It has always puzzled me
that the current, generally accepted theory of the Essenes contradicts
everything the early writers, Josephus, Philo, Pliny, and Hippolytus,
say about them.
The theory has it that the
Sect was formed about 150 BCE but was small and of no importance. On the
other hand the early writers maintain it was very old, very large, and,
by implication, very important.
After 50 years of trying
there is still no consensus as to how all the facts fit into the current
theory so I felt it was time to re-examine the evidence on which it is based.
I believe it shows that
the early writes were far more accurate in their descriptions than they
have been credited with and that the Essence organization was indeed
very old, very large and very important, just as they claimed.
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