The Light vs. Darkness

Shibolet

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Nor should everyone see the same way as others do. Completely agree. But (and you just knew there was a but coming!) on a forum such as this, an interfaith forum, seems to me we need to be a bit more open to the potential differences in meaning. No?

Well, I assume we are, aren't we? I am indeed open to the fact that we all think differently from each other... and that's good. Learning is the purpose and there is no learning in the chit-chattering of common beliefs. Controversy is the secret.
 

juantoo3

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The main theme of the Essene Theology was the struggle between the Children of Light and the Children of Darkness. Between the Jews and the Gentiles, there is.
I have read the translation of the War between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness, and pretty much all other Dead Sea Scrolls I could find translated. The Essenes are an integral part of a pivotal point in history that intrigues me...which is why I find your statement here curious.

The Jews in general have "always" advocated a separation between them and Gentiles...so it wasn't only the Essenes teaching this at the time, so were the Pharisees and the Saduccees and pretty much all other Jewish teachers...it was "second nature" and a given in Jewish thought. Which means the War between the Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness wasn't about the separation between Jews and Gentiles. It was between Jews and Essenes, cast as a war between the unrighteous and the righteous. The Essenes set up shop in the desert to get away from *what they saw as* the corrupted practices that had taken over the Temple by that time. To the Essenes, the "Sons of Darkness" were those in religious power that had abused and perverted their privilege and position in the Temple (not least by colluding with the occupying Roman power). While certain scholars would like to tie Yashua (Jesus) to the Essenes because of this connection, there is nothing to indicate Yashua had any direct association with the Essenes. John Baptist *might* have had some peripheral association with the Essenes (both were ascetics, though John is thought to have been more of a hermit), but again there is nothing to indicate direct association.
 
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juantoo3

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essenes

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/portrait/scrolltranslation.html#fn0

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Dead_Sea_scrolls

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Sons_of_Light_Against_the_Sons_of_Darkness

Col. 1
For the In[structor, the Rule of] the War. The first attack of the
Sons of Light shall be undertaken against the forces of the Sons of Darkness, the army of Belial: the troops of Edom, Moab, the sons of Ammon, the [Amalekitesl, Philistia, and the troops of the Kittim of Asshur. Supporting them are those who have violated the covenant. The sons of Levi, the sons of Judah, and the sons of Benjamin, those exiled to the wilderness, shall fight against them with [ . . . ] against all their troops, when the exiles of the Sons of Light return from the Wilderness of the Peoples to camp in the Wilderness of Jerusalem. Then after the battle they shall go up from that place a[nd the king of] the Kittim [shall enter] into Egypt. In his time he shall go forth with great wrath to do battle against the kings of the north and in his anger he shall set out to destroy and eliminate the strength of I[srael. Then there shall be a time of salvation for the People of God, and a time of dominion for all the men of His forces, and eternal annihilation for all the forces of Belial.
There shall be g[reat] panic [among] the sons of Japheth. Assyria shall fall with no one to come to his aid, and the supremacy of the Kittim shall cease, that wickedness be overcome without a remnant. There shall be no survivors of [all the Sons of] Darkness.
Then [the Sons of Rig]hteousness shall shine to all ends of the world, continuing to shine forth until end of the appointed seasons of darkness. Then at the time appointed by God, His great excellence shall shine for all the times of e[ternity;] for peace and blessing, glory and joy, and long life for all Sons of Light. On the day when the Kittim fall there shall be a battle and horrible carnage before the God of Israel, for it is a day appointed by Him from ancient times as a battle of annihilation for the Sons of Darkness. On that day the congregation of the gods and the congregation of men shall engage one another, resulting in great carnage. The Sons of Light and the forces of Darkness shall fight together to show the strength of God with the roar of a great multitude and the shout of gods and men: a day of disaster. It is a time of distress fo[r al]l the people who are redeemed by God. In all their afflictions none exists that is like it, hastening to its completion as an eternal redemption. On the day of their batlle against the Kittim, they shall g[o forth for] carnage in battle. In three lots the Sons of Light shall stand firm so as to strike a blow at wickedness, and in three the army of Belial shall strengthen themselves so as to force the retreat of the forces [of Light. And when the] banners of the infantry cause their hearts to melt. then the strength of God will strengthen the he[arts of the Sons of Light.] In the seventh lot the great hand of God shall overcome [Belial and al]1 the angels of his dominion, and all the men of [his forces shall be destroyed forever].
 
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Thomas

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While certain scholars would like to tie Yashua (Jesus) to the Essenes because of this connection, there is nothing to indicate Yashua had any direct association with the Essenes.
And much to indicate against it. He broke the laws of ritual purity enough to offend the Pharisees, and such actions would have outraged an Essene.
 
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