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Re: orion-list The "Doers" Appear Yet Again!
I guess I don't need to thank Prof. Goranson for making
it clear that while I have come to agree with him that 'asah ("Doers")is
the fundamental root of the term Essene, he and I see things differently
on several issues regarding the Essenes and the DSS. Indeed, allow
me to further clarify matters:
1) Josephus does not use the phrase "Banus the Essene," just
as Prof. Goranson so precisely points out. However, since Josephus
makes the specific point of saying that he spent three years learning
the ways of the Essenes with this very same Banus, I'm not quite
sure why Prof. Goranson felt it was important to make his distinction.
2) The Book of Esther is not where I am looking to find the Essenes, as
Prof. Goranson inaccurately implies. My point was quite clear that in
the text cited we don't even find the use of the term Scribe. But in
Josephus's version of this text we do. So, in fact, it is in Josephus
that I am looking for Essenes. It is Josephus that equates "Doers" with
"Scribes". This would certainly be a rather non-intuitive linkage, or
even an odd linkage, unless Josephus is drawing from what he learned
during his three years with Banus. Josephus uses the term Scribe in
unexpected contexts more than any other Jewish author.
It is in the Rechabite clans of Scribes (and of the lower priesthood)
Eisenman proposes we find the roots of the Essenes. It is my particular
interest to paint-in the detail in the gap between early Israel's
communities and "Herodian Israel's" Essene communities. It is my
belief that in this gap will be found Rechabite-inspired Maccabees
and/or Hasidim.... one faction of which we already know are called
3) In order to save time, let me go on record that neither Prof.
Eisenman, nor the late H.M.J. Loewe (as cited by Prof. Goranson),
should be perceived as endorsing with my views. We might as well
add them to the list of people offering disavowals. I am the one who
is freely offering my endorsements, in limited ways, with other people's
views. I apologize if my agreeing with certain academic views seems
to create anxiety.
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