Do The Essenes Exist

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The Essenes’ particularly high esteem as the most praiseworthy representatives of Jewish piety on the part of their Jewish contemporaries is diametrically opposed to the picture that Christians today have them. The principal cause of this is the simple fact that Pharisees and Sadducees are repeatedly mentioned in the New Testament, and even one of Jesus’ disciples is identified as a former Zealot (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13), while the Essenes are never mentioned. (Stegemann). Christians therefore think of the Essenes as a very nebulous entity that in Jesus’ time must have been rather insignificant and probably led only a marginal existence.

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