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Note: You may download this resource at no cost, for personal use, for use in a Christian ministry, or for use in an educational venture, as long as you are not publishing it for sale. Part 1: Introduction These days, one of the questions I often receive about Jesus has to do with his marital status.All I ask is that you give credit to this website: This question didn’t just drop out of heaven, however.They do not absolutely deny the fitness of marriage, and the succession of mankind thereby continued; but they guard against the lascivious behavior of women, and are persuaded that none of them preserve their fidelity to one man.Josephus, 18.1.5It also deserves our admiration, how much [the Essenes] exceed all other men that addict themselves to virtue, and this in righteousness; and indeed to such a degree, that as it hath never appeared among any other men, neither Greeks nor barbarians, no, not for a little time, so hath it endured a long while among them.Those who claim that the earliest Christians conspired to hide this information because it confirmed the fact that Jesus wasn’t divine forget that the supposed conspirators often gave their lives because they believed Jesus to have been divine.
Mainline Jews, if you will, would have looked down upon Essene celibacy.
Philo, a contemporary of Jesus, was a Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, and who wrote many volumes in the first half of the century.
Josephus was a Jewish historian who wrote near the end of the century. This now is the enviable system of life of these Essenes, so that not only private individuals but even mighty kings, admiring the men, venerate their sect, and increase their dignity and majesty in a still higher degree by their approbation and by the honours which they confer on them.
There’s no reason to believe that Jesus shared this perspective.
But He did join the Essenes in accepting an apocalyptic worldview that anticipated the coming of God’s kingdom.
This is demonstrated by that institution of theirs, which will not suffer any thing to hinder them from having all things in common; so that a rich man enjoys no more of his own wealth than he who hath nothing at all.