Christianity Religion

Jesus and the Essenes

Written by Andy

Unfortunately, Jesus is reputed to have supported Old Testament tradition:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets…whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus as reported by StPaul.

Jesus appears to be affirming Torah tradition. However, at the same time he was against ‘legalism’. Because the laws of Moses were basically negative, Hebrew people could make a show of following the law whilst still being evil in intent.

There is a clear difference between the “Old Testament” harshness and “New Testament” common-decency. There was a big ‘breakup point which occurred about 60-90 years after the death of Jesus. Christian anti-Judaism eventuates. Christian supersessionism starts. As written in the censored Wikipedia:

Supersessionism, also called replacement theology, is a Christian doctrine which asserts that the New Covenant through Jesus Christ supersedes the Old Covenant, which was made exclusively with the Jewish people.

In Christianity, supersessionism is a theological view on the current status of the church in relation to the Jewish people and Judaism.[1] It holds that the Christian Church has succeeded the Israelites as the definitive people of God[1][2][3] or that the New Covenant has replaced or superseded the Mosaic covenant.[4] From a supersessionist’s “point of view, just by continuing to exist [outside the Church], the Jews dissent”.[5] This view directly contrasts with dual-covenant theology which holds that the Mosaic covenant remains valid for Jews.

Supersessionism has formed a core tenet of the Christian Churches for the majority of their existence. Christian traditions that have traditionally championed dual-covenant theology (including the Roman Catholic, Reformed and Methodist teachings of this doctrine), have taught that the moral law continues to stand.[6]

‘Supersessionism‘, thus, describes the idea that Christians (the people of “the new covenant”) have become the ‘chosen ones’. Christians take on the role as the ‘people of God’. This clashes with the Jewish claim that they alone are the ‘chosen ones’. Supersessionism is not specifically worded as such in the bible but the general message of Jesus as he rebukes the Pharisees, is that the ways of the Pharisees do not meet his approval. Specifically, his did not accept the money manipulation by the Pharisees in his time. He did not accept the impoverishment of people in his time. Nor would he accept the manipulation of modern money systems at a national and international level. Nor would he accept the impoverishment of peoples int he modern era through the manipulation of the IMF. The Jewish Virtual Library clearly states:

Of the various factions that emerged under Hasmoneanrule, three are of particular interest: the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. … The most important of the three were the Pharisees because they are the spiritual fathers of modern Judaism.

Jewish Virtual Library

Of interest, the passage continues with:

The Sadducees
The Sadducees were elitists who wanted to maintain the priestly caste, but they were also liberal in their willingness to incorporate Hellenism into their lives, something the Pharisees opposed. The Sadducees rejected the idea of the Oral Law and insisted on a literal interpretation of the Written Law; consequently, they did not believe in an after life, since it is not mentioned in the Torah. The main focus ofSadducee life was rituals associated with the Temple.

Jewish Virtual Library

The Sadducees basically disappeared in the following years so their historical interest is of little interest to us. The third group, the Essenes are of special interest:

A third faction, the Essenes, emerged out of disgust with the other two. This sect believed the others had corrupted the city and the Temple. They moved out of Jerusalem and lived a monastic life in the desert …

Jewish Virtual Library

The Essenes are believed to have been formed around 500 B.C. They are often thought to be a thriving multi-regional network of village communities. In 1877, Helena P. Blavatsky believed that Jesus had been trained by the Essenes,[i] then left their community to become a travelling healer.[ii] There was a common thinking at the time that the Essenes had influenced Jesus. The Essenes were interested in the practice of healing. Annie Besant, the second President of the Theosophical Society, put forward that Jesus was “trained in an Essene community” and went to an “Essene monastery” in Egypt, where he was “fully instructed in the secret teachings which were the real fount of life among the Essenes.” [iii]  It wasn’t until 1928 that Edmond Bordeaux Szekely published his translation of ‘The Essene Gospel of Peace’, an ancient manuscript discovered in the archives of the Vatican. It is a beautiful document. The beautiful words of Jesus and the ‘Elders of the Essene Brotherhood’ link the ‘Philosophy of Jesus’ to the ‘Philosophy of the Essenes’. I give you a taste of the words. Jesus was asked: “Which law comes from God? That of Moses, or your law?”

And Jesus answered: “God gave, by Moses, ten commandments to your forefathers. ‘These commandments are hard,’ said your forefathers, and they could not keep them. When Moses saw this, he had compassion on his people, and would not that they perish. And then he gave them ten times ten commandments. For he whose feet are strong as the mountain of Zion, needs no crutches; but he whose limbs do shake, gets further having crutches, than without them. And Moses said to the Lord: ‘My heart is filled with sorrow, for my people will be lost. For they are without knowledge, and are not able to understand thy commandments. They are as little children who cannot yet understand their father’s words. Suffer, Lord, that I give them other laws, that they may not perish. if they may not be with thee, Lord, let them not be against thee; that they may sustain themselves, and when the time has come, and they are ripe for thy words, reveal to hem thy laws.’ For that did Moses break the two tablets of s tone whereon were written the ten commandments, and he gave them ten times ten in their stead. And of these ten times ten the Scribes and Pharisees have made a hundred times ten commandments. And they have laid unbearable burdens on your shoulders, that they themselves do not carry. For the more nigh are the commandments to God, the less do we need; and the farther they are from God, then the more do we need. Wherefore are the laws of the Pharisees and Scribes innumerable; the laws of the Son of Man seven; of the angels three; and of God one.

“Therefore, I teach you only those laws which you can understand, that you may become men, and follow the seven laws of the Son of Man. Then will the unknown angels of the Heavenly Father also reveal their laws to you, that God’s holy spirit may descend upon you, and lead you to his law.”

The Essene Gosel Of Peace. Book One

You find the words of Jesus such as:

“Love one another, for God is love, and so shall his angels know that you walk in his paths. And then shall all the angels come before your face and serve you. And Satan with all sins, diseases and uncleannesses shall depart from your body. Go, eschew your sins; repent yourselves; baptize yourselves; that you may be born again and sin no more.”

The Essene Gosel Of Peace. Book One

Jesus was effectively telling us that worship was best done by leading a ‘good’ life. My usual statement is my explanation of happiness:

“The best way to be happy is not by doing self indulgent things, but by making those around you happy. When you make them happy, you will be happy.”

When people say that Jesus was a Jew, they are misleading the thought process. The Hebrew society by that time has fractured into three separate sects. The Jewish Virtual Library attests that the Pharasees were the most important sect because “they are the spiritual fathers of modern Judaism.” But Jesus was not a Pharasee. Jesus constantly rebuked the Pharasees.

You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?

Jesus as reported by Matthew 23:33

Jesus continues:

… Because of this, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and others you will flog in your synagogues and persecute in town after town.

It is not reasonable to call Jesus a Jew. He was Hebrew. The word did not exist and he was not a Pharisee. He lets rip again:

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.  “But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. [“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ “You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? “And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ “You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? “Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. “And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. “And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. “You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. “So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ “So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. “Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

“Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. “Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’”

Jesus as reported by Matthew 23:1-39

He is clearly indicating that to be a good person, you need to be a good person. You need to do good deeds. These do not require a big show. Just quietly help people on their way through life. Jesus explains that the Pharisees and Sadducees displayed their wickedness in many ways. They burdened the people with unnecessary ways of their own invention and made no effort to help them in meaningful ways.

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