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Re: orion-list Re: self-definition
Statistics, I think, are not central in etymology (and 47.2% of all
statistics are made up on the spot, anyway). 'osey hatorah does indeed
appear as a self-designation in some Essene Qumran texts, in accord with
pre-Qumran discoveries observations. And in important contexts, such as
claims concerning who will live. (Cf. the best mss of the seventh and final
blessing in Apocalypse of John 22:14: those doers of his commandments enter
the new Jerusalem and to the tree of life; doers of falsehood stay
outside.) How frequently does this exact collocation appear in TaNaK: zero
times. In Mishnah: zero times. In Tosefta: zero times. How many times does
the Aramaic for "healers" appear in Qumran mss as a self-designation: zero
times. Or in outsider ancient texts in reference to Essenes: zero times. Or
the Aramaic cognate for Hasidim in the scrolls: in my opinion, zero times.
Or in relevant ancient outsider usage: zero times.
Consider two passages from Stanislav Segert's article I recently
cited here, with s added by me:
(1, p.175): "...Due to the importance of the Hebrew language for Qumran
Essenes it may be expected that the name of the community was also
formulated in Hebrew. [yes]....Essenes characterized themselves in their
rule in Hebrew as bny 'wr, "Sons of Light." [yes, this is *one*
(2, p. 177) "...In spite of the Essene preference for Hebrew instead of
Aramaic, the Greek name of this community is based on Aramaic. [no] Of
course [?], often [?] such names [?], especially for closely isolated [?]
groups, are given by outsiders. [actually this was not typical] [then he
asserts Aramaic forms for "pious ones"]...."
That forms of "Essenes" came from Hebrew 'asah is a fait accompli.
There are questions remaining about who was involved, and when, and whether
in Greek and/or Latin, before Philo. There are questions about the history
of scholarship that spread false myths about Essenes and Qumran (that the
name is not in the scrolls; that outsiders named them; etc.). Perhaps more
interesting is what this recognition can contribute to understanding Essene
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