Jesus An Essene: Jesus An Essene
But despite all their knowledge, they missed Jesus. . individuals who, despite their outward form of godliness, have no real relationship with the Father. Jesus. Abraham not only as the father of the nation, but based his teaching on religious leadership (Pharisees and the Sadducees) and the broader layers of co - of socially insignificant people, we can add children and Jesus' relation toward. The Sadducees were a sect or group of Jews that was active in Judea during the Second According to Abraham Geiger, the Sadducaic sect of Judaism drew their . a more favorable relationship to her grandfather than his own daughter does, and The Sadducees are also notably distinguishable from the growing Jesus.
Our vision of the Son of God is now aided by the eyes of the Apostles, and by that aid we can recognize the Express Image of the Father. But in this we are like men who are led through unknown woods by Indian guides.
We recognize the indications by which the path was known, as soon as those indications are pointed out; but we feel that it would have been quite vain for us to look for them unaided. It brings forcibly to recollection the opinion of those most intimate with the private life of Jesus. In the very chapter that records the appointment of twelve disciples to the apostleship, we read that the immediate friends in the margin, kmomen of Jesus, so far from perceiving "the Divinity" of him they knew so well, were persuaded that he was "beside himself," and they even went so far as to go out with the, no doubt, kindly intention "to lay hold upon him.
Temple that a personal knowledge of Jesus would not probably have assisted us "to recognize" his divine nature. There is little doubt but that the delineation of the character of Jesus as gentle and sympathetic in the extreme, full of yearning to long-suffering humanity, particularly towards the poor and unhappy among his' own countrymen and women, over whom he so deeply mourned when he exclaimed, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not," has tended greatly towards his recognition by so many as God-Man.
Dean Stanley justly remarks that "when Bishop Pearson in his work of the Creed vindicates the Divinity of Christ without the slightest mention of those moral qualities by which he has bowed down the world before him, his grasp on the doctrine is far feebler than that of Rousseau or Mill, who have seized the very attributes which constitute the marrow and essence of his nature. A careful student of the evangelistic records remarks, "That whatever there is of simplicity, tenderness, or encouragement in his discourses is reserved for his disciples, and spoken to all alike.
CHRIST, CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTIANITY.
The hard sayings are uttered in the presence of the public, almost, as it would seem, to destroy the impression that his miracles are reported to have produced. It is, in fact, difficult to form any other conclusion from the fourth Gospel than that Jesus, of set p.
One orthodox writer tells us that "Very numerous attempts have been made to construct harmonies of the four Gospels. One plan is to form out of the whole, in what is supposed to be the true chronological order, a continuous narrative, embracing all the matter of the four, but without repetitions of the same or similar words.
Another plan is to exhibit in chronological order, the entire text of the four Gospels arrayed in parallel columns so far as two or more of them cover the same ground. The idea is very imposing, but the realization of it is beset with formidable if not insurmountable difficulties. It is certain that the evangelists do not always follow the exact order of time, and it is sometimes impossible to decide between the different arrangements of events in their record.
In the four narratives of the events connected with the resurrection all harmonists find themselves baffled. A host of writers, in all Christian nations, have devoted years—some of them have devoted well-nigh whole lives—to the consideration of this and similar questions, and have yet failed to come to any agreement or to command any general consent.Who Were the Pharisees and Sadducees?
An indisputable or convincing harmony of the Gospels appears to me impossible. To enter into all the arguments on this subject would be to undertake a task which would fill volumes and yet produce no final settlement of the difficulty. The necessary consequence, the inevitable result of conflicting evidence as to any event, whether related in secular or sacred history, is to weaken the testimony, and it may be so divergent as to be absolutely valueless. The impossibility of forming a harmony of the Gospels in relation to the reputed birth, deeds, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, which subsequent events have invested with the highest interest to our race, is a proof to thinking minds that the acceptance or rejection of his biography as related in them is not of that paramount p.
He, who, we are told, so controlled all things from the beginning of the world as to make them culminate in the life of Jesus, would never certainly, as the final result, have caused the evidences of it to be so dubious as to render nugatory his vast and beneficial design for man's well-being; or leave the records of it such as to cause doubts of every degree in the minds of men in every age, whose longing for the truth has been of the most ardent and sincere nature.
The whole case is, indeed, put very mildly by the writer, who says, "When the question is in agitation, whether an alleged fact be true, or not, our conviction of the truth of it will certainly be affected by the concurrence or contradiction of the testimonies in its favour.
