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Was Jesus an Essene?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 00:30
In a post on another topic, it was said that Jesus was a "Nasorean" (Nazrene).


Would also make him an Essene, as far as I can see, as Nasoreans were described as a sect of the Essenes.

Quote https://jamestabor.com/ebionites-nazarenes-tracking-the-original-followers-of-jesus/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 20:24
I don't know if Nasorean means the same thing as Nazarene (someone from Nazareth), nor if it has anything to do with Nestorianism.  Of course, a Theban comes from Thebes, but is it Greek Thebes or Egyptian Thebes?  What is the connection, or is there any?  Knowing the name of something is not the same thing as knowing the thing.  I think one should be cautious about forming associations based merely on names.

Nazarite means someone dedicated to God, Samson was a Nazarite.  So maybe some of the Essenes (or all) were Nazarites (nazirite?), and maybe Jesus was a Nazarite, but not all Nazarites are Essene, so being a nazarite would not mean that Jesus was a Essene.  It would make it more likely, but not conclusive.

There are problems with the name Nazareth, Josephus apparently does not recognize any such region.  I don't fully understand all the problems with the linguistics etc, of the names related to Nazareth or Nazarene.


Edited by franciscosan - 12 Mar 2018 at 22:04
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 14:54
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I don't know if Nasorean means the same thing as Nazarene (someone from Nazareth), nor if it has anything to do with Nestorianism.  Of course, a Theban comes from Thebes, but is it Greek Thebes or Egyptian Thebes?  What is the connection, or is there any?  Knowing the name of something is not the same thing as knowing the thing.  I think one should be cautious about forming associations based merely on names.

Aramaic-nasori
Greek-nazorai
nasoreans -associated with Mark's gospel passages on Baptism. They are the Nazarene /Essenes, healers, exorcists.

nasuraiia-Christian Nasoreans appear in the Gnostic Mandaean brotherhood for whom John the Baptist was an incarnation of I- Oannes , Babylonian water dipper God. At some point John (Yohanna) is called Elijah in the Gospel of Matthew(?), at any rate Gnostics/Mandaeans  pre date John.

Quote Nazarite means someone dedicated to God, Samson was a Nazarite.  So maybe some of the Essenes (or all) were Nazarites (nazirite?), and maybe Jesus was a Nazarite, but not all Nazarites are Essene, so being a nazarite would not mean that Jesus was a Essene.  It would make it more likely, but not conclusive.

There are problems with the name Nazareth, Josephus apparently does not recognize any such region.  I don't fully understand all the problems with the linguistics etc, of the names related to Nazareth or Nazarene.

Appears that Gnostics were heretical sects of Judaism. Dead Sea Zadokites were protecting a bloodline that became known as the Nazoreans. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 18:26
Quote There are problems with the name Nazareth, Josephus apparently does not recognize any such region.  I don't fully understand all the problems with the linguistics etc, of the names related to Nazareth or Nazarene.

The city name Nazareth did not exist in the time of Christ. Paul says "Way of the Nazarene" he references the OT  "Na-sarrean" Joseph was "Prince of Princes." In Genesis Rachael and Israel have a sonJoseph who is very high- biblical- caliper.

Could Jesus be an incarnated literary or spiritual version of Joseph?
It's been said that if John wasn't Elijah reincarnated then Jesus wasn't the messiah.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2018 at 00:36
Joseph was probably more important for the Samaritans (in the North), who (I believe) only recognized the Pentateuch.  David and Solomon, and the prophets are more of a (Southern), Judaic tradition, centered of course on Jerusalem and the Temple.  Samaritans start about the 4th or 3rd century BC.  They have their own temple.

I don't see any connection between Jesus and Joseph, other than the family tree in the gospels,  could be there, but I don't see it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2018 at 10:25
Quote Was Jesus an Essene?  I have heard others intimate a connection between Jesus and the Essenes, but I don't really know the arguments pro or con.  Or maybe one should ask, to what degree was Jesus an Essene?  He is Jewish and they're Jewish, is there any more resemblance than that?

