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Re: orion-list Re: self-definition

Ann Kraemer wrote:
> Then you said: "One asks for statistics; I gave numbers". It would be good
> to have some comparisons as to the different uses of 'asah and 'osey in the
> various fonts. It would be useful to see how often 'osey is used in the
> scrolls as compared with other self-references to see if it is a preferred
> reference. I have not noticed any examples provided for the single-standing
> 'osey (ie with no qualifying words of any kind), which one would expect if
> 'osey were "indeed" the source of the word "Essene".

It seems to me that statistics on usage of various relevant terms are a
potentially useful argument to establish the probability of one
etymology over another, but only one of a variety of possibilities of
argument.  People from a humanistic background, on the other hand, might
well avoid using numbers to resolve a qualitative issue.  You yourself
started out with another line of discussion based on the presence or
absence of gemination.  What Stephen has accomplished in his postings on
the topic, as far as I am concerned, is to move the discussion along to
the recognition that 'osey is potentially attested as a self-designation
in the scrolls, which to me (along with the linguistic arguments Stephen
has put forth) helps to establish the explanation as a possible
explanation.  I'd like to see more before concluding that it is the
probable explanation (my hesitation is based, however, on the fact that
I have not investigated the problem as far as I feel I should to reach a
conclusion rather than on a response to Stephen's arguments, which I
have yet to evaluate fully).

David Suter
Saint Martin's College

David W. Suter, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
Saint Martin's College, Lacey, WA 98503
For private reply, e-mail to "David W. Suter" <dsuter@stmartin.edu>
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