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History and tradition

We are the bearers of the ancient tradition of the Essenes

The history of the Essenes begins to be written  in the so-called "Second Temple Period (approx. 516 BC - 70 AD)" in the area of today's Israel. Information about this important Jewish community was given to us not only by the most famous historian of the time Iosephus Flavius in his work "The Jewish War", but also by Pliny the Elder or, for example, Philo of Alexandria, who describes this religious community in a wider context, as a community that "lives in many the cities of Judah, and also the villages and settlements'.

Later, Hippolytus (around 170 – 236 AD) also addressed the subject of the Essenes.

The very name of this community "Essayists" will not be discussed in detail here. The Essenes got their name from other Jewish groups of the time and probably comes from the Aramaic term "chasajya" (physicians) or another Aramaic. of the expression "chesiím" (godly), while Greek had no equivalent for the sounds "ch" and "h" and therefore omitted them.

In recent decades, another important source of information about the Essenes and their life appeared in the form  of the so-called Dead Sea Scrolls discovered by archaeologists in 1947 in the Qumran site. This historical treasure (scrolls of texts) was directly created and preserved in nearby caves for the future by members of one of the Essene communities living near the Dead Sea.

The large number of scrolls found there brings to our time a completely new view of Judaism in the period of the Second Temple. The time span of the found documents includes the period between approximately 120 BC and 63 AD and therefore also includes the period in which the first Christian communities were formed.

We also have at our disposal a document undoubtedly also written by the Essenes, which was found in the Cairo Geniza and which provides additional information about the Qumran community and its customs. According to this "Damascus document, it was Qumran that was the place of annual gatherings and ceremonies, where the Essene families from all over Israel gathered.

It is from this Damascus document that the emergence of the Essay movement around 196 BC can be determined

It can be briefly summarized that in the period of the Second Temple, the Essenes were, together with the Sadducees and Pharisees, one of the three basic, historically documented parts of the Jewish tradition of that time.

It is indisputable that they were perceived contradictory by those around them, as their customs, ceremonies and traditions were in many ways different from other religious communities.

It was not only the method of ritual purification that was a visible sign of the Essenes, but also the use of a solar calendar (the same as we use today) that distinguished them from others, which led to frequent problems with other Jewish groups that used a calendar to determine frequent Jewish holidays lunar.

The Essenes also began each new cycle of the calendar on Wednesday, because it was on Wednesday according to the Torah  that God created the "lights in the sky" (see the first book of Moses Gn1, 14-19) and they called themselves "children of Light ".

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the difference between the Essenes and other groups was the acceptance of the concept of soul wandering – that is, reincarnation into the Essene belief system. This aspect was so important to the Essenes that  it has survived in the Essenes' religious communities in their creeds to this day.

It is difficult to trace where this aspect of the Essene belief came from, however, the roots of the doctrine of reincarnation were apparently brought to the area of ancient Israel by Buddhist monks who were invited to the Alexandrian library (university) by the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolemy I. Soter to translate Buddhist papyri. It should be noted that Buddhism was the fastest growing religion in the world at the time.

A specific feature of the Essene liturgy was showing great respect to angels, which has remained an integral element of the liturgical life of the Essene religious communities to this day. Date 29.9. is celebrated in the liturgical calendar as the Feast of the Angels, and the prayer "Glorification of the Angels" is included in the liturgy. This prayer is a reference to the pre-Christian roots  of the Essene religious tradition.

The Qumran Scrolls demonstrate that members of the Essene community considered the world of angels so close that entry into the community was simultaneously associated with entry into communion with the Angels.

The main task of the angels in the Qumran scrolls was always to glorify God in the heavens, which is also reflected in the current liturgy of the Essene churches, where we confess: "... Before You stand multitudes of Angels and gaze upon Your face", which is a reflection on the text of the prophet Isaiah "Holy , holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3)

Essenes through the millennia

The generally prevailing opinion among archaeologists and biblical scholars is that the Essene community ceased to exist after the fall of Masada. This rock fortress was captured by Roman troops in AD 73   after a two-year siege, at the end of which the vast majority of the Jewish rebels, including women and children, including Essenes according to current excavations, chose suicide rather than fall into Roman hands. slavery.

Even in such a difficult moment, they tried to be in compliance with the law as much as possible.

When the fall of the fort was inevitable, they drew lots among themselves ten men who took the lives of the other men, women and children. In the end, one of them killed the other nine men and was the only one who broke the Law and committed suicide. Out of about 960 rebels, only a few children and two women survived, who hid in water cisterns. The account of this event was given to us by the Roman historian of Jewish origin Iosephus Flavius in his work "Jewish War".

The Essenes never returned to nearby Qumran.