The above is the OP. Has the matter been resolved?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2018 at 21:06
I think that the question has not been answered, at least not directly, 
But, it has been fleshed out a great deal.  I have learned a few new things.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2018 at 21:25
Listened to a lecture about beginnings of Judaism, the speaker said that in Josephus describing the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes, "Sect" is not the right word.  Pharisee and Sadducees are more like parties or philosophies in general Judaic society, Essenes, however, are more like a sect, numbering something like 4000 at most.
The Pharisees and Sadducees are described as being like Greek philosophical sects.  Pharisees believe in resurrection, and fate.  Sadducees do not believe in resurrection, believe that God is detached from the world, and believe more in free will.  In other words, the Pharisees resemble the Stoics (with Josephus explaining them as favoring the Greek idea of fate, (rather than using the Hebrew idea of providence.) whereas the Sadducees appear (in Josephus' writing) more like the Epicureans.
Josephus was writing for a Greek educated audience, and so he used terminology that was not necessarily correct, but which would resonate with such an audience.  Also, it was a 18th c. English translator that used language, that again is not necessarily correct, but would resonate with _his_ audience, calling the groups, "sects," whereas really only the Essenes were a sect.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2018 at 23:19
And?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2018 at 02:36
I swear, if I showed you a beautiful sunset, you would be saying, "and?"

This thread is about Jesus and the Essenes, therefore the question about what an Essene is, is relevant.  And in order to understand the Essenes, you probably should know about know about the Sadducees and the Pharisees.  Probably our number one source on the Essenes is Josephus (external source, not including the Dead Sea Scrolls), in order to understand Josephus, you probably should understand his biases and his audience, an educated Greco-Roman audience, not so much a Jewish one.  Josephus is using a structure already given him by Hellenistic culture.  Either your stoic-like (Pharisee) or you are Epicurean-like (Sadducee), although there is a very small group (numerically) that are a third possibility, and Josephus talks more about these "Essenes" than he does the others.  The lecturing scholar does not say what these are, but Josephus calls them, "Pythagorean."  I think that one should probably consider them "Pythagorean" as much as the Pharisees are "Stoic," and the Sadducees are "Epicurean."  There is some resemblance, but it is not clear whether it is anything more than superficial.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2018 at 06:33
Thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2018 at 14:13
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Joseph was probably more important for the Samaritans (in the North), who (I believe) only recognized the Pentateuch.  David and Solomon, and the prophets are more of a (Southern), Judaic tradition, centered of course on Jerusalem and the Temple.  Samaritans start about the 4th or 3rd century BC.  They have their own temple.
Samaritans do live among the Jews at the time of the first temple and after.  

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I don't see any connection between Jesus and Joseph, other than the family tree in the gospels,  could be there, but I don't see it.
 
Some similarities
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2018 at 22:24
Ugly subscription pop-up prevented me from reading the page.  But your point taken.  But, it reminds me of how Alexander the Great was supposedly descended from Achilles and Herakles.  It seems to me like it might be harder to find someone in the heroic past that is not related to our current hero (be it Alex. or JC), than it is to find someone related.  [if that makes sense].  Also, David is the root of Jesse, and maybe there is a connection between Jesse and Jesus?  or Joshua.

You mean OT Joseph, not Joseph, Jesus' (mortal) father, I assume?

It is interesting that Samaritans tend to be left out when talking about Judaism.  But from what I have heard, they don't really come into play until the fourth century (second Temple time).  That is probably when their temple is founded, I imagine that their roots go deeper than that.  I wonder if they are a remanent of the Northern Kingdom, or whether their origins are from some other source.  The Northern Kingdom was overthrown by the Babylonians in the 8th c. BC.  You hear that the Northern Kingdom was entirely scattered, but then what is going on with those Samaritans? 

But of course, in the gospels you have good Samaritans, which would kind of be like Trump talking about good illegal immigrants (from Mexico).  In other words, Jesus is saying that "even" a Samaritan has the decency (that a priest or Pharisee doesn't have), of picking someone injured off the road.  Of course, those of us who are familiar with "illegal" immigrants know them to often be decent, hard working, and I am sure Jesus found the same for Samaritans.

