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Re: orion-list Bannus and Josephus
Ian Werrett offers some more of the same ideas that seem to attract
adherents but makes no real sense to me. Again, there is the refrain
Josephus is being much more mysterious and than I could really imagine.
Then there is the suggestion that Bannus "could not" still be an Essene.
Mr. Werrett, since I can't really imagine why it is important to you that
Bannus **not** be an Essene, I don't need to say anything more about
why there is no reason **not** to think Bannus is an Essene, eccentric or
otherwise. Eisenman considers the Rechabite connection with ascetic
Jewish lifestyle to dovetail quite well with the antecedents of the
community. And with the recent posting from me quoting liberally from
the translation of History of the Rechabites, there seems to be an
similarity between the ascetic ways of Bannus and the "holy ones" of
the "Sons of Rechab", and also between these "Sons of Rechab" and
Josephus's discussion of the Essene views of the afterlife. The
between Josephus and the mysterious work HISTORY OF THE
RECHABITES is really quite interesting.
If Ian would like to discuss this Bannus thing some more, I invite him
to let me know why it bothers him so to think Bannus could be an
"ex-Essene" but not a "current Essene".
As to Bannus's clothing, this falls in the same category as why
Mattathias, the father of Judas the Hammer, would flee into the
wilderness and eat only wild vegetable food "to avoid defilement".
Essenes did not wear "ordinary" clothing. They wore white linen - -
which is a vegetable based fabric. Presumably they do this because
they would be more prone to defilement if they wore animal-based
wool. "Clothes made from trees [wild plants?]" have the same virtue
food coming only from wild plants. No one can be certain exactly how
these clothes were fashioned, or from exactly what kind of vegetable
material. But it fits quite well with the ascetic side of Jewish
spirituality.... and to my satisfaction, it fits nicely with the
links to the Essenes and/or the Rechabites.
I find it interesting that two Orion participants, both from
college departments, have felt a strong need to link Bannus with John the
Baptist. Do I even detect an urge to make Bannus "into" John the
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