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Re: orion Orion-Essene Debate

From: "Vernon Chadwick" <chadwick3@email.msn.com>
To: <orion@mscc.huji.ac.il>

V Chadwick wrote-
>>my question is
>>whether or not there is any evidence of a similar intiation process
>>for any of ther other 'schools' (Sadducees, Pharisees, other) of the
>>or if the intitiation process in itself may have been unique to the
>>Thanks for your consideration.
J West wrote:
>If it is initiation that you are interested in, and suppose that whoever
>practiced initiation by baptism must be connected to the "essenes"- then
>could take that a step further and say that Christians and the authors of
>are related because they both initiate the same way.
>The authors of CD practiced certain rituals.  Josephus says that the
>practiced the same rituals- therefore the essenes must have written CD.
>(this is, in brief, S.G.'s argument).

> and Leviticus prescribes certain
>food regulations; therefore CD and Leviticus are related and the authors of
>CD must have been Levites.

Thanks for your comments... Perhaps I should have made my comments more
clear as I was referring to more specific similarities than just baptismal
initiation, i.e.:

one year probation for initiate separated from the community, Ant 2.8.137
and CD

full admission after three years probation w/ annual examination, Ant
2.8.138 and 1QS

separated into four hierarchical ranks upon completion of probation, Ant
2.8.150 and CD

surrender of wealth, Ant 2.8.122 and 1QS

oaths before taking the common food, Ant 2.8.139 and 1QS

 Of course these similarities do not 'prove' anything.... however I have yet
to see any evidence of similar probationary/initiation requirements even
remotely connected to any group other than the Essenes (not even touching
the doctrinal similarities regarding predestination which, according to
classical writers are singularly Essene).  While the above does not 'prove'
anything at all, how can the Essene theory be so casually dismissed without
providing another group that might participate in similar requirements for

Or, as Frank Cross put it- in order to argue against the testimony of the
classical sources regarding the Essenes "the scholar must suppose that one
community carefully described by classical authors disappeared without
leaving building remains or even pottery sherds behind; while the other
community, systematically ignored by the classical sources, left extensive
ruins and even a great library"

Vernon Chadwick
Charlotte, NC