polybius,
whose history he continued, had an account of religion near the beginning,
a pattern plausibly followed by Posidonius in his 146 BCE opening which is
evidently reflected in Josephus Ant 13  at 146 BCE  on Jewish religious
philosophies via the tradent Strabo?
Stephen Goranson
P.S. Much is known about leather preparation and Jewish preferences. See
many works by Menachen Haran,  J. B. Poole, R. Reed, E. Tov, A. Demsky,
Meir Bar-Ilan, et al. Or try the Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the
Near East.  List members bear some minimal obligation of doing some reading
before calling for rehashing of old conversations. Or am I mistaken?