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Re: orion Essenes = 'osey hatorah?
Dear Stephen Goranson,
Your article and previous postings did not make it clear that you
considered "doers of the law" to be the complete Essene self-designation. I
therefore took your recent reference to the Essenes as 'osey hatorah to be a
development in your thinking on the subject. That said, your discussion of
"long and short forms of (self-)designation" seems entirely reasonable, and I
can accept that 'osey could theoretically be a short form of 'osey hatorah.
Thank you for the clarification.
(Whether a credible case can be made from Epiphanius and Philo that the
term Essene derives from 'osey is of course a different matter.)
> Your post is not very clear, other than as expression of
> disapproval. I do not see "shift" and "nonsensically" where you do. Since I
> have posted on this at length, with bibliography and many Qumran and other
> citations, I'll be brief here. You ignore Philo on osios, and the bios
> praktikos, etc., among other relevant sources; Epiphanius includes some
> valuable information.
> As to long and short forms of (self-)designation, perhaps it
> would be useful to consider some analogies. If Pharisees were "specifiers,"
> what they specified (halakha), is, as it were, unspecified, at least
> explictly--understood. Same for Pharisees as "separatists"--separate from
> something, surely. Though it may be a folk etymology, Samaritans considered
> themselves the true keepers of torah: keepers, with torah sometimes
> unstated. Mandaean Nasoraya were observant of something, certainly.
> Karaites were readers/reciters of something, mikra. Gnostics, knowers of
> something. Kabbalists, tradents, of something. Long and short forms are
> indeed known. The etymology of Essenes from 'asah has parallels. It also
> helps explain why the self-designation was not accepted in some quarters
> (ancient and modern). (Essenes as Hasidim is a medieval misunderstanding,
> finally fading.)
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