[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: orion-list Re: self-definition

    [The following text is in the "iso-8859-1" character set]
    [Your display is set for the "ISO-8859-8" character set]
    [Some characters may be displayed incorrectly]

Stephen Goranson said:

>>In my opinion, not only did Essenes live at Qumran, and there and elsewhere
compose some of the Qumran texts, but they also gave themselves the
self-designation which via Greek and Latin comes into English as "Essenes."
If one wishes to disagree, that is one thing, but to suggest that I
have failed to present considerable evidence and several lines of argument
to support the above conclusions is somewhat less than sporting or

Back in the recent discussion of the Josippon, Russell Gmirkin suggested that
Josippon translates the Greek term "Essene" into Hebrew "Hasidim." I am
confused by that, for from what I have read, the Josippon is based on
a Latin translation, which is in turn a translation based around an early,
very loose, Latin paraphrase of Josephus' War (the _Egesippus_, supposedly by
one Isaac, a Jew converted to Christianity, ca. 370 CE, and full of
and Jew baiting).

The reason that I excerpted the above quote from your post is that it mentions
as one source for the etymology of the word "Essene." As far as I can tell,
did -not- translate directly from the Greek, but from Latin. I have been
scanning the
archive files, especially those from Apr 98, but have not seen this issue
brought up
even though Josippon was discussed frequently. A translation from Greek to
to Hebrew is not the same as a translation from Greek directly to Hebrew. I
confess that I am ignorant of research on the _Josippon_ since about 1930, but
I had not seen it brought up in the recent  discussions either, unless I
missed it.

Has anyone traced what Latin word might be translated into Hebrew as
or what Latin words might most likely translate the variations of the Greek

Then too, you said:

"[Epiphanius] knew enough and collected enough to preserve a great deal of
historical tradition. His added  misunderstandings can often be bracketed
off. Ossaioi/Osshnoi in Epiphanius (and cf. Slavonic Josephus), a Jewish
group intent on observing torah, is important data. Cf. Nazoraioi/Nazarhnoi
(from N-tsade-R, though the Greek rendering allowed later exegetes to
comment on it also using N-zayin-R), Essaioi/Esshnoi, and
Sampsaioi/Sampshnoi (from shamash)." (18 April, 98)

While I agree that Epiphanius' Panarion has a good deal of useful data,
IMHO Epiphanius' digressions and asides are not so easily bracketed
off as you seem to imply. I am hesitant to accept him as a reliable source.

This _Egesippus_ was written right in the time of Epiphanius (ca. 315-402 CE).
If the Latin translation which the author of the Josippon drew upon was in
turn based upon this work, the author of the _Egesippus_ may even have
been influenced by the good bishop as well.  Both the _Josippon_ and
Epiphanius share the characteristic of confusion of their sources.
How safe is it to be using these witnesses for an etymology of a word
being used centuries earlier?


Dave Hindley
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
(and no, not another pen name for IH)

For private reply, e-mail to "David C. Hindley" <dhindley@csi.com>
To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to majordomo@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il with
the message: "unsubscribe Orion." For more information on the Orion Center
or for Orion archives, visit our web site http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il.