Another off-shoot group is the Karaites (Medieval not ancient) which still exist, albeit few.  But antiquity sort of set the stage for the Karaites, which I will address more later.


Edited by franciscosan - 18 Mar 2018 at 23:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2018 at 14:22
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Joseph was probably more important for the Samaritans (in the North), who (I believe) only recognized the Pentateuch.  David and Solomon, and the prophets are more of a (Southern), Judaic tradition, centered of course on Jerusalem and the Temple.  Samaritans start about the 4th or 3rd century BC.  They have their own temple.

1.       The anti-Jerusalem philosophies of the Samaritans originated with Jeroboam.

a.       This is why we call the Samaritans, "Neo-Jeroboamites". Samaritans carry on the basic traditions that Jeroboam set in order in 931 BC when he set up two pagan worship centers to replace Jerusalem: Bethel and Dan.

b.      The Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim venerated the Altar of Joshua which was built on Mt. Gerizim. The Samaritans had chose Mt. Gerizim as their holy place because that is the original location of Joshua’s Altar.

c.       See full outline on Joshua’s altar on Mt. Gerizim NOT Mt. Ebal

d.      A small population that had been deported in 723 BC from the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, were brought back by Shalmaneser and they intermarried with the Gentiles.

e.       To the Samaritans, Mt. Gerizim is their "Jerusalem".

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2018 at 01:14
"Pagan worship centers" is a pretty slanted term.  The author of the post seemed a little slanted as far as the Samaritans are concerned.  I am reading the article on Samaritans from the Encyclopedia Judaica.  It discusses an older approach to the Samaritans, which seems to be where your author is coming from, presenting as paganized, diluted, etc.  Vs. a newer approach which uses Samaritan sources.  In addition to the Samaritan Pentateuch, there is a Samaritan Chronicles I and II, and Joshua.  There might be others.  I will elaborate on it, after I finish the article.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2018 at 03:29
Weren't they pagans?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2018 at 20:04
No, they weren't pagans, and the golden calf at two sites is like their version of Jerusalem figure of the Seraphim.  The worship of the golden calf in Exodus is probably propaganda from the Jerusalem Temple.

There influences on them from the Babylonians and the Romans, but I don't think they were ever polytheistic or pagan.

Solomon's Temple had idols of other gods in it, from his wives' deities.  This was kind of cleared out with the second Temple.  There may have been idols from other gods in the Gerazim (sp) temple. I don't know.  Things are not as clear cut as we think.

Israel now recognizes the Samaritans as a sect of Judaism.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2018 at 04:07
This is (one side of) a unique coin in the British Museum (BMC).

This link has a brief overview of the identification of Yahweh:

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zeus_Yahweh.jpg
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2018 at 03:39
Never saw YHWH, possibly, in such fine human form. No prominent appendage.

The meaning of the personal name of the Israelite God has been variously interpreted. Many scholars believe that the most proper meaning may be “He Brings into Existence Whatever Exists” (Yahweh-Asher-Yahweh). In I Samuel, God is known by the name Yahweh Teva-ʿot, or “He Brings the Hosts into Existence,” the hosts possibly referring to the heavenly court or to Israel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2018 at 18:47
I like the popeye interpretation, "I yam what I yam."

Don't know about appendages.

There are difference between the philosophical/theological view of God, looking forward, and the anthropological/mythological view of God, looking backward.  God as a tribal deity is very different from God, sole Master of the universe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2018 at 01:03
Around  the world, millions of people place their faith in a god or god-like figure.

In almost every case that I can think of, that god has a name, except for Christianity, which has a God, known only as God.

I know some will say that God is also known as Yahweh, and that has already been explained in this post, but why hasn't God have an identity, a name, such as Brian?

And, getting back to the OP, will the question ever be resolved? Does it matter? Would being an Essene or not have an effect on Christianity? And in these days of enhanced archeology and anthropology, why hasn't trace of Jesus' skeleton ever been found?

Perhaps they should start looking in France! 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2018 at 21:46
You have an identity, right?  and part of your identity is that you are not me, not him, not her, not it, not they.  But, God (Jehovah, the Lord) is (in) everything, (of) everything.  There is nothing that is not God, so which identity do you want God to have?  

