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The Essenes was a Jewish religious sect that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE.

They were opposed to the Pharisees and Saducees. They are discussed in some detail by Josephus and Philo Judaeus[?]. Many scholars have believed that the community at Qumran that allegedly produced the Dead Sea Scrolls was an offshoot of the Essenes, but this theory has been disputed by Norman Golb and other scholars.

External link and References

  • http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05546a.htm
  • Lawrence H. Schiffman, From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple & Rabbinic Judaism, Ktav Publishing House, 1991
  • Norman Golb, Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? The Search for the Secret of Qumran, Scribner, 1995

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