COURSE 1 - Essene Academy of Religion, Theology and History

 

-- EXAM OVERVIEW --

 

The Origins of the Essenes, Ancient Witnesses and Calendars

 

Vero Essene Yahad

Dr. Jackson Snyder

3495 1st St.  Vero Beach, FL 32968

(772) 696-2167

VeroYahad (at) gmail.com

 

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In what ancient literature library do we find the so-called Essene Calendar? What can you say about the Calendar?
 

We find the "Essene" Calendar amongst the writings of the Dead Sea scrolls found in Qumran. There is particular reference to this calendar in the scrolls from cave 4 known as 4Q319-330 and 4Q337. The Book of Enoch was previously found in Ethiopia and also has information pertaining to this calendar; being more familiar to many, the calendar is often referred to as the Enoch calendar. The Essene calendar was used to calculate and show Yahweh's appointed times and help to regulate the Priestly courses. It worked on a perpetual cycle of 364 days, starting the day after tekufah or the turning of the year in Spring with twelve thirty day months and four marker days to point to the changing of the seasons (every three months). It was calculated purely by the movement of the sun
What was the relationship between the Melchizedek and Zadok the Priest according to the study material?


The sons of Zadok were a originally a priestly dynasty that lasted about 1800 years from Melchizedek to Zadok; it was the Melchizedek priesthood authority. During the lifetime of Zadok, David and the prophet Nathan decided that they needed to ordain Solomon so that the people could see there was a priestly heir. After this, David made a declaration to all of Israel that all sons of Zadok will be in the line of Melchizedek priests forever; the order of Melchizedek. Being of both the genealogical lines of David and Zadok, Yahshua, with authority laid his hands on his brother James (Ya'kov) and ordained him in the order of Melchizedek as a Melchizedek priest.


What was the strategy of Alexander of Macedonia for Hellenizing the entire world?


The first step to take over the world was to invade, makeover and homogenize the varying cultures. This included changing the times and seasons, changing the recognized festivals, streamlining taxation collection dates and even the language. A new world order of sorts.

 

Alexander would conquer each territory or nation, then offer them their life in exchange for a complete conversion to the "Greek" culture, religion, calendar and law.


Those who didn't accept his terms were killed; those who did accept were given a grant of sorts to build up Greek culture in the land (eg gymnasiums, temples) then left alone. Palestine fell to this attack in approximately 300BC, hence why in the time of Yahshua there were different kinds of Jews; the Hellenistic Jews who spoke Greek, the Hebraic Jews who spoke Aramaic and a lot of plain Greek heathens.


To what extent were Yahshua, Ya'aqov and Stephanos involved with the Jerusalem Temple Sacrificial system? Can you give a reference?


Yahshua, Ya'aqov and Stephanos were only involved in the sacrificial system to the extent that they taught extreme opposition to it. Written evidence of this is definitive and comes from just a few sources, most outside of the mainstream cannon. One source is from a lost gospel that has was preserved in quotation form in the works of Epiphanius;"The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis". He interviewed the Ebionites for his research and was told directly that Yahshua condemned animal sacrifice and taught vegetarianism. Epiphanius quotes from the lost "Gospel according to the Hebrews" where it states that Yahshua came to abolish sacrifice and "unless you cease sacrificing, my anger shall not cease from you".

Another source is from the "Recognitions of Homilies", where vegetarianism is strongly connected to the rejections of animal sacrifice and is required of all the followers of Yahshua. Epiphanius also mentions that Ya'aqov (James) did not eat meat and in the Nazarine Acts, Peter also says that he doesn't eat meat. Acts 7:42 references Stephanos in the temple before his stoning, referring back to the verses against sacrificing. This spoke the message "did ye brings me slain beasts in the temple in the wilderness?".

We can also source the book "Who wrote the Bible" by Richard Elliott Friedman, that speaks to the belief that the torah and scripture were originally four separate documents and somewhere, probably in the Babylonian captivity, these documents were all combined. The discrepancies seem to be narrowed down to the one document labeled the "Priestly" document which detailed the running of the temple and the sacrificial system. It would appear that the apostle Peter was right when he said in the Nazarene Acts of the apostles that animal sacrifice was to be done away with.


By Torah, sacrifices could not be made outside the temple and the holy land (land that Yahweh had designated for the temple). Yahshua, Ya'aqov and Stephanos could not be a part of the "system" as they had set themselves apart. By abstaining from sacrificial works and the various acts that were performed on the Pharisaical Shabbat, it appears they were in complete disagreement with the beliefs on this matter of those who were in control of the temple at that time . Perhaps this can be added as more evidence to support the tampering of the "Priestly" document and thus passed on in the written Torah provided to us today. From all of this evidence we could surmise that all apostles of Yahshua, including both Ya'aqov and Stephanos, believed, taught and followed Yahshua's message against the temple sacrificial system.