Part of the nature of a cup, is that it is not a ball, it is not a screwdriver, it is not a cat, it is not a breath of fresh air.  God is not, not.

There are two ways of "resolving" something, (1) having a definitive answer, which is harder than most people think (does Atlantis exist), (2) exhausting an issue, and putting it on the back burner to simmer.  That does not mean having "an" answer, but rather having wrestled with it enough, to be satisfied that one has treated the issue as completely as it is going to get for right now.  We may be at that point.

A scholar or a scientist usually doesn't research a question, "because it matters" other than 'mattering' to him or her, it is often the research that comes first, and then the applicability later.

Everybody knows that Jesus was buried in Kashmir....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2018 at 01:09
Quote Jesus was buried in Kashmir.

Good one.  Thumbs Up

It's a very old belief, but never really explored. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2018 at 05:36
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I like the popeye interpretation, "I yam what I yam."

Don't know about appendages.

There are difference between the philosophical/theological view of God, looking forward, and the anthropological/mythological view of God, looking backward.  God as a tribal deity is very different from God, sole Master of the universe.

In the primordial IYAM story the ethereal phase of creation usually has a catalyst, yam is the sea and "I" Tzaddi, in the Hebrew alphabet is a fish hook. It is of course also associated with Jesus being a fisher of men. 

(Hebrew Letters I,J and Y are derived from "Yod" the letter "Y" meaning egg or center of light. 
YHVH is Yod He Vau He-some meanings; foundation,male, female, wisdom)
 
When in myth do we see the sole master of the universe ? Not until the Catholic Church(?)

Maimonides – Names Derived from Actions
Moses Maimonides or Rambam (1138-1204), Judaism’s chief exponent of the rationalist tradition, holds that all divine names, except the Tetragrammaton, “correspond to the actions existing in the world,”[10]  which reflect the different characteristic the name designates.  As he states, they “derive from actions.”[11] Simply put, since a fundamental premise of his negative theology is that God possesses no attributes, the referent of these names is not God but rather phenomena in the natural word. Since nature is linked to God by virtue of it being His creation, a particular name or attribute is then semiotically reoriented toward God in His capacity as the remotest cause in the long chain of natural causation.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2018 at 00:23
Actually, "yam" is how Popeye pronounces "am," I am not sure it means anything else.....

There is a long debate in philosophy about whether names are natural or conventional.  Postmodernism in general assumes they must be conventional, therefore we know they must be natural....Wink

It is interesting that Maimonides says names correspond to actions, not to things.  I think that reflects a Hebrew background, instead of an Indo-European language, such as Latin (and Augustine). 

There is a transition, when in Exodus it says, "no other gods before me" that implies there are other
Gods, plus the Egyptian priests were able to keep up and copy the plagues to a certain extent, meaning that they did have some power.  I would say that by late second temple period, YHWH is absolute, but still attached to (only) the Israelites.  That is where you have the Jews taking on the Roman Empire in a Messianic, Apocalyptic fervor.  At the same time, the Christians are arguing for a more universal God, one that not only applies to the Jews, but to everybody.  That is before 'Catholicism,' although it sometimes seems that in the minds of Catholics, there is no such thing as "before catholic".  According to the Orthodox Christians, Orthodoxy came first, then the Catholics came and added all kinds of (extraneous) things, and then the Protestants came, and cut away from the Catholic, but cut back too much.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 2018 at 18:30
Was Jesus a Pharisee?
"The Naked Archaeologist" Simcha Jacobvici is featured, among others in a PBS production "The Last Days of Jesus" briefly, it proposes a theory whereby Jesus is an educated teacher who made an attempt to get rid of the Sadducee priests. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2018 at 02:12
I don't really know "the Naked Archaeologist" but I would worry about sunburn in sensitive areas.
I do not think Jesus could get rid of the Sadducee priests, but he probably wanted to show them as
lacking devotion.  It was a question of legitimacy of those running the Temple, my guess is that it would never have gone so far as unseating the Sadducees.


Edited by franciscosan - 22 Apr 2018 at 02:38
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