In this thread let's analyze proof for and against Essene influence in the Jesus movement! We've seen Thomas argue against Essene influence. Let's look at another argument against Essene influence since "bob x," a learned scholar I suppose, specifically quotes from documents from Qumran to formulate his argument. Hmm . . . You're skipping over a lot here since you're solely focused on that which suggests Jesus and the Essenes were diametrically opposed to one another. Scholars tend to focus on differences when a more holistic approach is called for. Does it really matter if Jesus contradicted the Essenes over whether or not one should rescue a fallen lamb in a well when we know these laws were temporary? According to Lawrence H. Schiﬀman's The Halakhah at Qumran, "the Zadokite Fragments give guidance to the sect only about how to observe the Sabbath in 'the current period of wickedness.'" The community established temporary laws "until the coming of the prophet and the messiahs of Aaron and Israel" (1QS 9.11). After all, the prophet can change the laws according to his interpretation of Torah in the messianic age. And so what if some Essenes despised the Jesus movement? So did some followers of John the Baptist. It does not follow from this that there was no influence. Eschatological movements change at a faster pace than more established groups. Here are a few of my notes showing where Jesus and the Essene movement do agree (and I find the first two points to be strong because of their eschatological assumptions that rely on arguments from creation): Jesus and the Essene movement both prohibit divorce (Mark 10.1-16; CD 4.19-5.2) and make appeals to the same texts concerning creation for proof (Gen 1.27, 2.24) Jesus and the Essene movement believe they have the authority to challenge and correct the Law of Moses by restoring it to the original Law of creation, implying both groups held it above Mosaic Torah (and thus "one-up" the position of traditional Jews), a position that not only upset the apple cart of the everyday Sadducee who believed the Law was fixed, but it led to conflicts with Pharisaical oral Law too (Mark 10.5-6; Matt 5.32; Luke 16.18; Deut 24.1-4) Jesus' praise of celibacy is a nod to certain Essenes, and it most likely enthralled many of them for eschatological purposes (Matthew 19.12; CD 4.21; 1QS 1.6-11; 1QS 7.4-6) Jesus and the Essene movement do not participate in the sacrificial cult of the Temple, and both think their own community is a valid substitute for the Temple itself (1QS 9.3-6; Gal 2.9; Matt 16.18; Eph 2.20; 1 Pet 2.4) Jesus and the Essene movement shared "all things in common" (Acts 4.32-35; 1QS 1.11-12; CD 13.11) Jesus and the Essene movement describe the messianic age as a time of healing, and both also link resurrection with Isaiah 61 - a concept quite unheard of for many (4Q521; 1QS 4.6; Matt 11.4-5; Luke 7.22; Isa 61). Sounds familiar, huh? 1. The heavens and the earth will listen to his anointed/messiah 2. and all that is in them will not turn away from the commandments of the holy ones . . . 5. For the Lord will visit the pious and call the righteous by name 6. And upon the poor his spirit will hover and the faithful he will renew with his force 7. He will honor the pious on a throne of an eternal kingdom, 8. liberating the captives, giving sight to the blind, straightening the bent . . . 11. And glorious deeds that never were the Lord will perform as he said 12. For he will heal the wounded, revive the dead, and proclaim good news to the poor. -4Q521 Note the order of verse 12 above. It corresponds exactly with the order found in Luke 7.22 and Matthew 11.4-5. Would Jesus have horrified Essenes? Let's examine all the evidence we can find. Looking at the above points, what do you think?