Yes, quite likely Jesus did spend time with the Essenes. The drug
issue reminded me of something I was told long ago. St. John, while
writing the book of Revelations, was exiled to the Isle of Patmos,
where it has been said some rather interesting mushrooms did flourish.
Now if you read the book of revelations it makes William Boroughs
sound like a regular kind of guy and the multitude of interpretations
on this text leads to only one logical conclusion: it doesn't make
sense. Christians have been hotly debating Revelations since day dot
and they are still not any closer to agreement(huh, for that matter
they can't even make up their mind about central doctrine of
predestination). If St. John wrote the gospel of John and Revelations
you would think something must have happened to him between the
writings of both.
Did Jesus actually exist? Outside the bible there is only one
historical reference I know of, the Roman historian Josephus, who made
only a passing reference to some nuisance chap in Palestine.
Interestingly, the most coherent and consistent writer in the New
Testament was Luke, and he wasn't a disciple of Jesus(Book of Acts,
primarily historical in orientation). The rest of the New Testament is
a bundle of contradictions, so you have to wonder just how many
substances they did imbibe. St. Paul(who had no direct contact with
Jesus but was the most prolific NT author) tried to synthesize
Christian doctrine(he was trained in Hellenic schooling so tried to be
logical) but cries in despair at the end of Romans 11. "How myterious
are His ways, His paths beyond tracing out .... Who can know the mind
of God ... " Something along those lines.
"NMF" <nm_fournier at ns.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<SKSYb.7016$Cd6.571786 at news20.bellglobal.com>...
> Very interesting discussion Peter. I enjoyed it very much. I am actually
> going to purchase the book you referenced by Jane F. Mackworth.
>> The comment about Jesus as a drug addict. Hmm it's possible. Actually
> there is an old book (don't remember the author's name though) about the
> controversy of what may or may not have been on the sponge when placed to
> Christ's lips (the report is that it was a bitter substance). Considering
> that Jesus (if he really existed) most likely was aware and probably even
> spent time with the Essenes (Yahad) ( which were a group that had intimate
> ties with India and familiarity with a variety of psychotropic compounds
> (such as Rauwolfia serpentine; also called reserpine....which is a bitter
> substance) that were routinely employed in ceremonial practice) it may be