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RE: orion-list Was Josephus Exhaustive?
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: George Brooks [mailto:george.x.brooks@Juno.Com]
> Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2000 12:47 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: orion-list Was Josephus Exhaustive?
> Prof. Suter,
> I believe you are thinking of another section
> of Josephus. The section which I quoted (and included in
> an earlier posting) limits itself to his wanting to learn
> all about the three major Sects (he expresses no interest
> in learning about any of the other sects) and with the hope
> of deciding which one would be best. His discussion of
> Bannus is just prior to his mention of returning to
> Jerusalem, at the age of 19, to learn about the Pharisees.
No, George, I have in mind the passage from the Life about Bannus, which has
him mention the three sects (Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes) into which the
nation is divided, having "passed through the three courses" and then
spending three years in the wilderness with Bannus, and then "Being now in
my nineteenth year I began to govern my life by the rules of the Pharisees"
(quoting the Loeb edition). That says nothing about moving along to study
the Pharisaic ways but actually adopting it as his way of life after
apparently having studied it prior to living as the disciple of Bannus. The
passage seems to me to imply a distinction between the Essenes and Bannus,
since he takes up discipleship with Bannus as an additional move after
having passed through the three courses, which would include the Essenes,
from the way he sets the account up. Furthermore, while the three years
might correspond to the period of initiation of the Essenes, the process of
initiation into the Essenes would appear to be communal in character,
involving placing one's property under the control of the community and
participation in a communal meal. Josephus says nothing about that sort of
a process, but simply that he lived as a teacher's disciple for three years.
I think there's some real reason for hesitation in taking Bannus as an
example of an Essene.
Saint Martin's College
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