And if the contradictions are such as to be wholly incapable of a reconciliation, the proof of the fact will certainly not be so satisfactory, as it would be, if the witnesses agreed. Were we supplied with authentic information concerning his whole career, how different might be our opinion of him as a man, and how fully might we feel the difficulty which the Bishop of London p.
As it is, we are not, and unfortunately never shall be, in a position to form a truthful opinion of the history of Jesus. We can only glean, from the meagre descriptions of him which have descended to us through interested sources, some faint ideas respecting his opinions, his creed and his acts.
These, in many instances, assimilate, we believe, to those which are read of, as distinguishing the Essenes.
One thing is certain, that the Jesus of Christians is not what Jesus was, but what they conceive he ought to have been. Their conception of him is far more ideal than real. Contention and strife were evidently discountenanced among them, there was nothing warlike in their ways, and we can readily believe they would have been averse to the manufacture of martial or of deadly weapons.
Nay, Jesus himself is reported to have said "they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. The essence of religion they believed to consist in peace, quietness and tranquility; and they were so negligent of all earthly affairs, that if the world had been peopled with Essenians, it would soon have come to an end. In like manner, Philo informs us that in the sacred feast of the Therapeuts, young men were selected from the other members with all possible care, on account of their excellence, to wait on the rest as servants, not on compulsion, nor in obedience to imperious commands, but as "acting as virtuous and well-born youths ought to act who are eager to attain to the perfection of virtue.
So Jesus makes the rash display of anger a deadly sin, which placed man in the greatest imminence, and the utterances of hasty revilings as putting him in danger of hell-fire. The seed which fell among thorns, we are told by him, are "they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
There is no tillage described, no ploughing and preparation of the soil, and careful harrowing in of the seed; neither is there any watering, hoeing, and weeding to strengthen the young plant and insure its satisfactory growth. The husbandman goes forth and scatters the seed before him indifferently, as a blind man might do, no matter where or how it falls, and imagines that his work is fitly accomplished.
But see the result: Correspondingly poor issues would be sure to come from his own irregular wayside discourses—wandering from place p. Swearing in order to be believed they regarded as worse than perjury, for they affirmed that he who could not be trusted without swearing by God, was already condemned.
So Jesus taught his followers. Josephus describes the Essenes as considering it a good thing to be clothed in white raiment, and he speaks of them as frequently using white veils; while Philo remarks of the Therapeuts, that, when they assembled on religious occasions, they came together clothed in white garments. And so we are informed that when Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John, "his raiment was white as the light. This was a favourite period among them for the observance of the rite of baptism, which was, as already pointed out, of Essenic origin.
As emblematic of the spiritual purity which this ceremony is supposed to confer, those who received it were clothed in white, and p. It is the seventh Sunday after Easter, just before which the Jews still observe their Passover.
Thus as this season or Whitsuntide, as it is called, yearly returns, the partiality of the Essenes and Therapeuts for white raiment recorded by their Jewish historians is brought appropriately to our recollection. Though the Essenes were numerous in Judea, they had no hereditary or family connexions. They were recruited from without. This fact may account for the speech which Jesus is reported once to have uttered, and which has often been accounted unnatural and harsh, especially in one who was so gentle in his character.
It is said that on one occasion a woman, carried away with her admiration of his teachings, exclaimed, "Blessed is the womb which bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. On the contrary, she seems to have regarded it as quite in keeping with the mission upon which he had entered. He had renounced all family ties himself, or he would not have advised and required his disciples to do the same.
It is generally conceded that the Gospels nowhere indicate that at any period the mother of Jesus recognized his divinity. If any with whom he was intimate knew of p. As regards his father, Joseph, it is remarkable that after Jesus was twelve years old we have not a single reference to him in the four Evangelists.
And yet Joseph was the head of a large family of sons and of daughters, of whom Jesus was the first-born. If Jesus at an early age joined the Essenes, as is highly probable, he may no longer have recognized Joseph as "father," any more than he chose to call Mary "mother," and may have repudiated any natural claim his progenitors had upon him.
This seems not unlikely when we remember the harsh answer which he gave to a disciple whom he had commanded to follow him. This man's father had just died, and though anxious to follow Jesus, he very properly said, "Suffer me first to go and bury my father. Such behaviour in any ordinary instance would surely call for reprobation, but in the case of an Essene might simply demonstrate beyond any doubt how thorough was that renunciation of mere natural obligations which they were required to make when they became initiated into the secrets and forms of this self-denying sect.
