Pope Links Jesus To Mysterious Sect
Added: Apr 8th, 2007 1:45 PM
Pope Benedict XVI this week linked Jesus with the Essene Jews, saying that he used the Passover calendar of the mysterious sect known through the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Pope said Jesus "celebrated Easter with his disciples probably according to the Qumran calendar, and thus at least the day before" mainstream observances at the time.
Benedict said this hypothesis was "not yet accepted by everyone" but that it was the most "probable" explanation for contradictions between the different Gospels on the life of Christ.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus dies on the cross during Passover, and lambs are sacrificed in the Temple of Jerusalem, while in the other three Gospels his last meal - the Last Supper - with his disciples was a Passover Seder.
In addition, the Pope said on Thursday, Jesus celebrated Passover "without a lamb, as did the Essene community", which did not sacrifice animals. "Instead of the lamb he offered himself, he offered his life," Benedict added.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were attributed by historians and biblical scholars to the Essenes, a strict sect that split from the Jerusalem priesthood and settled in Qumran, on the shores of the Dead Sea.
Some say Jesus himself was an Essene.
French Cardinal Albert Vanhoye, former rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, said that in Jesus's time "the Essene calendar was more traditional than the newer one of the Jerusalem priesthood" and more in use.
He said, "Even if Jesus was able to feel sympathy for the Essenes, who were very pious, his mentality was very different from theirs because they were very attached to ritual observances, which he wasn't.". - Sapa-AFP
This article was originally published on page 13 of Cape Argus on April 08, 2007
Anything else that doesnt fit into the other categories listed under spiritual food
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