The Essenes--A New Perception
By: David Ramsay
In the Old Testament
In Solomon's dedication of the temple he prays for his people "Let the Hasidim rejoice in thy goodness". The Hasidim are referred to many times after that, particularly in Deuteronomy, Daniel and the Psalms; "My Hasidim who made a covenant with me by sacrifice" (PS 50:5) and "Praise for His Hasidim, for the people of Israel who are near to Him" (PS 145:24).
'Hasidim' was used as a collective designation of Israel as a religious community and is usually translated as 'Saints'.
When I asked a Professor of Classical Greek and a Greek native for the English word that came closest to the meaning of "Essenoi" they both agreed that it would be 'Saints'.
When the Greeks invaded Israel in 325 BCE they found a people who, in a religious connotation, referred to themselves as 'Hasidim' (saints) which they translated into the Greek word 'Essenoi' (saints).
Hasidim is the Hebrew name and Essenoi is the Greek name for the same group, the members of the religious community of Israel.
In the Scrolls
It will be shown later that in the Scrolls the Israeli nation is referred to as "The Community of God" and its men as "The Sons of Light".
In the Apocrypha
In Maccabees there is reference to some 'Assideans'. These may have been Hasidim scribes, 'mighty men of the law' but in any event they were certainly Hasidim.
In the New Testament
The First Christians
Paul addresses his letters to the Ephesians "To the saints who are faithful to Jesus Christ"; to the Philippians "To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ" and in First Corinthians, "To the sanctified in Christ Jesus, called the saints". The letters were written to the first Christians. In the rest of the New Testament they are referred to simply as 'saints' because the writers believe the Christians were the true Essenes.
Those who did not accept Jesus as the Christ are referred to as Herodians, because their beliefs had not changed since Jesus' birth during Herod's reign.
I believe the Hasidim, the sons of light, the Assidians and the Herodians were but different names for those Josephus and others called Essenes.
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