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Re: orion-list Re: self-definition
You start, saying: "Statistics, I think, are not central in etymology". Yet
the etymology has not been established, though statistics would be a good
way of establishing such an etymology.
In your second sentence you wrote: "'osey hatorah does indeed appear as a
self-designation in some Essene Qumran texts, in accord with pre-Qumran
discoveries observations." This is already a conclusion (note the "indeed")
and yet despite a few examples of your claim there is really little to
support it, especially when you don't provide any coherent argumentation for
it. When one starts with a conclusion, what follows is usually an
elaboration rather than the supporting evidence.
Without convincing statistics I can't see how one would distinguish your
claims from those of Professor Robert Eisenman. (You are probably more aware
than I am of his views regarding his linguistic work purporting to show the
relationship between the scrolls people and the naiscent Christian church.)
Your proposal is interesting, but, as it stands, inconclusive -- no matter
how committed you are.
At the same time I still find your 'asah so well attested in the Hebrew
Bible that I can see no reason so far to believe that the scrolls' use of it
is anything other than a continuation of Hebrew Bible language: do my Law,
do my commandments.
I suggested statistics as a means of giving credibility to your claims, eg
comparison of all the different self-references. If you can find some other
way to give it credibility then fine, but you need something more than a
rag-tag collection of indications.
On 19/4/98 Russell Gmirkin quoted this:
"The most broadly accepted hypothesis concerning the etymology of
_Essenoi_ and _Essaioi_ considers these terms to have been derived from the
Hebrew _hasydym_ (Pious) via its Aramaic form. The theory is that the Greek
_Essaioi_ is a transliteration of the Aramaic _hasayya'_, the determined
plural form, and _Essaenoi_ of _hasyn_, the absolute plural. This
hypothesis finds support in Philo's repeated suggestion that _Essaioi_ is
related to _hosios_, the Greek term which is usually employed to translate
_hasyd_ in the LXX. However, as Vermes and others have pointed out, the
Aramaic term is attested primarily in Syriac and there is no evidence of it
in Palestinian usage..."
He went on to show a strong connection between hasidim and the Greek
_hosios_ in various sources, which should supply a background to Philo's
thought, especially in the context of what seem to be several examples of
"pious" as a self-reference in the scrolls. Gmirkin also cites a datum in
Yosippon: 'the Greek term "Essene" is translated back into Hebrew by the
You spent a long post, 25/4/98, refuting the Yosippon connection's relevance
-- without dealing with the central issue of _hosios_ being one translation
of hasydym and Essene being the other. Gmirkin replied: "Stephen has offered
no insights of why Yosippon wrote Hasidim for Essene. Is he suggesting that
Yosippon knew of the Hasidim from reading Maccabees or rabbinic literature,
and therefore substituted Hasidim (a known group) for Essene?"
>From my survey of the archives I find that you have put forward more or less
the same set of data for the past two years (perhaps even longer) without
you getting any further toward establishing your claim of 'osey as the
etymological source for Essene. I have seen no-one jumping on the bandwagon.
This should be troubling to you. I admire your unwavering spirit.
Ann L. Kraemer
| To fear the Lord is the root of wisdom |
| and her branches are long life. |
| Ben Sira 1,20 |
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