There are few incidents connected with the life of Jesus that leave such a painful impression, when read, as the objection Jesus made to this disciple's doing what his natural instinct and love to his departed father dictated to him as his privilege and his duty.
The history of the behaviour of the patriarch Joseph upon the death of his father Jacob p. The Essenes, in their renunciation of all worldly ties, may have borne in mind the example of the old Levites, who, in their entire devotion unto the service to which they were set apart, are thus referred to in the person of Levi, their ancestor: Speaking of the Essenes, one of the historians we have mentioned says expressly that they were Jews by birth, and that they manifested a greater affection one to another than did members of the other sects.
How many touching illustrations we could give of the fervent love which Jesus is said to have expressed towards his friends, of his exhortations to them to love each other, and himself, their teacher, in particular. He compares in one place the love which he bore to his disciples to that which his heavenly Father bore to him, saying, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.
The Essenes, at least the p. They did not deny the fitness of marriage in others, for the due preservation of the race, but they avoided it themselves, and, as a rule, all who joined them had to be single. Josephus, indeed, tells of one order of Essenes who agreed with the rest as to their way of living, and in their customs and laws, but differed from them on the point of matrimony, as thinking that by not marrying they cut off the principal part of human life, which is the prospect of succession; nay, rather, that if all me should be of the same opinion, the whole race of man kind would fail.
But he adds further, "They do not use to accompany with their wives when they are with child, as a demonstration that they do not marry out of regard to pleasure, but for the sake of posterity. He speaks in disparaging terms of Josephus, but says nothing to invalidate his history, and he admits that Philo was a good man, a great thinker, and a contemporary of Jesus.
He tells us the Essenes were an exclusive, ascetic, and isolated community, with whose discouragement p. He further remarks that the period in which Jesus lived was an epoch so troubled and so restless, that it was excusable for an Essene to embrace a life of celibacy, and to retire from the society of man.
This is exactly what Jesus did. It is undeniable that he was a celibate himself, and encouraged others to become irretrievably so, and also that he was a great recluse. We are not obliged to connect their journey there with any p.
Farrar remarks that Egypt has in all ages been the natural place of refuge for all who were desirous to leave Palestine, and that even in those times it could have been reached in three days. Another writer says it was "the simplest thing in those days to step over the frontier round the corner of the Mediterranean into Egypt—just as we slip over to Boulogne or Paris; the road from ancient times was so beaten a track that the very cab and horse fares are mentioned.
See 1 Kings x. Matthew makes the departure into Egypt to have taken place almost immediately after his birth, and he is stated to have remained there with his parents till Herod was dead, supposed to have been about six years afterwards. Luke, on the contrary, says that Mary, after "the days of her purification according to the law of Moses," which were one month, during which the parents of Jesus and himself were apparently unmolested, brought the latter to Jerusalem openly "to present him to the Lord," and that when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, "they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth," where it further appears from his narrative they resided henceforth for years.
It is quite apparent that the accounts of Matthew and of Luke are irreconcilable; they cannot both of them be true: Presuming that Joseph belonged to the Essenes, or that he held intercourse with them, the earliest education of Jesus may have been commenced and continued among p. So unable, in fact, is Farrar himself to account for the precociousness of Jesus as recorded in Luke, that he cannot but candidly admit that "in any case it is clear our Lord, from his earliest infancy, must have been thrown into close connection with several kinsmen or brothers, a little older or a little younger than himself, who were men of marked individuality, of burning zeal, of a simplicity almost bordering on Essenic asceticism.
Surrounded, as it is allowed Jesus must have been in early life, by men of "an almost Essenic asceticism," is it any wonder that when he attained to a full age he was fully equipped to impart the doctrines and to inculcate the practices of the Essenes?
They were committed to truth at any cost, and they didn't care who they destroyed in order to protect that truth. Even the disciples battled that attitude. When Samaritans in a certain town refused to receive Jesus, two disciples went to Him and said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?
Remember when heretics were burned at the stake during the Middle Ages? Well it isn't socially acceptable to burn people at the stake today, so now we just write books against them! Call it what you will, friends, but I call that a pharisaical spirit. And that spirit is widespread in the body of Christ right now. There are books being written today on things that really don't matter.
It just is not that big a deal to prove yourself right on minor points of theology when billions of people are perishing without Jesus! But the Pharisees taught us all a valuable lesson: Who Were The Sadducees? In contrast, the Sadducees were a very wealthy group of guys who sat around and dialogued on philosophical ideas -- sort of a wealthy and powerful men's club. They had a "let's not rock the boat" mentality which caused them to live a life of compromise.
