Essenes called "Samaritans" ? "Samaritans" in Egypt

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billd89
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Essenes called "Samaritans" ? "Samaritans" in Egypt

Post by billd89 »

Epiphanius in his Panarion calls the Essenes Samaritans.

There is a great deal of evidence discussed here, that Samaritans/Samarians were well-settled in the Fayum of Egypt c. 250 BC. Samareitai might have referred to an ethnic 'Old Jewish' group. To outsiders, the long indigenous Samarians (who were quasi-Jewish, mixing w/ locals and 'orthodox' Jews) might have been conflated with the true Samaritans of Samaria, c. 100 AD.

Re: Egypt (from Reinhard Pummer's "The SAMARITANS IN EGYPT" in Etudes Semitques et Samaritanes offered to Jean Margain, Series: Histoire du Texte Biblique 4 – pp.213-23)

In the Fayyum, a place was called 'Samareia', most likely because the original settlers came from that region. It is not known when they settled there. The village is first mentioned in the papyri of the late 3rd cent. B.C.E. [21]. The settlers could have been Samarians or (Proto-) Samaritans. However, most scholars assume that the inhabitants were Samaritans[22]. Yet, gradually the latter must have intermarried with Jews and the settlement lost its original character[23]. Eventually, Samareitai in Egypt came to mean 'inhabitants of (the village of) Samareia'[24].

From Origen's familiarity, and other Samaritan connections to Egypt,it's possible that 'Dositheus the Samaritan' may not have actually been from (or active in) Samaria itself. That the 'Samaritans' were also seen as Zadokites in Egypt also makes sense: they were a nebulously-defined ethnic.

Any other recommended sources on the 'Samaritans of Egypt'?


As an important side-note for my own work, W. M. Flinders Petrie's Personal religion in Egypt before Christianity [1909] p.79 follows and builds upon Moritz Friedländer's Therapeut-Essene thesis.

"of course, we have but a meagre statement, but as these ideas were familiar to Philon and Josephus they would be likely to allude to them had they been as prominent to the Therapeutae and Essenes as they were to their contemporaries. The explanation of these silences may well be that the writings so often mentioned as being treated with the greatest respect, were earlier than the rise of the ideas of the Wisdom and Logos. This is quite likely ; Wisdom, though often named as a quality, is not personified in Ecclesiastes, about 250 B.C. ; it is personified in Sirach, Ecclesiasticus, about 180 B.C., and in the book of Wisdom, perhaps 100 B.C. Hence the scriptures of the ascetics may be dated from before 200 B.C., as they did not refer to it. As we have seen that the ascetic community was already started at the back of the Fayum by 340 B.C., and that all their dogmas stated in later times were already familiar then in the Hermetic works, these points all agree well together. The Hermetic works are in fact the scriptures of the Ascetics."

This is the earliest suggestion (i.e. scholarly reference) that I have been able to locate, that Therapeutae wrote the Corpus Hermeticum. (I do NOT agree with Petrie's early dating of the Hermetica, however!)
StephenGoranson
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Re: Essenes called "Samaritans" ? "Samaritans" in Egypt

Post by StephenGoranson »

A potential source of associating Samaritans and Essenes is taking the former to mean keepers of Torah (even if that is a folk etymology) and the latter as observers (doers) of Torah (which I have argued* is the etymology).
*
http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/Essenes_&_Others.pdf
especially pages 537-540
and
http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf
esp. pp. 14-15 and endnotes.
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Re: Essenes called "Samaritans" ? "Samaritans" in Egypt

Post by StephenGoranson »

A possible mistake Epiphanius made was in thinking Essenes (his heresy 10) and Ossenes (his heresy 19) were two separate groups. The Essenes he listed as a Samaritan subset, but the Ossenes he listed--more correctly imo--as a Jewish subset.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Essenes called "Samaritans" ? "Samaritans" in Egypt

Post by Secret Alias »

Why doesn't anyone ever acknowledge 'hey our information from antiquity is shit.' The people reporting these things weren't exactly smart. There are corruptions in the transmission of their original information and - quite frankly - their reporting when clear is usually based on hearsay, half-truths and innuendo. Cue the frequent reporting on the existence of a 'phoenix bird' ...
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Re: Essenes called "Samaritans" ? "Samaritans" in Egypt

Post by billd89 »

StephenGoranson wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:14 am A potential source of associating Samaritans and Essenes is taking the former to mean keepers of Torah (even if that is a folk etymology) and the latter as observers (doers) of Torah (which I have argued* is the etymology).
*
http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/Essenes_&_Others.pdf
especially pages 537-540
Thank you for this, Stephen: for the Palestine ethnic, that conflation makes sense.