However, they survived scattered not only in the area of Israel, but also in other parts of the then Roman Empire.

They were not everywhere recognized by the designation Jahad, like the Qumran Essenes.

Some Essene communities called themselves Terapeutae (therapists) after their medical knowledge, which was widely recognized. Other groups of Essenes who were involved in education and ran schools were referred to as Nazarenes.

To this day, the motto of the essay communities  is "Help - teach - heal".

Even though much of the history of the Essenes has been documented by scholars in the last thirty years, considerable effort will still need to be made to scientifically document the history of the Essenes, stored in the records of the social memory of modern Essen communities.

We will witness the journey of the Essenes to Europe and their gradual transformation into Christian communities  "Paulikians", "Bogomils" and "Cathars", including their original perception and practice of the Christian faith, which preserved its uniqueness even against the superiority of the troops sent popes as crusades against  Christians for their different faith. Their steadfastness in faith, which was not at all usual and expected in those times, drew a perfect parallel in history, between the bloody end of Masada in 73 and the tragedy at Montségur Castle in 1244

Modern History of the Essene Christian Church

Already during the Second World War and immediately after it, selected spiritually active people of several confessions, as well as lay people, met in order to communicate with angels, following the example of the Essenes. Some of them possessed unusual spiritual abilities. The suffering of war and the effort not to allow more repetitions of these horrors led them to discuss possible forms of preserving peace and encouraging humanity to tolerance between cultures and religions. They wanted to create a community in which everyone, despite their different faiths, could celebrate the services of God together, and thus unite in one big human family.

The year 1948 was marked by the hope of all concerned that the just-discovered "Dead Sea Scrolls" (discovered in 1946, published in 1948) would bring an impetus to the general knowledge of historical truth as everyone was convinced of it on the basis of their knowledge and their traditions.

The idea of establishing a church was beginning to work in the community. All were convinced that this was the will of God and the surrender of absolute loving devotion through His angels. The church was founded on June 10, 1971 with the aim of developing a tradition of inter-religious understanding of human communion with God, who is supradenominational and unites all people as his children. At first, the church did not want to act publicly. She was to grow through the personal experience imparted.

The founders of the church included, among others, a rabbi, a lama, an archbishop, two Catholic bishops, one evangelical bishop and an imam. Despite the fact that these people have not been with us for a long time, we will not list them.

In order to guarantee apostolic succession, Borromeo I., the first introduced to the PAX Church, was consecrated according to the Catholic rite by Roman Catholic bishops. All the others present also placed their hands on the head of PAX Borromeo I and begged God according to their faith for ordination.

In 1975, PAX Borromeo I died and on the basis of an election (also according to the Catholic rite) PAX John II was ordained, civilly named Johannes Granger. Under his leadership the church expanded. PAX John II. he also established the International Conference of Bishops. It is to determine the fate of the church and also to elect and ordain the following superiors of the church.

On October 21, 1999, the International Conference of Bishops elected His Holiness PAX Immanuel II as head of the church. On November 21, 1999, PAX Immanuel II was solemnly consecrated by the bishops designated for this act. PAX means (Latin) "peace, tranquility (well-being, balance)" and expresses the will of the superiors of our church to advocate for peace and tranquility in the world. Especially for peace and tranquility between different confessions.

Currently, there is one bishop in the territory of the Czech Republic who was duly ordained by the bishops of the Essene Christian Church operating in Slovakia. In this way, the Essene Christian Church gains apostolic succession, and the bishops of the KCE are the successors of the work of Jesus Christ.

"As the Father sent his Son, so the Son sent his apostles to preach his gospel. They then send their successors to continue this mission of theirs, the proclamation of salvation that the Father entrusted to the Son. The guarantor and creative force of this mission is the Holy Spirit, for in the Spirit of Christ the gospel is proclaimed and he is the guarantee of the truth that Christ taught his apostles" (1 Clem).

Jan Křtitel - essay master

The tradition of modern Essay communities, which preserve the knowledge of the cultural memory of their predecessors, speak of John the Baptist as the "Master of Essay Learning". This interpretation is increasingly confirmed by contemporary researchers in the fields of archaeology, philology and other modern sciences dealing with the Dead Sea Scrolls.

It was the Qumran desert that was, and still is, a place where a person seeking the "bosom of God" has more within reach of millions of stars in the night sky than the distractions and temptations of Jerusalem. And it was this desert, where "the word of God came to Zachariah's son John" (Luke 3:2), that the Essenes chose as the place where they decided to walk on their way to the Lord.

One of the basic documents that guided the Qumran desert community of the Essenes was

  The "Order of Unity", the full text of which is part of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 at Qumran.

