Re: Some more Essene Research FYI
>>>Which text? Apoc. of John? Hmm, I seem to remember in this verygroup something about that text being dualistic and not aligned with
the Sethian forms, but I can look that up later.<<<
We should also probably point out that there is a difference between
the Sethian sect and the Sethian category (forms) of Gnosticism...
just to be clear for the forum.
>>>As for whom had considered it an Essene text, I provided thewebsite, but I'll be buggered if I can find the other one that I saw
Yes, I understood that. I, on the other hand, was talking about
academic sources dealing specifically with the subject at hand. That
is why I said "scholars". You know, people like King, Logan,
Williams, Turner, Layton, Pagels, Rudolph, Mayer, etc..
>>>Neither website was of a historical nature, however. I justthought it was interesting that the conception was so.<<<
Sure, I can understand wishing to explore the possibilities.
>>>And I have always had the 'hang of' objectivity<<<<Then let me rephrase it this way; thank you for taking the time to
PRESENT the ideas in such a way that we are able to deal with them
objectively. I was trying to say I think you did good in picking
that particular source.
>>>and I don't think I ever said that there weren't any differencesin the Essene beliefs and the 'Gnostic' beliefs.<<<
Nor did I suggest you did. However, you DID state... "I believe
Yeshua to have been a gnostic, 'THE' gnostic, but I can see how the
Essenes can find validation that he was Essene - perhaps at that
time they weren't so different." SO, I thought it could be worth
while to explore how similar or different they really seemed to be.
>>>I seek the common thread that run through many beliefs, for Ithink therein lies the truth. I find threads that can link
Gnosticism with many faiths if they interperted simple truths as the
Gnostics did/do. But his is purely my opinion, I am not making any
claims of history.<<<
Many people feel that the methodology you are talking about is
philosophically and spiritually valid. I make no judgement from that
stance... it isn't my job here.
>>>As for the Hebrews 11:38 reference, you are absolutely right. Ididn't catch that one.<<<
And that was simply a single example. I didn't figure I needed to
type them all up in order to point out that the methodology of this
page is not always textually critical. Still, I think the comparison
is helpful all the same.
>>>As for the #60 reference, they did not site a text source for theEssene belief, so it is hard to tell without deeper study. May get
back to you on that one.<<<
Josephus talks about two groups called Essenes. Here is part of what
"There are three sects of the Jews; the Pharisees and Sadducees and
the Essenes. These [last] pretend to practise a holier life
[J: "Jews by birth"] in their display of love for one another and of
continence [comp. Ẓenu'im, above]; they abstain from every act of
covetousness [J: "pleasure as an evil deed"] and avoid even
listening to conversation concerning such things. They renounce
matrimony, but they take children of strangers [J: "when they are
still easily instructed"], and treat them as their own, training
them in their own customs; but they do not forbid them to marry.
Women, however, though they may be inclined to join the same mode of
life, they do not admit, as they by no means place the same
confidence in women."
>>>I didn't mean to equate anything, and if I used that term I usedit badly as that was never my intention- my intention was to find
commonalities, similar structures for belief which my research into
many religions, the ancients notwithstanding, again that common
>>>And yes, the cosmology is quite different, and I was aware of thatgoing into this. My apologies for not stating that.<<<<
So, does that mean that most of the commonalities you see are on the
level of praxis?
>>>I havent' had a chance to peruse the Essene texts for themselvesyet, and when I have I will probably have more information to shape
(and change) the ideas I have now.<<<
I understand. Before you start, though, I would like to point
something out about this page you offered since it lists
many "Essene" texts. I know you are unwilling to accept the
word "fraud" or "hoax", as they are proof I am overly judgemental
and critical. So since I am not allowed to use the easy words let me
just point out in a PC kind of way that some of the texts on this
page that claim to be historical Essene documents found recently are
actually entirely modern. This may not mean they are right or wrong,
but they are not historical so we cannot accept them as
representative of the ancient Essenes. I only point this out because
I was not sure which "Essene" text you were thinking of presenting
for us as demonstrations.
>>>And I had to go with a comparison of Essene and Christian as therewas no Gnostic and Essene comparisions available.<<<
And I didn't complain in the least. I tried to help make the
>>>Once I have satisfied myself to consider writing about it maybe Iwill have one of my own.<<<
And I am sure I will find it interesting, while also feeling the
need to make clear the differences as well so they are given some
equal time. I consider that to be an open minded methodology. Even
though YOU feel that the similarities is where the "truth" is, we
simply cannot make the same assumption as a group trying to maintain
a level of logic and objectivity.
>>>And I will graciously ignore the comment about what I am open to.I simply will consider the source. I am still reading and
*lol*, and yet you did neither... ignored or be gracious. Well, I
get the joke. However, let me point out that I was not making a
sideways snide comment (when I intend a quip, I am quite blunt). On
the contrary I have known many people who simply and honestly don't
respect historiography (it is an actual word). Although I disagree
with that, I can respect that people have the stance. I tried to
point out that I was working around what you seemed to say you felt
(message #12719), in spite of the fact that the accusation was
I am glad you want to continue researching, but you need to stop
reading intents into my posts. I am not generally a sarcastic
person. When I was a kid my mother said "don't trust the people who
accuse you of lieing when you did not... it is they who are the
liers. They are just seeing themselves in others." I realize my
criticism of sources and methods has put you on the defensive, but
my criticisms ARE of sources and methods... not generally persons.
Let the bee out of your bonnet and try to open up a little ;)
- --- In email@example.com, pmcvflag <no_reply@...> wrote:
> I'm glad to hear that Layton didn't include TT *lol*. BTW, I justit
> thought I would also add an interesting note for the group (maybe
> will come up in the Essene conversation as well) that in additionto
> the sects you mention are attacked the treatment of John theBaptist
> is not very sympathetic either.Heh. Neither is the treatment of his mother, Elizabeth. The author
writes, "John was begotten by means of a womb worn with age."
> Less obvious, but possibly still significant....
> "It is through water and fire that the whole place is purified -
> visible by the visible, the hidden by the hidden. There are someone
> things hidden through those visible. There is water in water, there
> is fire in chrism."
> (side note.... considering the subject matter and the mention of
> of the rituals mentioned in other valentinian texts, along withThat's possible. Sure. Yet,... talking about "things hidden
> scribal errors elsewhere in Philip, one could reasonably wonder if
> the second use of the word "water" in this passage may not have
> originally been "baptism")
through those visible" preceding "water in water" compels me to draw
an immediate association of hidden water through visible water. I
don't know if that is any less meaningful than spelling it out.
Since "chrism" is mentioned, it even might be expected to think of
the water in terms of baptism. Chrism and water are mentioned as
*both* being necessary for baptism elsewhere in GPh:
"We are reborn by the holy spirit. And we are born by the anointed
(Christ) through two things. We are anointed by the spirit. When we
were born we were joined. No one can see himself in the water or in
a mirror without light. Nor, again, can you see by the light without
water or a mirror. For this reason it is necessary to baptize with
two things light and water. And light mean chrism."