|From Holy Land|
I was excited to see the caves at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls where found. The site of the oldest copies of the Bible has always fascinated me. These scrolls were lost for many years (some were from 300 BC and were found in 1946) but were preserved due to the climate of the area.
What I didn't know was that there were other scrolls found that told the story of the people who lived there. This was a group of men who lived monk-like lifestyles in order to be as pure as possible. The Essenes, as they were known, conducted daily ritual cleansing, many hours of prayer and silence, and lots of time copying scripture onto scrolls.
Many scholars think that this was the type of community that John the Baptist went to in the wilderness. It does seem to fit with the few clues we have about him in the Bible. Regardless I can't imagine this lifestyle. I admire their discipline and envy their tenacity but I wonder why they felt that this type of lifestyle was the best way to live.
Perhaps if they'd had an encounter with Jesus they would know the freedom I feel or perhaps they do feel a freedom in their lifestyle that I just don't understand. In either case, I felt an affinity for the Essenes due to their devotion that I hope I can implement in my own way.
Until Everyone Hears,