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Re: orion Essenes = 'osey hatorah?
Dear Russell and list,
In your long post the number of misrepresentations of fact,
misreports or caracatures of my views, misleading interpretations,
important omissions, and the jumble of it all is not encouraging for
dialogue. I cannot adequately respond in one post, and many posts
responding to this seem not worth the effort. Here, I merely offer
listmembers a few selected comments and some bibliography and citations for
those interested in doing research.
Epiphanius is well known as a difficult author, not easy to consult
casually. But his Panarion is also well known by serious researchers as a
great mine of information, some of which is available nowhere else. On the
one hand, Epiphanius was a compulsive collector of information on
"heretics" and was not worried about reporting on them, as he was supremely
confident he could refute them, theologically. He does also add some of his
own speculation, which is often faulty, and the structure of 80 heresies
from sources with contradictions and sources not fully understood makes the
work complex. I describe this, and how it relates to group names--in ways
of help to historians--in my 1990 Duke U. dissertation of Epiphanius. Here,
I can only note that it helps historians that he includes as much as he
does, and the reasons he has, e.g., Nasoraioi as well as Nazoraioi (not as
RG reported) are actually quite understandable and useful for historians.
(See my discussion of ancient names in Biblical Archaeologist 51 
70-1 or in Anchor Bible Dictionary "Nazarenes" and "Ebionites.") Gmirkin's
report on Ossenes (who lived near the Dead Sea) is quite misleading. Since
K. Holl scholars accept that Epiphanius did not write the Anacephalaeosis
(epitome) sections. Elxai, of course, is of later date than the Qumran
settlement. "This, then, is the Ossene sect, which lives the Jewish life in
Sabbath observance, circumcision, and the *keeping of the whole Law.*"
(19.5,1, F. Williams tr., my *; and Gmirkin misreported on 19.2.1) As to
what torah text they had, and how they developed over centuries--who has
time to discuss this in the face of Gmirkin's distorted report? Epiphanius
is easy to make fun of; but some historians take time to read him carefully
and learn how to sort out his sources from his theology.
I do not rely on Epiphanius alone. The Qumran manuscripts are even
more important here. Any serious scholar of Essenes also needs A. Adam and
C. Burchard, Antike Berichte ueber die Essener (2nd ed; Berlin; de Gruyter,
1972). E.g., Apostolic Constitutions VI.6.7: "...those who separate
themselves from all these...and *observe the laws* of their fathers, and
these are the Essenes."
Again, I don't have time to respond fully on Philo. Of course Philo
was influenced by Plato as well as by Stoics! Why create a diversion, as if
that is at issue? E.g., A.A. Long, "Allegory in Philo and *Etymology in
Stoicism*: A Plea for Drawing Distinctions," [my *] Studia Philonica Annual
9 (1997) 198-210, first sentence: "The Greek philosophy on which Philo drew
for his interpretation of Scripture is largely an amalgam of Platonism and
Stoicism." Philo obviously used a source and added to it (in Quod Probus
75); Philo did not claim personal acquaintance with Essenes; Josephus did,
but still also used sources. Gmirkin wrote putting wrong and obscuring
words in my mouth. (Cf. caricature; cf. caricaturnamen.) If Gmirkin does
not wish to consider the possible relevance of, among others, Posidonius
and Strabo, so be it. I commend all these writers to others of you,
1532 Chronica, J. Carion and Ph. Melanchthon (Wittenberg, 1532) f.68v:
"Essei / das ist / Operarii / vom wort Assa / das ist wircken."
1559 Magdeburg Centuries; 1573-75 A. dei Rossi, Me'or Enayim; 1583 J.J.
Scaliger, De Emendatione Temporum; 1605 Scaliger, Elenchus Trihaeresii;
1619 S. Amama, De Sectis Iudaicis; 1703 J. Triglandius, Trium
Scriptorum...Judaeorum Sectis...; 1743-4 J. Happach, De Essaeorum Nomine;
1839 I. Jost, Israelitische Annalen 19, 145-7; 1858 D. Oppenheim, MGWJ 7,
272-3; 1862 L. Landsburg, Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums 26/33, 459; C.
Ginsburg, Essenes; 1881 RevEtJ 3, 295.
Select ancient texts relevant to etymology of "Essenes":
1QpHab 7.11; 8.1; 12.4-5; 1QS 8.3; 4Q171 2.5, 15, 23; 4Q177 v-vi 18; 5Q13 x
1; 1Q36 vii 1. 1QpMic viii-x 8 & 1QSb i 1 [restored]. Cf. 1QM 12:11, 19:3.
4Q470 Zedekiah (= part of MMT C ?). Dan 11:32; 1 Enoch 108:2; Avot de R.
Natan A 37 [and parallels; cacophemism at work? cf. the ambivalence toward
anshe ma'ase]; James 4:11. Philo on osios, bios praktikos, Moses as Essene
founder (cf. Strabo Geo. 16); Josephus on hoshen/essen; Epiphanius on
law-observant Ossenes, etc.
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