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Re: orion-list Full Suda Translation (rough draft)
David Hindley beat me to putting in the texts from
"When I first saw this thread a week or so ago I immediately thought of Epiphanius' Panarion (H1.326/29.5):
1. "You will find, learned reader, this subject treated in what Philo has recorded in his book entitled _Jessaeans_ [De vita contemplativa, of disputed authorship?], as he wrote about none other than Christians when he described their way of life, what is praiseworthy about them, and their monasteries in the region of Lake Marea [Mareotis]." (Amidon, pg 91) [and a few more lines].
Followed by his conclusion:
"The compiler of the article on Essenes found in the Suda seems to have associated the Therapeutae and the Essenes in a manner similar to that made by Jerome and Filastrius."
[END OF HINDLEY TEXT}
But it is this conclusion which just doesn't gel too well
for me. From the prior posts we hear the following:
1) Philo says the Essenes are "active" compared to the Therapeutae.
2) Philo and Chaeremon BOTH write about a highly contemplative
group. (By the way, excuse my clumsy wording. I do not
doubt the Egyptian-ness of Chaeremon. I doubt the Egyptian-ness
of his group of Egyptian Priests. I think they were Jewish
linked to the Egyptian Temple, and supported in part by revenues generated from this Temple.)
3) The Suda appears and calls the Essenes "contemplative", and
so we are supposed to conclude that the Suda got things all
confused, and really meant the Therapeautae.
However, this would ALSO mean that the Suda got it confused, but
got it confused about a group that Russell doesn't even think
really existed, since he thinks Philo INVENTED the Therapeautae.
Naturally, it is possible for such a confusion to take place.
But the following is also possible:
A) That compared to the Therapeautae, the Essenes WERE active
(which would be a comparison between 2 groups of 2 regions - Egypt and Palestine).
B) But, that compared to the Pharisees and the Scribes, the
Essenes WERE more contemplative. A review of the DSS material
would clearly show a group HIGHLY dedicated to prayer and to
probably an endless series of Yahad meetings.
C) The Panarion's discussion of the _Jessaeans_ links, once
again, this IMAGINARY (according to Russell) group, NOT to
pagan Egyptians, but to a group somehow linked to the Jesus
"clan" as spirituals of some sort. So how does this get us
any closer to the pagan Egyptians of Chaeremon? Considering
we have written history alleging an Egyptian "connection"
between Jesus, Joseph and Mary, AND if the Therapeautae are
REAL and JEWISH (not imaginary or pagan Egyptian), we CAN
see how these links might have been confused in the early
D) Finally, as Eisenman has already demonstrated, there
are quite a number of curious links to the Palestinian connections of the Rechabites and Jewish ascetic thought.
There is even echos of this in Josephus. So how much
confusion do we have to allege to think the Rechabites are
being linked to a group of Pagan Egyptians (out of region,
and the wrong spiritual heritage), instead of to the Essenes (that are IN Palestine, and IN Judaism)?
The mystery is WHO ARE THE THERAPEUTAE? But just because
we can't be sure who or what they were about (assuming we
are willing to doubt Philo's testimony) does not mean
we have to "gut" all the other material on Rechabites and the
Essenes - - simply because it "sounds" like the Therapeutae.
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