Who was Epiphanius of Salamis and what was he noted for in the study recordings?


Epiphanius of Salamis was a Palestinian Bishop from approximately 380CE. He wanted to cure everyone of their heretical beliefs hence the title of his work "The Panarion" meaning the medicine chest, or cure for heresy. (For references to the Essenes, Ebionites, Nazarines etc see Chapters 10, 18, 19, 29, 30. http://jacksonsnyder.com/yah/manuscript-library/the%20panarion%20of%20epiphanius%20of%20salamis.pdf)


What is the Temple Scroll, what ancient library is it from and how is the scroll related to the Torah?


The Temple scroll was found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls library in Qumran Cave 11Q. The Zadokite Priests took this scroll from the Temple when they were evicted by the Greeks, prior to the Pharisees coming in. They couldn't take anything from the Temple when leaving such as the menorah or showbread table but were allowed to take their sacred writings.
 

The Temple scroll contains elaborate plans for the building of the temple, the laws for the Kings of Israel, the wider community and the Zadokite priesthood that would surely arise in the end times. Nearly half of the 27 foot long scroll is filled with the plans for the future temple, sacrifices and the laws of the city of the temple. This could possibly be the scroll referenced in Chronicles 28:1119. It also quotes and refers to Torah as included in Deuteronomy, Numbers, Chronicles and Samuel.
 

The scroll also outlines the feasts or appointed times to be observed that would be found in the Torah but interestingly add extra feast days to those listed in the presently recognised Pentateuch. (Eg: New Barley festival, the New Wine festival, the New Oil festival [all first-fruits festivals] and the Wood Offering festival.) Other laws included relate to covenants observation including vows and oaths, idolatry, pure and impure animals, ritual impurities, and laws of testimony.

What is one of the ancient sources for information about the Essenes?


Philo of Alexandria.


Tell what you can about the Merkavah.


The Merkavah is the Chariot or Throne of Yahweh as envisioned by Ezekiel (Ezekiel's wheels). Chronicles 28:18 its states that in the Holy of Holies stood a divine chariot. Ezekiel, who was a Zadokite High Priest, watched from afar (exiled in Babylon) the destruction of the first (Solomon's) temple. He was given visions of the Chariot (Throne) of Yahweh ascending and in the high heavens showing that despite the Holy of Holies being destroyed in the earthly sense, the heavenly pattern of it is eternal. After the temple was destroyed, Mysticism became a way to re-imagine and grasp the higher experience of oneness with Yahweh. That which was destroyed was recreated in the spiritual and mystic sense.
 

From about from about 6BC TO 6AD Merkavah mysticism became about the remembrance of the first tabernacle shown to Moshe in the mountain and later shown to David to teach Solomon what should be built (see Chronicles). When the temple was lost, it was like losing the seat of government (Capitol hill etc), the national library, high courts and everything that was a physical embodiment of truth, systems of organisation and order. This needed to be remembered and kept in the mind of the people through the priests. Professor Rachel Elior suggested the Priests were thinking that "what we lost on earth we would commemorate in writing, what we could not do in worship, we would do in prayer. So instead of the sacrificial work, they would do mystical prayer and instead of working with priests they would expect to work with angels".
 

What is the relationship between the Epistle to the Hebrews and 11Q13 Melchizedek?

 

The Epistle to the Hebrews is actually written by someone close to Yahshua and knows the Essenes. The writer of Hebrews is trying to convert the Essenes to let them know that Yahshua is Melchizedek. They've obviously been familiar with the scroll, found the gospel of Yahshua and want to let them know. The atoning figure who can release them if their sins is here.
 

What is the Abraham Path?
 

Isaiah 19, talks about a road being built in the future from the Euphrates to the Nile river. It appears that this started a few years ago in Ur of the Chaldees, following the path of Abraham to Harran, to Egypt and then Beersheba. It was also known as the Kings highway. The project is being funded by several rich donors and universities with the purpose to enable people to walk through war torn areas and get to understand other cultures for peace. They are supposedly safe guarded all along the road, however there are many travel warnings and advisories in place for most areas particularly relevant to westerners. It would seem the path almost runs the true borders of Israel, Euphrates to the Nile. See http://www.abrahampath.org


Why do the Solar Year and the Essene Calendar contradict one another? Not how, but why?


The Essene or priestly calendar and solar calendar contradict each other because they serve different purposes. The priestly calendar is expressed in months and days and not hooked up with the luminaries. It is hooked up with the 24 courses of the priesthood and is used for both secular and priestly purposes. The "courses" refer to a roster of sorts identifying when a group of priests would be assigned to serve in the temple for a week and repeating over a 6 year cycle.

 

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