They were the ones who held most of the power -- and all of the money. They were more concerned with outward appearance than with eternal values.
A Sadducee's reputation in society was more important to him than a personal relationship with God. If you look at the Body of Christ today, you'll see we have both Pharisees and Sadducees resident in abundance.
We have people who will kill you for what they consider to be "incorrect doctrine. If you sin a little, what difference does it make? We're just human after all! Here was God in human form, walking upon the earth for the first and only time in history -- and guess what? He was not a Pharisee or a Sadducee! God's True Representative Before Jesus came on the scene, there was no accurate representation of God. God had been misrepresented by the legalism of the Pharisees, and His character had been watered down by the compromising philosophy of the Sadducees.
You might think, "What a sad situation those people must have been in! The Body of Christ is plagued by extremes. Sometimes new Christians who've just come out of sinful lifestyles tend to be hard-line and Pharisee-like. Or young people who have come to Christ after being raised in a harsh or legalistic home may tend more towards being like the Sadducees: Let's just get rid of all the nuclear warheads and fundamentalists - then we can fully enjoy the earth experience.
Is it possible to be compassionate and not compromise like the Sadducees? It must be possible -- because Jesus did it! He is our perfect example. He hated sin yet majored in love and compassion. And He never compromised. He was never a Pharisee, and never a Sadducee.
He was the true representation of the character of God. The Unchangeable Character Of God Many times we interpret God's character on the basis of what we think or what we've experienced in our own lives. But here's a little principle to keep in mind: Always interpret circumstances in the light of what you know the unchangeable character of God to be.
Let's take a look at Matthew 9: But go and learn what this means, 'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
First of all, He called Matthew, a hated tax collector, to be His disciple. Not only did He call him, He went to eat at his house! Think about Jesus, the holiest man who ever graced a human body, eating with tax collectors and notorious sinners.
That would be today's equivalent of Jesus sharing a pizza with drug dealers and pimps! But Jesus gained this reputation for being the friend of sinners, and the Bible says they came to eat with Him. He didn't have to persuade them to come, they just enjoyed being near Him. Today, if you walk out on the streets of any city in this nation and ask non-believers what they think about Christians, you'll usually get a response like, "They're self-righteous and legalistic. They stab each other in the back.
He couldn't have been, otherwise sinners wouldn't have come near Him! Jesus was every thing the Pharisees claimed to be, yet sinners liked to be around Him.
Do sinners like to be around us? It's easy to be loving at church, but could we sit at the same table with a pimp or a drug dealer? It's a hard call, friends - but Jesus did just that. And the fragrance of Christ overwhelmed the stench of sin. Questions about the legitimacy of the Second Temple and its Sadducaic leadership freely circulated within Judean society.
Sects began to form during the Maccabean reign see Jewish Sectarianism below. In the beginnings of Karaismthe followers of Anan ben David were called "Sadducees" and set a claim of the former being a historical continuity from the latter. The Sadducee concept of the mortality of the soul is reflected on by Uriel Acostawho mentions them in his writings. Role of the Sadducees[ edit ] Religious[ edit ] The religious responsibilities of the Sadducees included the maintenance of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Their high social status was reinforced by their priestly responsibilities, as mandated in the Torah. The priests were responsible for performing sacrifices at the Temple, the primary method of worship in ancient Israel. This included presiding over sacrifices during the three festivals of pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Their religious beliefs and social status were mutually reinforcing, as the priesthood often represented the highest class in Judean society.
However, Sadducees and the priests were not completely synonymous. Cohen points out that "not all priests, high priests, and aristocrats were Sadducees; many were Pharisees, and many were not members of any group at all. Administered the state domestically Represented the state internationally Participated in the Sanhedrinand often encountered the Pharisees there. These also came in the form of international tribute from Jews in the Diaspora.
Equipped and led the army Regulated relations with the Romans Mediated domestic grievances. Rather, they saw the written Torah as the sole source of divine authority. According to Josephus, the Sadducees believed that: There is no fate. God does not commit evil.
Man has free will; "man has the free choice of good or evil".
Sadducees - Wikipedia
The soul is not immortal; there is no afterlife. There are no rewards or penalties after death. The Sadducees did not believe in resurrection of the deadbut believed in the traditional Jewish concept of Sheol for those who had died.