Monday, November 05, 2007

Was Jesus raised and trained as Nazarene Essene?

1. While visiting the Dead Sea Scrolls
By the Grace of God and thanks to my dear friend Barbara, last month we had the opportunity to visit the original Dead Sea Scrolls which were displayed in San Diego Natural History Museum flown all the way from Israel. It was a fascinating experience to see the scrolls and one of the place in the exhibit said, probably these are the scrolls that Jesus Christ read. Which is quite possibly true because the origin time-line of these scrolls goes back exactly during the time of Christ and before and there are astounding evidences coming up suggesting that Jesus Christ himself was a Nazarene Essene.

The exhibition did a wonderful job of not only presenting the Scrolls but also re-creating in virtual 3D (was done at UCLA) the whole community, practices of the Essenes, who by scholarly evidences are the people who wrote and preserved those scrolls. As a mystic's point of view it was so exciting to read different verses from the scrolls and it hit you like revelation how deeply mystical texts those are and what big mis-interpretation fell upon them while they were taken literally. A cursory read of different texts from the scrolls shows what great gnostic value they have.

Now while going through the exhibition, thinking about the community and also thinking about Christ's life it was coming to my mind that Jesus most probably was raised and trained as Nazarene Essene in those community. There are many logical reasons for that hypothesis.

The Essenes were very much against the other mainstream Jewish groups, such as the Pharisees. And remember how Jesus Christ was opposed in his criticism of the Pharisees and the other groups whom Christ saw as people responsible to corrupt the temple, religious ethics and the laws.

Later i figured, the hypothesis that Jesus probably was raised and trained as an Essene Mystic is not a very out of order concept. It has been suggested by many who did research on the lost years of Christ and his life prior to his ministry. Those who studied the Essenes could easily see great amount of proof embedded in the New Testament as well.

2. Who were the Essene?
The Essenes were a Jewish religious brotherhood, one of three main philosophical Jewish sects of the time, the other two being the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Essenes are striking in the absence of their mention from the Bible for they were as influential and as important as the Sadducees and the Pharisees. They repudiated conventional Judaism in favor of a form of Gnosticism, and were the most esteemed healers in the Holy Land at the time. The word Essene comes from the Greek 'essenoi' meaning something secret or mystic.

They were organized on a communal basis and practiced strict asceticism. They prayed on regular appointed time and it is found from archaeological evidences as shown in Dead Sea Scrolls recreation of Essene community practices, that they maintained elaborate measure of time for their regular prayer. In the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition it says that the evidences suggested that they were obsessed with the measurement of accurate time (for fixed timely appointed regular prayers it seems). They used special and sophisticated water reservoir to clean themselves before prayers as a community. Their practices are very similar to Islamic practices in terms of ablution (wudu) before ritual prayer and offering prayer at appointed times and also prayers offered in togetherness.

The Essene order existed in Palestine and Syria from the 2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD. Its chief settlements were on the shores of the Dead Sea. The Essenes are censored out from the Bible and also they are not mentioned in rabbinical literature! credit. The Essenes did not worship in Herod's Jerusalem temple, considering it to be a defiled place run by political slaves of the Herods...and where is the place of God's devotee? to the Essenes, the answer was obvious...in the wilderness, under a clear sky and with nature.

Their fundamental teachings were love of God, love of virtue, and love of one's fellow humans. And does that ring a bell what Christ was preaching about?

Modern scholars thus believe that Jesus may have been an Essene and with whom he shared many views; and that later Christian transcribers cast him as an enemy of the Pharisees, because when Christians and Jews came into conflict in later years the Pharisees had become the dominant sect of Judaism. (credit)

One large Essenic community was in the Qumran region from 110 BC to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. It is believed among their prominent members were John the Baptist, Jesus and Simon Magus the founder of Gnosticism. One indication that Christ may have been an Essene was that he criticized the Scribes and Pharisees, but never the Essenes. It is also surfacing that those following Christ were called Essenes before they were known as Christians. The term "Christian" was used much later.

John the Baptist was an Essene. Indeed, he preached along the Jordan River near the Essenes' Dead Sea settlement, he held theo-political beliefs similar to those of the Essenes, and lines found in the Dead Sea Scrolls echo in his preaching. The Aquarian Age Gospel of Jesus (1: 12) mentions that Joseph who was responsible of Mary, mother of Jesus ".. was an upright man, and a devoted Essenes" . (read)

3. The Healing power of the Essenes and Christ
The Essenes called themselves Therapeutae, "healers," claiming that their austere lifestyle gave them the power to cast out demons of sickness and even to restore life of the dead. Considering this, Christ raising Lazarus from the dead seems a typical Essenic miracle. Others have wondered if such an event could not have occurred after Christ was lain in the tomb (click to read) following his crucifixion. Essenes might have been waiting in the tomb to revive him. ... It seems that Christ used the Essenic method of exorcism ... (detail)


Jesus
Originally uploaded
by fathers_table.
What is interesting is that according to Quran, The Last Testament, the followers of Jesus Christ are not called Christian, they are called Nasara or Nasrani in arabic, meaning the Nazarene. Compare with Bible: "He shall be called a Nazarean!" (Matthew 2:23). And whenever Jesus Christ's name is mentioned, its mentioned as Isa Ibn Maryam or Jesus the son of Mary. Prophet Muhammad is also reported to address him likewise: "My late brothers, the Prophets, numbered eight thousand. Then came Jesus, the son of Mary, then I came after him."

And it is reported that the Essenes were instructed to receive a child who will be born to a virgin woman called Mary. According to clairvoyant and scholar Edgar Cayce, due to her great virtue, Mary was chosen by the Essenes for intensive spiritual training in preparation for the conception of the messiah (detail, also). That also do give a lot sense when one read how Jesus is always called son of Mary in Quran as mother Mary was the Holy Vessel which was made known to Essenes even before Christ appeared.

God willing, if you can connect the dots, be able to recognize the evidences which are right in front of our eyes and able to see the big picture, its mind boggling!

"Those of you who reach Jesus, son of Mary, give him salaam, the greeting of peace from me." - Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him (credit)

may Beloved's profound peace be upon Jesus, the Messiah and upon his blessed mother Mary and may we are given the vision to recognize the Messiah in his full glory and to receive his loving blessings. amen.

[>] Click here to see images from Virtual Qumran with reconstruction of Essene community and their abode.


image used at top: Brother Nazariah, High Priest
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