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orion-list Oaths: Essene = Yea/Nea Non-Essene = "by Heaven"/"by Earth"
This is the first time I've seen James from the New Testament used
to modify the sense of what Josephus meant about Essenes.
But let's suppose it is a good match. Josephus does talk
about an Essene position against forms of oath taking. But
that does not mean Essenes didn't make "mortal promises"
to their Yahad - - to its assembly collectively, or to
its fellow members individually. The issue is the **form**
of the promise.
Do not swear **by heaven** nor **by earth**. Make your "yea"
be "yea" means that you are to be trusted by a simple "yes" or "no"
.... not by any creative attempts to swear "by the Temple" or "by the
Temple's Treasure" etc.
Let's not get overboard with the semantics, okay? It is clear
from Josephus himself that Essenes made life-and-death promises
about the food they would eat and how they would conduct themselves.
If you are uncomfortable about my use of the term "oath" (which Prof.
Goranson doesn't seem to be), then let's just use the word "promise",
And if Josephus is to be believed that he lived with Bannus the
Essene as his student for three years in the desert, you can be sure
he made some important Essene-style promises that bound him for
the rest of his life (on penalty of death).... even after he later
to the Pharisee camp (at least politically speaking).
P.S. Would you like the reference in the Book of Acts for the couple
who lied about giving **all** the proceeds from selling their property
to the Jesus Yahad, and they both died for their misdeed? Do you
mean to suggest that this couple did **not** make a serious
promise about the proceeds of their property? I think we all know
they did. The question remains: was it God or Peter that killed
On Mon, 27 Dec 1999 22:22:30 +0100 "Dierk van den Berg" <haGalil@gmx.net>
> George says:
> > The latter position is **exactly** my position, that Josephus and
> > Hippolytus depend on a common source (I repeat, a common
> > source).
> > As soon as I read both writers it was obvious to me.
> ... as it was to Robert Eisenman...:-)
> > Hippolytus
> > never swore an Essenian oath.
> "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven,
> neither by
> the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and
> your nay,
> nay; lest ye fall into condemnation." (Jak 5:12; AV)
> With a Mandaean blubb-blubb,
> For private reply, e-mail to "Dierk van den Berg" <haGalil@gmx.net>
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