It is even written twice in this text: "When those things come upon the Community in Israel, let them depart from the company of ignoble people and go to the Desert to forge a way to Him, as it is written: 'In the desert forge a way [ ... ] make straight in the steppe a path for our God.'« (1QS7,12-14).

The gospels of all four canonized evangelists give an account of John the Baptist, proclaiming that "He is the one about whom it was said through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah : The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight! (Matthew 3:3). John the Baptist worked in the desert  and preached the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Mk1,3-4) and (Lk 3,3-4)

Even the Gospel of John gives an account of this (Jn2, 23), when he says: "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said."

It is therefore evident that one of the basic postulates declared in the Essay rules of daily life is common to the canonical Gospels.

However, there is more evidence of John the Baptist's connection with the Qumran Esse monks. One of them is, for example, the Qumran rule of accepting children from the families of the priests of the Israelite temple. It is here that one can look for the context of Luke's message: "The boy grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until the day he came up before Israel". (Luke 1:80)

"John the Baptist can be considered an intermediate link between pious Judaism and the New Testament era.

Jesus and the Essenes

According to the New Testament, Jesus had close contacts with John since his life in Mary's womb. His public activity begins with baptism at the hands of John. The first sermon of Jesus also covers the same topic as the sermon of John. It is a sermon about the Kingdom of God" (V. Ventura, Spirituality of Christian Monasticism, Prague 2006).

We can therefore state a sufficiently indirectly supported assumption that John the Baptist, sufficiently familiar with Qumran spirituality, directly influenced the formation of the views of Jesus of Nazareth. Features of this influence can also be traced directly in Jesus' sermons, for example in the "Sermon on the Mount" (Mt5-7) or (Lk6:17-49)

  • What are the sources of the Essene Christian Church
    The basic source of inspiration for the Church of Essen is the Holy Bible in the form in which we know it from the Christian environment of the majority churches. The Holy Scriptures are respected by the Church of Essay, but in their full extent they do not have a binding religious character for believers. Similarly, other historical texts, such as the so-called apocryphal gospels (see Codexes from the excavations in Naq Hammadí) serve as a source of wisdom and inspiration for the Essene Church.
  • The relationship of Essene churches to same-sex partnerships?
    In the case of God's creation, gender is not a determining parameter. ​ We are all God's creation, which is anatomically divided for the needs of existence in the material world, primarily for the needs of reproduction. ​ This division is earthly in nature and has nothing to do with our spirituality. So before God we are not men and women, but we are "creatures standing before the face of God". That is why we do not differentiate between women and men in priestly or episcopal ordination, but we do not differentiate in the consecration of a partnership either. After all, how could we make distinctions on earth if the Creator does not make them in the heavens? ​ In the process of perfecting our soul, each of us in different incarnations finds ourselves in the bodies of both sexes and thus gains much more complex experiences as part of the karmic balance. Of course, this also applies to same-sex relationships. ​ Relationships between people are one of the most complex parts of our learning processes and therefore significantly influence our path to a higher quality of soul and its approach to God
  • Membership in the Essene Christian Church?
    Anyone who identifies with the rules and religious principles of the Church of Essen, completes the necessary studies and is an ordained priest with apostolic succession can become a member of the KCE. People of other faiths also have access to public services, without this participation binding them to anything.
  • Are women and men equal?
    Part of the Esse tradition is also the fact that dignitaries of the Esse churches are women as well as men. There were also women among Jesus' apostles. The most famous Mary of Magdala and Junia (Rom. 16,7)
  • Reincarnation?
    We consider reincarnation to be an integral element of the Essay tradition as confirmed by the texts from Qumran and Naq Hammádí. The teaching of reincarnation was part of the Christian tradition in the early Christian communities until the year 553, when it was banned at the Council in Constantinople (which, according to historical sources, was politically manipulated). Church father - Christian philosopher Origen, in the 3rd century A.D., the main representative of the theological doctrine of apokostasis (final reconciliation of God with the entire creation) and the preexistence of the soul, three hundred years after his death he was labeled as a heretic and additionally "erased" from church history. How do the Essayists perceive this teaching about the reincarnation of souls? The Essayists believe that every soul needs real experiences in order to reach perfection. Throughout our incarnations, we move through the process of the soul's curriculum, sometimes as victims, sometimes as perpetrators, sometimes as masters, sometimes as their servants. The universe remembers everything we've done, even if we've forgotten. The law of Karma is the law of gradual establishment of harmony. The resulting sum of acquired positive and negative experiences will lead the soul to perfection and re-fusion with the Creator.
  • Is celibacy necessary?
    Essian church dignitaries can marry and be married. These aspects are also based on the ancient Essay tradition and are also based on the New Testament gospels.
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