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Re: orion-list The "Doers" Appear Yet Again!
Albert Baumgarten is following the line of thought that Banus (or Bannus)
of the Essenes. Here are the lines of text from Josephus:
1) Flavius Josephus Life of Josephus 7 (Whiston)
These sects are three: - The first is that of the Pharisees, the second
Sadducees, and the third that of the Essens, as we have frequently told
you; for I thought that by this means I might choose the best, if I were
once acquainted with them all; so I contented myself with hard fare, and
underwent great difficulties, and went through them all. Nor did I
content myself with these trials only; but when I was informed that one,
whose name was Banus, lived in the desert, and used no other clothing
than grew upon trees, and had no other food than what grew of its own
accord, and bathed himself in cold water frequently, both by night and by
order to preserve his chastity, I imitated him in those things, and
continued with him three years.
So when I had accomplished my desires [an implication that we became
fully initiated as an Essene after 3 years?], I returned back to the
city, being now nineteen years old, and began to conduct myself according
to the rules of the sect of the Pharisees, which is of kin to the sect of
the Stoics, as the Greeks call them.
= = = = = = = =
End of Text
This is a good text to work with. It even has a nod to Prof. Goranson
the Stoics (see the last sentence).
As you can see, Josephus says that he lived with Banus from the age of 16
19. And then he says he returns to the city and tries his hand at life
1) There are those who suggest Josephus leaves us hanging. When does
he live the life of a Sadducee? Since the Sadducees represent the
few families that shared the role of High Priest (with a presumed lack of
interest in angels and resurrection), how does one ardently pursue the
of a Sadducee unless one is already living the life of one? It would be
like me pondering whether to live the life of British royalty..... but
either are or you aren't. So it has always been my understanding that
Josephus, though of distant Maccabean heritage like Herod's children,
he was raised in a Sadduceean family, and upon reaching the age of 16
decided to see if the other "sects" were more noble. "Hippies" lived
in many an earlier generation, yes?
Thus, after 3 years with the Essenes, Josephus tries the life of a
2) This line of analysis notwithstanding, clearly the manner of
Banus's lifestyle, in the wilderness, wearing only linen-like clothing
(but not wool), vegetarian, daily ablutions, and chastity has very
little to suggest a Pharisee or a Sadducee lifestyle. By the process
of elimination, and by the very context of Josephus's comments,
we can conclude Banus is an Essene.
I would suggst that if Albert Baumgarten can fuss over this one
paragraph of Josephus and not be willing to arrive at this conclusion
(especially in the absence of any countervailing evidence), my postings
will continue to provide him with no end of aggravation. If Mr.
Baumgarten is willing to specifically state on Orion that he believes
Banus/Bannus was something OTHER than an Essene, I would
very much enjoy reading that.
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