So I'm guessing you accept a spectrum of beliefs for Qumran-Essenes too. One issue I know of at the moment is marriage. They seemed to have varied on whether or not one is to marry or not--at least judging from what Josephus says. Again, I also think you are right in your critique when saying: "Nonsense — or rather, erroneous and super-ceded scholarship. The Essenes pioneered a very fundamental and hard-line way, not the way of Jesus at all ... the socialism of Jesus would have appalled them, and his mixing with the sinner and the impure would have horrified them. His way was not Essene at all. The Essenes were also a militant society, and would not endore Jesus' message of love, forgiveness and peace, they embraced none of that." Although it is possible other Essenes that were not Qumran-Essenes may have prayed for their enemies (as Hippolytus states), there is no historical evidence this is so. How do you view John the Baptist's relationship to the Essenes? Do you think he could have learned from them and interpreted their eschatology another way? A more peaceful way? Do you think Peter was against this notion of a suffering servant due to possible Qumran-Essene influence or influence from others? Was the messiah's death totally unexpected for him? Afterall, I find the notion of Peter carrying a sword during Jesus' ministry interesting: "Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" (John 18.10-11) Now I picture Peter carrying a sword around for self-defense during the entire ministry of Jesus, or does the sword symbolize more? Does it symbolize an anticipation for war, as was expected by Qumran-Essene eschatology? Here is Jesus preaching peace to the people . . . or here is Jesus walking along the road followed by his disciples . . . while Peter is carrying a sword? Just figured I would mention that since we are discussing Qumran-Essenes, peace, and what the end of days meant for how they oriented their behavior to outsiders.