The writings herein reflect the views of the authors based upon their research into extra-Biblical writings and commentaries. Some of the comments counter what is written in the Bible, but they do reflect some early Christian and Jewish-Christian thinking and debates over various Christian theology of that time.
Why did I call it an Essene Series when I quoted only from scripture and did not use any Essene material? To show those who do not believe in Essene documents that the same message can be found in our Canonized Bibles if we take the time to look.
Further,....Jesus and the early Christians, were called Essenes and Ebionites also known as Nazoreans, and or Nazarenes. The Ebionites came out of the Essenes and were in fact still referred to as Essenes after the time of Jesus' crucifixion. Most importantly these early believers in Jesus were all vegetarians. The forth century bishop of Salamis and church historian Epiphanius tells us: "All Christians were once called Nazoreans. For a short time they were also given the name Jessaeans [that is, 'Essenes'], before the Disciples in Antioch began to be called Christians."
The above passage makes it very clear that the first followers of Christ were the Essenes... This is from our own collection of Early Church Fathers and not a document that Christians can brush under the carpet. Further, the Bible and the Early Church Fathers are very clear that these early Christians were Vegetarians, even Paul became a vegetarian, though it took Paul a little longer to come around, but he did.
I want to add one more thing. As anyone reading this knows, I believe in Universalism, and I now want to tell you why I believe that Universalism goes hand in hand with Vegetarianism.
Most, if not all of the great vegetarians, such as St. Basil and St. Gregory, were also Universalists. I believe that the Love that comes from God changes our hearts to understand and accept the truth. If we love as God loves, then we must love all animals and humans. This does not mean that there is not a hell to punish those who have sinned. To be sure, I believe there is a hell, however, I believe that everyone will get out of hell after they have been purified. This was the major teaching for the first 500 years of the early church. Only today do we find it hard to believe because we have had the writings of such miss-informed preachers as J. Edwards who most likely single handedly influenced all the TV preachers in existence.
I should be careful, there are some very good TV preacher too, such as Dr. Robert Schuller. I do not believe everything he says, but he is a good preacher none-the-less.
(This concludes the series)
Go on to: Jewish Christianity: James the Just, Ebionites and Essenes
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