As far as I know - correct me if I'm wrong - Philo doesn't discuss Samaritans, in Egypt or anywhere? Yet archaeological evidence and numerous other references confirm 'Samaritans' (an unorthodox Old Jewish ethnic, I presume) lived in the Fayum. And so, they must have been in Alexandria too. By omission, Philo would count them as Jews - and rightly so, since they werent truly (nor contemporary) 'Samaritans of Samaria'. They were, instead, a quasi-Judaic ethnic - indigenous Judeo-Egyptians imprecisely distinguished by some (but not all) foreign observers. It makes sense that Philo would seek to 'convert' them to his brand of Judaism, also.

Following Jacob Neusner, I suppose many 'Judaisms' co-existed in this period. It wasnt that every Jewish community had its own cult, but we have no reason to assume every or most synagogues were uniform. A heterodox reality - w/ unknown diversity of forms - must have prevailed c.100 BC - 40 AD in Egypt & Alexandria. This I find fascinating - and I suspect the Christos myth might start somewhere hereabouts, too. (The Jesus bit got tacked on 2-3 generations/~70-125 years later.)

Elsewhere in the region, evidence of a Helios creed in synagogue art preserves an exquisitely Melchizedekian memory (viz., Sun of Righteousness, solar cult) long after explicit references to Melchizedek as Savior or Intermediary in sermons were forbidden by rabbinical rulings c.AD 75 and thereafter.

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If Thomas copied the canonicals - why does he only speak of IS and never of XS?

Post by mlinssen »

billd89 wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:48 am
StephenGoranson wrote: Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:14 am A potential source of associating Samaritans and Essenes is taking the former to mean keepers of Torah (even if that is a folk etymology) and the latter as observers (doers) of Torah (which I have argued* is the etymology).
*
http://people.duke.edu/~goranson/Essenes_&_Others.pdf
especially pages 537-540
Thank you for this, Stephen: for the Palestine ethnic, that conflation makes sense.

As far as I know - correct me if I'm wrong - Philo doesn't discuss Samaritans, in Egypt or anywhere? Yet archaeological evidence and numerous other references confirm 'Samaritans' (an unorthodox Old Jewish ethnic, I presume) lived in the Fayum. And so, they must have been in Alexandria too. By omission, Philo would count them as Jews - and rightly so, since they werent truly (nor contemporary) 'Samaritans of Samaria'. They were, instead, a quasi-Judaic ethnic - indigenous Judeo-Egyptians imprecisely distinguished by some (but not all) foreign observers. It makes sense that Philo would seek to 'convert' them to his brand of Judaism, also.

Following Jacob Neusner, I suppose many 'Judaisms' co-existed in this period. It wasnt that every Jewish community had its own cult, but we have no reason to assume every or most synagogues were uniform. A heterodox reality - w/ unknown diversity of forms - must have prevailed c.100 BC - 40 AD in Egypt & Alexandria. This I find fascinating - and I suspect the Christos myth might start somewhere hereabouts, too. (The Jesus bit got tacked on 2-3 generations/~70-125 years later.)

Elsewhere in the region, evidence of a Helios creed in synagogue art preserves an exquisitely Melchizedekian memory (viz., Sun of Righteousness, solar cult) long after explicit references to Melchizedek as Savior or Intermediary in sermons were forbidden by rabbinical rulings c.AD 75 and thereafter.

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After reading your latest and responding to it I did some googling and reading, only to return to a slightly older you right here billd.
But you know what is funny? Observe

viewtopic.php?p=140345#p140345

Look at the XS and XRS there, in abundance, mixed in with XRHSTOS - and then look at Thomas with his 102 IS and 3 IHS... and no XS or XRS or anything the like, save for the substantivised XRHSTOS in logion 90 where I think the Ego allegedly speaks (but let's not dwell on the latter).
The entire point is this:

If Thomas copied the canonicals - why does he only speak of IS and never of XS?
And why (I still have to do the stats) does he have much more IS then all of the remainder of the NHL combined?

Whatever we see here, it is a gap, a gaping void - between the Thomas text and all other texts. Causes could be numerous, but a giant gap it is.
The odds of Thomas copying the canonicals (for whatever mysterious reason and goal as he doesn't twist and turn any of that into his advantage) without copying along the very protagonist himself?

