Did Essenes identify with the Herods?


Today I am not summarizing a section of VanderKam and Flint from The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Rather, I am just thinking out loud about a question inspired by them.

The question is whether the Essenes at Qumran were Herodians.

Herodians were a party mentioned in the Gospels as opponents of Jesus. Most assume that they were supporters of the dynasty of Herod, which the Romans had granted some autonomy in ruling parts of Palestine. At first sight, the Essenes would seem to be far from that. They were anti-Roman and in favor of a kind of segregation from, not just Gentiles, but Jews who had become sinners by adapting to Hellenistic culture.

However, Josephus in the Antiquities of the Jews book 15 chapter 10 reports that Herod the Great held the Essenes in high esteem and had a special relationship with Menahem, a chief Essene. This…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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