The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies
The sublime promises of the Sermon on the Mount have always been the crowning moment and the heart of the Christian message. But now, scholars have accepted the Sermon on the Mount as the scripture of the Essenes.The words of the Beatitudes are attributed to those of the Teacher of Righteousness, the founder of the Essenes who they recognized as their long-awaited Messiah. Their content can also be found in the Credo of the Essenes.The texts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls show how the ancient Essene teachings were the origin of many of Christ's teachings. Paul and other New Testament writers often used the very phrases, sometimes word for word, of the Dead Sea Scrolls.The Sermon on the Mount was taken directly from Dead Sea Scrolls texts. Yet, only an Essene initiate would have had access or knowledge of these teachings. These scrolls would have been strictly limited to only members of the Holy Order; those who have been mortally sworn to secrecy. (Give not that which is holy unto the dogs. Give not pearls unto swine, least they turn and rend you. Matt 7:6)The Beatitudes of Christ
A beatitude is a declaration of happiness or promised blessing resulting from an individuals virtue or good deeds. They describe the qualities of perfection and the promise of future blessings rather than current material or physical rewards.The Beatitudes of Christ represent eight upward steps toward attaining the Blessedness of a Divine Life. They are expressed in Matthew 5 in the New Testament, and Lection XXV of the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, as an important part of the Sermon on the Mount.
These are the words as spoken by Jesus in Matthew Ch.5, v.3-12:Matt. 5:1-2. And seeing the multitudes, he ascended a mountain: and when he was seated, and his disciples came to him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying:
Matt. 5:3. Blessed in spirit [are] the poor: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
This is the necessary first step, Austerity: a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline in appearance, manner, and attitude. A conscious effort toward a modest and unassuming lifestyle.
Matt. 5:4 Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
This is the second step, Penitence which implies humble realization and a sincere regret for one's misdeeds. A mourning regarding past sins and the human condition. The action or process of repenting especially for moral shortcomings.
Matt. 5:5 Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
This is the third step, Meekness: to endure with patience and without anger or resentment. The release of ego and pride indicates the awakening of a divine Spirit.
Matt. 5:6 Blessed [are] they who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.
This is the fourth step, the continual quest for spiritual wisdom and understanding. The pursuit of acting in accordance with divine or moral law. Following a spiritual path signifies growth.
Matt. 5:7 Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
This is the fifth step, Compassion for all living things, an attribute which indicates advanced spiritual awareness.
Matt. 5:8 Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
This is the sixth step, Purity of Heart, which marks the quality or state of pure being.
Matt. 5:9 Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
This is the seventh step, Peacemaking, a Christ-like influence, calming the storms of life.
Matt. 5:10 Blessed [are] they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
This is the eighth and final step, Attainment of the Summit, Suffering for Christ, standing besides the prophets, saints and martyrs.
Matt. 5:11-12 "Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
These teachings were also used in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. It was a great favorite among the early Christians and is often used and quoted by St Paul. The Gospels also quote liberally from this source.
Origin of Christ's Beatitudes
Scholars are now recognizing the Dead Sea scrolls as the prototype for Christ's Beatitudes. Scroll 4Qbeat reads:[Blessed is] …with a pure heart
and does not slander with his tongue.Blessed are those who hold to her [Wisdom’s] precepts
And do not hold to the ways of iniquity.Blessed are those who rejoice in her,
And do not burst forth in ways of folly.Blessed are those who seek her with pure hands,
And do not pursue her with a treacherous heart.Blessed is the man who has attained Wisdom,
And walks in the Law of the Most High.He directs his heart towards her ways,
And restrains himself by her corrections,
And always takes delight in her chastisements.
He does not forsake her when he sees distress,
Nor abandon her in time of strain.He will not forget her [on the day of] fear,
And will not despise [her] when his soul is afflicted.
For always he will meditate on her,
And in his distress he will consider [her]Origins of the Essene BeatitudesThe original beatitudes were actually spoken by the Buddha some five centuries before Christ, when the Buddha delivered the first "sermon on a mountain."The heart of man, Buddha said, was a burning fire, and so were the objects in the three worlds, the objects that could be seen, felt, heard, or touched. This fire was the fire of lust, of anger and of ignorance. It was due to the shortcomings of a life posed to rebirth, sickness, old age and mortal anxieties.Only disciples of Buddha could escape the torments of this fiery furnace. Freed from lust and human passion, they had acquired the wisdom that leads to the Perfect Man.This sermon was delivered on Elephant’s Head Mountain near Buddha Gayâ.The Suffanspita, U. Sutra reads:The Blessed One was once living at the monastery of Anithapic ika in Jeta's grove, near Savatthi. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing splendour illuminated the entire Jeta Grove, came into the presence of the Blessed One, and, drawing near, respectfully saluted Him and stood on one side. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:(The Deity)
Many angels and men have held various things a blessing when they were yearning for inner wisdom. Lord Buddha, do declare to us the greatest blessing.(Buddha)
Not to serve the foolish, But to serve the spiritual;
To honour those worthy of honour,— This is the greatest blessing.To dwell in a spot that befits one’s condition, To think of the effect of one’s deeds,
To guide the behaviour aright,— This is the greatest blessing.Much insight and education, Self-control and pleasant speech,
And whatever word be well spoken,— This is the greatest blessing.To support father and mother, To cherish wife and child,
To follow a peaceful calling,— This is the greatest blessing.To bestow alms and live righteously, To give help to kindred,
Deeds which cannot be blamed, These are the greatest blessing.To abhor and cease from sin, Abstinence from strong drink,
Not to be weary in well-doing, These are the greatest blessing.Reverence and lowliness, Contentment and gratitude,
The hearing of the Law at due seasons,— This is the greatest blessing.To be long suffering and meek, To associate with the tranquil,
Religious talk at due seasons,— This is the greatest blessing.Self-restraint and purity, The knowledge of the noble truths,
The attainment of Nirvana, This is the greatest blessing.In the midst of the eight world miseries, Like the man of pure life,
Be calm and unconcerned,— This is the greatest blessing.Listener, if you keep this law, The law of the spiritual world,
You will know its ineffable joy,— This is the greatest blessing.
When we begin to compare the literatures contemporaneous with the New Testament, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi Codices, and Early Christian and Jewish Pseudepigraphical materials, and compare them with other spiritual or mystical traditions, we begin to find much to digest and much to ponder, as we discover the profound understandings of universal truth.
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