Null, if you ask me.
But do feel free to propose a business case
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Re: Essenes called "Samaritans" ? "Samaritans" in Egypt

Post by Leucius Charinus »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:22 am A possible mistake Epiphanius made was in thinking Essenes (his heresy 10) and Ossenes (his heresy 19) were two separate groups.
Secret Alias wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:18 am Why doesn't anyone ever acknowledge 'hey our information from antiquity is shit.' The people reporting these things weren't exactly smart. There are corruptions in the transmission of their original information and - quite frankly - their reporting when clear is usually based on hearsay, half-truths and innuendo.
'hey our information from antiquity is shit.'

Heresiology has been fabricated by stupid people
And "scholarship" laps it all up as authentic.

The First Seven Heresies of the Eighty "Against Heresies"

Sourced from The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, recent translation.
The First Seven Heresies in the Index of Eighty

In his introductory prelude, in speaking of the "sects" or "heresies" Epiphanius notes:
  • "For it was about these four sects ("heresies") that the apostle clearly said in reproof, "In Christ Jesus there is neither Barbarian, Scythian, Hellene nor Jew, but a new creation" [5] Col 3:11
Heresy 1 of 80 - Against Barbarism
Heresy 2 of 80 - Against Scythianism
Heresy 3 of 80 - Against Hellenism
Heresy 4 of 80 - Against Judaism
Heresy 5 of 80 - Against Stoics
Heresy 6 of 80 - Against Platonists
Heresy 7 of 80 - Against Pythagoreans

The utterly corrupt and purposefully dissembling source known as Epiphanius presents a snapshot of the incendiary post-Julian heresiological epoch in which the victorious Theodosian Nicene orthodoxy rules supreme over the Hellenic world by means of persecution, intolerance and imperial anti-pagan legislation.
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Re: If Thomas copied the canonicals - why does he only speak of IS and never of XS?

Post by Leucius Charinus »

mlinssen wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 7:54 am Observe

viewtopic.php?p=140345#p140345

Look at the XS and XRS there, in abundance, mixed in with XRHSTOS - and then look at Thomas with his 102 IS and 3 IHS... and no XS or XRS or anything the like, save for the substantivised XRHSTOS in logion 90 where I think the Ego allegedly speaks (but let's not dwell on the latter).

The entire point is this:

If Thomas copied the canonicals - why does he only speak of IS and never of XS?
And why (I still have to do the stats) does he have much more IS then all of the remainder of the NHL combined?

Whatever we see here, it is a gap, a gaping void - between the Thomas text and all other texts. Causes could be numerous, but a giant gap it is.

The odds of Thomas copying the canonicals (for whatever mysterious reason and goal as he doesn't twist and turn any of that into his advantage) without copying along the very protagonist himself?

Null, if you ask me.
But do feel free to propose a business case

Thomas was the Nag Hammadi Library's hitman for the IS ligature?
Thomas relentlessly focused his sights on IS. The others didn't.
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Re: Essenes called "Samaritans" ? "Samaritans" in Egypt

Post by yakovzutolmai »

I believe that in the aftermath of the collapse of Neo-Assyrian power, the collective ethnos we might call "Semitic", which would incorporate anything "Canaanite" inclusive of Amorite, Eblaite, Israelite, etc. simply became known as "Israelite" among Arabs and Jews, and to outsiders, "Yehudim" due to the dominant cult among them (spread thanks to the Assyrian captivity).

Later, Judeans and Simeonites began to call all non-Judeans as "Samaritans" to distinguish some sort of difference between Jew and non-Jewish Semite. Note that, while Aramaic and so forth are linguistically Semitic, that I'm not sure if the ancients viewed "Ishmaelite" peoples (say, Arameans) as the same as whatever Canaanite/Amorite was.

One interpretation is that Israel was always Samaritan, and Judea was always some other thing, but the mythologized history was reluctant to say that. Each side hoping to stand up as the true Israel.

Genesis is telling, in favoring Joseph and disfavoring Judah. Almost as if it was written with a heavy Samaritan bias.

Nevertheless, for Roman era purposes, I assume that all Babylonian-Assyrian-Egyptian "Israelite" non-Judeans were Samaritans. I also assume that Essene is a catch-all for formal cult practices associated with Israelite folk traditions outside of the purview of the Jerusalem temple cult, which features many Hellenized innovations.
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