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Was John the Baptist an Essene?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex New Member

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    Have you ever heard something like this? :confused:
    This whole Essene stuff is so annoying. When will it ever stop?
     
  2. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith New Member

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    I don't know what you mean about "Essene stuff" being annoying. But, as for John the Baptist, there certainly has been a theory for some time that John may have been a part of the Qumran community, or one like it. The similarities between his reported lifestyle and that of the Essene community are at least superficially similar. Some have opined that Jesus, too, lived there during the "silent years" before He began His ministry.

    However, there is no way to prove that either of them lived in the Essene community. About the best one can say is that whatever lifestyle similarities or apparent parallels in teaching there may be could well have come from their simply being in the general atmosphere of Judaism. We do know that in addition to the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the Essenes were a "sect" or party within the Judaism of the time. Anyone doing itinerant preaching would be likely either to pick up ideas from them or to react against them.

    But I know of no credible evidence that would put John, or Jesus, in the Qumran community.
     
  3. Ben W

    Ben W New Member

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    Essenes are often thought of as the group most responsive of the Jewish groups to the Gospel, like the Early Church they lived together communally, yet what set them apart from the other Jews is that they felt that the Temple not being run by the Levites but the Sadduccees was impure, so they did not attend temple, yet had their own rituals in their community.

    The trouble with placing John as an Essene is his clothing which would be seen as Unclean to the other Essenes and the fact that he called people to him, Essenes withdrew from the community not into it.

    John was probably more likely to have had a Zelot influence, yet again that is mere speculation also!
     
  4. dispen4ever

    dispen4ever New Member

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    We simply don't know. The important thing to remember is that he prepared the way for the Messiah for the Jewish folk, and ultimately, all of us, through Paul
     
  5. LeBuick

    LeBuick New Member

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    One of those things that makes you go HHHhhhmmm???

    What do you mean by, "untimately, all of us, through Paul?"
     
  6. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    New Agers like to say that Jesus was an Essene, which, of course, he was not. They also ascribe all kinds of mystical, esoteric stuff to the Essenes, and treat them as though they are part of esoteric, spiritually advanced groups.
     
  7. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith New Member

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    I suspect the sentence was not constructed quite right. My reading of this post would be that God used John the Baptist to prepare the Jewish people for Jesus as Messiah and then, ultimately, used Paul to prepare us all for a universal Christ. The way the post is written, it appears that John was a precursor of Paul in extended the gospel to the nations, and that does not really seem to be the case.
     
  8. dispen4ever

    dispen4ever New Member

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    Precisely. I thought that was what I wrote. :flower:
     
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