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If Jesus Strongly Disapproved of the Jewish Temple Masters

And His Lineage Is Traced Directly to Abraham

What Was His Religion?




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PURPOSE

The purpose of this brief document is precisely to clarify what kind of Judaism Jesus adhered to and what kind of Judaism the temple Masters and their followers adhered to.

This is a fundamental issue, yet, an issue that has been carefully swept under the proverbial carpet or has never been brought to light before.


BACKGROUND

Have you ever wondered why the much used and quoted parable of the Good Samaritan [Luke 10:30-37] makes a point of highlighting the goodness and generosity of a Samaritan?  To the extent of using a Samaritan as an example in the fulfilling of Divine Law.

For example - The following scenario triggered the parable; a scenario which leaves no room for doubting what Jesus intended to prove.

And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting him, and saying, Master, what must I do to possess eternal life?

But he said to him: What is written in the law? how readest thou? He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said to him: Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: And who is my neighbour? [Luke 10: 25-29]

We also have the woman at the well [John 4:4-30], a Samaritan, who acknowledged Jesus as the Christ and so informed her people.


INTRODUCTION

As you may recall, in our document The Last Passover Meal (1) we showed that Jesus and His Apostles celebrated their Passover Meal - which we call the Last Supper - on a day different than the one that the Temple Masters dictated and which was observed by all of the Temple Master's followers.

It appeared that the Essenes used the same calendar that Jesus used but Jesus was not closely associated with the Essene movement, although many followed Him.

Therefore, the question is: "What version of Judaism was Jesus living and promoting?" We may find the first major clue in the following words clearly uttered by Jesus:

Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. [Matt. 5:17]

and

All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them. For this is the law and the prophets. [Matt. 7:12]

To fulfill, to restore.


DETAILS

The Judaism Jesus ascribed to, and came to uphold before the Temple Masters, was rooted in the same Judaism practiced by the Samaritans.

Religiously the Samaritans were adherents of Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to the Judaism practiced by the Temple Masters at the time of Jesus.  Samaritans assert their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to late Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion, brought back by those returning from the Babylonian exile.

Jesus was more of a Samaritan than He ever was spiritually/theologically akin to the Essenes.

(a) The Judaism that Jesus came to re establish was that practiced before the Babylonian exile.
(b) The Samaritans of Jesus' time were indeed the ones who practiced what Jesus came to restore at the Temple in fulfillment of the laws and the prophets. Thus the famous parable of the Good Samaritan.

In addition, it was a Samaritan woman (the woman at the well) who acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah and so informed her people. [John 4:4-30]

The Samaritans (2)

 The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant, descended from ancient Semitic inhabitants of the region. Religiously the Samaritans are adherents of Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to (what we know as) Judaism.

Based on the Samaritan Pentateuch, Samaritans assert their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to (what we know as ) Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion, brought back by those returning from the Babylonian exile.

Ancestrally, Samaritans claim descent from the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (the two sons of Joseph) as well as from the priestly tribe of Levi, who have links to ancient Samaria from the period of their entry into the land of Canaan.

 In the Talmud, the Samaritans are called Cutheans, referring to the ancient city of Kutha, geographically located in what is today Iraq.

Most Samaritans in Israel today speak Arabic and Modern Hebrew. For liturgical purposes, Samaritan Hebrew, Samaritan Aramaic, and Samaritan Arabic are used, all written in the Samaritan alphabet, a variant of the Old Hebrew alphabet, which is distinct from the Hebrew alphabet.

The Essenes (3)

The Essenes were a sect of the Second Temple Judaism that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE which some scholars claim seceded from the Zadokite priests.

Being much fewer in number than the Pharisees and the Sadducees (the other two major sects at the time and which composed the Temple Masters), the Essenes lived in various cities but congregated in communal life dedicated to asceticism, voluntary poverty, daily immersion, and abstinence from worldly pleasures, including (for some groups) celibacy.

Many separate but related religious groups of that era shared similar mystic, eschatological, messianic, and ascetic beliefs. These groups are collectively referred to by various scholars as the "Essenes." Josephus records that Essenes existed in large numbers, and thousands lived throughout Roman Judæa


CONCLUSION

Once again we see the magnificent coherence of the Biblical texts and the tremendous historical and theological treasures that await to be discovered by those who seek and knock. Just as He promised: Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. [Matt. 7:7]

_____________________________
(1) Last Passover Meal
(2) About the Samaritans
(3) About the Essenes


Published on October 26th, 2013


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Related Documents

Last Passover Meal

Biblical Literalism and Symbolism : It has both! Part I and Part II

The True Chronology of the Biblical Creation Story



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