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Re: Jesus and Qumran

I have been diverted by this book "Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven."  By
coincidence it seems to have something to say related to the subjects being
discussed.  For example, at pp. 43-44 the author writes:

The Jewish sect of Qumran, which was influenced by Gnosticism, is of great
importance to New Testament scholarship because Jesus, John the Baptist, and
the apostles lived for decades, so to speack, alongside it. [ This was indeed
a busy place.]  The baptismal site above where the Jordan empties into the
Dead Sea was only nine to twelve miles from the Qumran settlement.  While
Jesus was not ascetic, there is a lot of evidence that John the Baptist was
influenced by Qumran, and "may even have been a member [of the
sect]"(Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwar, vol. 5, 1961, 751).  The
difference between them was apparent even to their contemporaries.  Jesus
says: "John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon';
the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a glutton and
a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners'" (Mt. 11:18-19).  Thus,
even as Jesus did not follow the ascetical style of Qumran, however
physically close to Qumran he may have been, so we also see in him no
tendency toward the high esteem for virginity as a means to come closer to
God.  Jesus belongs to the Old Testament tradition, which is alien to such
thinking.  He is trying to get Judaism back to its roots; to the idea of the
creation of a man and a woman who become one flesh and therefore inseparable.
[Unless, of course, the woman is a foreigner or, for some, your niece.]

Mark Dunn