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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 
term "Hasidim."'

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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