Jesus came along, I believe, to show that the value of man is greater than the value of Torah. , Gabriele Boccaccini implies that a convincing etymology for the name Essene has not been found, but that the term applies to a larger group within Palestine that also included the Qumran community.  When the time came for the final apocalyptic intervention by God, the Essenes believed that they would actually fight in the decisive battle.  Josephus identified the Essenes as one of the three major Jewish sects of that period.  Part of their activities included purification by water rituals, which was supported by rainwater catchment and storage. Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email. The community at Qumran is the best example of a “sect” in the modern understanding of the term.  The most comprehensive collection of the scrolls set alongside the Hebrew/Aramaic is Martinez, F. Garcia, and Tigchelaar, E.J.C., The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, 2 vols, (Brill/Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997).  Others follow this line and a few argue that the Teacher of Righteousness was not only the leader of the Essenes at Qumran, but was also identical to the original Messianic figure about 150 years before the time of the Gospels. , The Essenes have gained fame in modern times as a result of the discovery of an extensive group of religious documents known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are commonly believed to be the Essenes' library. ^This ticks me off. it’s good to keep in mind that someone else familiar with the Law, Jesus of Nazareth, would revolutionize everything in world history by doing things like touching lepers, conversing with the blind, touching dead ones and lame ones, and demonstrating a different trajectory of how to understand the very essence and purpose of “Law.” just some thoughts. What is so fascinating here is how the Qumran community are reading Hab. They may claim to love God with everything in them, but when they reject those who clearly need help and love, they don’t truly love God. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. He regarded the Therapeutae as a contemplative branch of the Essaioi who, he said, pursued an active life. ( Log Out / For Golb, the number of documents is too extensive and includes many different writing styles and calligraphies; the ruins seem to have been a fortress, used as a military base for a very long period of time—including the 1st century—so they therefore could not have been inhabited by the Essenes; and the large graveyard excavated in 1870, just 50 metres (160 ft) east of the Qumran ruins, was made of over 1200 tombs that included many women and children; Pliny clearly wrote that the Essenes who lived near the Dead Sea "had not one woman, had renounced all pleasure... and no one was born in their race". , Philo's usage is Essaioi, although he admits this Greek form of the original name, that according to his etymology signifies "holiness", to be inexact. Epiphanius says (29:6) that they existed before Christ. For the bread developed by the Essenes, see. This was the difference between the Nasaraean and the others..., After this Nasaraean sect in turn comes another closely connected with them, called the Ossaeans. Didn’t he change the ideology of the older Essenes? as far as i can tell, most of these conditions are taken up in the old testament Law, so these restrictions weren’t invented by the people of qumran. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Paternoster Press, 1956. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. They lived lives of ritual purity and separation.  They show legitimate sorrow for their sins by freely confessing them and admitting their guilt. See also a shorter list in CD 15.15-16. They considered only themselves as the true “congregation of Israel.” God was depicted by the Qumran community as “hating” those who rejected his precepts (as interpreted by the sect).  It is recognized as the etymology of the form Ossaioi (and note that Philo also offered an O spelling) and Essaioi and Esseni spelling variations have been discussed by VanderKam, Goranson, and others.  The document entitled The Rule of the Congregation actually lists who cannot be admitted into the midst of the congregation, including those defiled in flesh, paralyzed in the feet or hands, the lame, blind, deaf, mute, or visibly blemished in the flesh.  Other scholars refute these arguments—particularly since Josephus describes some Essenes as allowing marriage. The discovery of the scrolls in the 1940s has since then opened up the world of ancient Judaism with new information as well as new questions.  Fred Gladstone Bratton notes that, The Teacher of Righteousness of the Scrolls would seem to be a prototype of Jesus, for both spoke of the New Covenant; they preached a similar gospel; each was regarded as a Savior or Redeemer; and each was condemned and put to death by reactionary factions... We do not know whether Jesus was an Essene, but some scholars feel that he was at least influenced by them. Currently two theories exist in the academic world. They originated about 100 B.C., and disappeared from history after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. “The document entitled The Rule of the Congregation actually lists who cannot be admitted into the midst of the congregation, including those defiled in flesh, paralyzed in the feet or hands, the lame, blind, deaf, mute, or visibly blemished in the flesh”  These boundary markers are labeled “works of the Law,” a phrase which precedes the usage of Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Romans. The first reference to the sect is by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder (died c. 79 CE) in his Natural History.
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