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orion 'asah, etymology, and Paul
I find (your [Goranson]) arguments for the 'asah Essene hypothesis
possible leaning towards probable. "Doers of the Law" occurs in 1QpHab
7:11; 8:1; 12:4-5 and 4QpPsa 1-2 ii 14,22 which all seem to be
self-designations for parts of or the entire Yahad. Tanhumim/4Q176 17:7
has "'asu htrh", "they obeyed the Torah." Allegro, DJD 5, 57-67 at 65.
A unique combination of "works"/doers, Yahad and Torah appears in Catena
(A)/4Q177: "]t htrh 'asey hayahad s [", which Allegro translates, "the
Law, those who institute the community." Ibid., 69. In light of the
proposed 'asah self-awareness I believe this passage should be
Daniel Schwartz has corroborated such a self-awareness in MMT in
demonstrating (not just suggesting as before, to my knowledge) that
"doreshey hachlkot" were Pharisees through Josephus JW 1.97, Antiquites
13.380) [Schwartz, D. R. "MMT, Josephus and the Pharisees." In Reading
4QMMT, ed. J. Kampen and M.J. Bernstein, 67-80 at 67. Atlanta, Ga.:
Scholars Press, 1996.] Cf. also DJD XVIII 4Q266 2 i 4 and 21 where both
"doreshey mitzvoto" (with the help of 268) and "doreshu bahachlkot"
(reconstructed) appear. If the reconstruction is correct, it further
suggests congnizance of the pun. The point here is self-awareness
through language of religious practice.
In a seminar paper on the "works of the Law" in Paul and Qumran which I
turned in recently I found that when "works" and "Law" were COUPLED in
the Pauline corpus, there was often to be found a polemic against the
Law; whereas statements concerning the Law or concerning works, employed
independent of each other, generally were positive. Any reactions?
In presenting my paper to a few students I found it difficult to answer,
"What does finding "works of the Law" ONLY in Qumran and Paul tell us?"
[We do have the similar and lone "works of the commandments" in 2 Baruch
57.] Obviously we have many gaps in the literature and speculative
arguments could abound, yet what can be reasonably said?
Brian Kvasnica, MA student at Hebrew U