Monastic History

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Monastic History Class

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The handout I gave to you, we're doing double time in this class, and that's why it's meeting twice a week and finishing up in six months instead of 12 months, and giving you the summer sleep, and giving me the summer in Europe. But because it's concentrated, I dropped some of the work I had last time I taught it. Last time, we had special projects, and each student gave a lecture, which was open to the community also, and they had a whole year to prepare for this lecture, and the lecture was on some topical lecture, something of interest regarding the 20th century monasticism, Protestant monasticism of the 20th century, American monasticism of the 20th century, Buddhist


monasticism. I remember Ron Yarrow did something on E. Griffiths and other forms of Indian Christian ashram monasticism. We're not going to do that this year. There are no, obviously no tests. Does anyone give tests? Did Joseph Wong give tests? No, okay. No tests, no papers, no presentations, just reading and being here for the lectures or discussions, whatever happens in these class times. I do have a reader here. Don't be too nonplussed by this. It's a two-volume thing. That's because it's only copied on one side of the page, and this is something I developed the first time I taught that here, two, three years ago, and what it is is little smidgets of monastic source material from throughout the centuries, which the students were reading


as we went along in the history itself, and if there was any discussion coming from the readings at the particular class days when the reading was due, then we went into that a bit too. For those of you who took my monastic sources course last year, we had a discussion group. Do you remember? We read the Desert Literature and the ... Do we read ... We did the Desert Literature, the Harlots of the Desert, and the Lives of the Follies. Okay. Well, actually, none of those are in here, but there are things here that you've read already, so for those of you who have read The Life of Antony by St. Athanasius, how many have done that? See, over half of you, right? So, you can skip the first reading, and there's only ten readings. Also, The Life of St. Romuald. Those of you who read that, when you get to that, you can skip that.


The Life of Procomius, The Life of Benedict. The Dialogues, too, of Gregory the Great. You can skip that if you've done it. This is to expose you to things you haven't read already, so you may find that you've already read half of what's here. Does anyone have a copy of this already that they borrowed from me? I'm missing a copy. Okay. We'll do what we said. Since Ezekiel has read all but two of the things on here already, he doesn't really need a copy of this. So, he will just get something from the library or borrow it from one of you when the time for the readings comes. Do I give this to Joshua? Do I give this to Arthur?


So, again, this is going to be spread over a six-month period, and other than the postulates, probably most of you have read half of it already, so don't worry about it. We'll use it the same way. When these particular readings are due, we'll open it up for discussion, if anybody has anything to say in that regard, and then go on with our material. An announcement to the novices. Are all the novices here? One, two, yep. Because Daniel's workshop is being held Tuesday morning next week, when I was going to meet two of you novices, I'm going to go against my word, and I'm going to meet with all of you on one day and then collapse that night on Monday, because I'm going to participate in the Tuesday workshop, too, and all the other days of the week, I had very other things, the Friday trip, and da-da-da-da.


So, this once, I'll meet all of you the same day, on Monday. So I'll give you times once I get the work schedule, this weekend. Regarding the time for this class, I've always taught at 10, 10 to 11, but last time around a couple people mentioned they'd like it earlier. I don't care. I don't care whether it meets at 9 or 9.30 or 10. I hear there's a majority who want it at 10. If I see six hands for 10 o'clock, that's it. Can I see how many want it at 10? Three, four, five. Two, three, four, five, six. Did you have your hand up? Okay, six. All right, so we'll have it at 10 o'clock. Regarding bibliography, I have a 10-page bibliography here on monastic sources,


all in our library, that I've used for this course. I didn't make a copy for each one of you, because it's a lot of paper, a lot of copying, for one thing. Secondly, about a third of the entries are in Italian, Italian or French, about two-thirds in English, and that may donk some people. And thirdly, I really only want to give you copies if you think you want this for your file, that you're going to use it later on, once you have the languages. That type, if you want to do some serious work in monastic history. If you want a copy, fine, but just tell me after class so I know how many copies to make. We'll have to get this tape to Arthur and Joshua, because I don't want to repeat all of this outside of class. I would also ask you to always bring to class, not these readers,


but only bring these readers when we actually have something due, in case we have to look up stuff in the discussion, or people have questions. Don't bring them outside of that. So next time, don't bring them. We don't need it yet. But I do want you to bring the outline I gave you for the course, and I'm going to be constantly handing you maps. And you can make a file of these maps, monastic history maps and tables. I'll always be bringing something. I want you to keep these together in a folder. So get a folder from James in the office, or if there's one in the photocopy, or if you already have one, and just slip everything inside there. Just always bring it with you. Does everyone have a tablet for notes? Okay, you can get a spiral tablet from James. It's in storage, right in the office there. I would expect you to take notes during this class,


especially since you're not really doing anything else of any pressure. So you have the leisure to take notes. You don't have to take every word down, but just have it ready in case you want to write something down, references. It's just common sense to have a paper and pen with you. Any questions about procedure then, before we start? Or any questions about the outline? Did you get an outline? Did I give you a copy? Oh, I'm sorry. You probably want a bit too, huh? Eventually, yeah. Yeah, I can copy all that for you. Okay, I want to start today then with Jewish monasticism. We're going to start with pre-Christian monasticism that plays a part, probably, on the early Christian forms of monasticism.


So keep one for Joshua and keep one for Arthur. Matthew? Echo. Okay. These maps are not all that crucial or important to your vocation, but they're illustrative of the phenomenon that happened at Qumran. And these are from a number of sources, all from our library. And they're neat. So look them over in your free time. You can color them, yes. Look these over.


And I don't know if we're going to finish the Essenes this week. So you may look them over. And when we come back next Wednesday, if you have any questions or things you want to say about the architectural designs that you see at the monastery at Qumran or the maps or whatever, then we can talk about it at that time. Okay? Okay. Okay, so what I want to do today is give some preliminary remarks on Jewish monasticism. Sounds funny when you say the phrase, Jewish monasticism. But that's what it was. There were Jewish monastics, just as there are Islamic monastics, although they're frowned upon by Islam itself. You look at any great world religion, you're going to find some offshoot, some monastic group getting in there causing trouble, usually being in ecstasy or doing the prophesying


or protesting everything. And oddly enough, or maybe not oddly enough, coincidentally enough, the monasticism pretty much looks the same, always. Looks the same. Naturally have a little bit of local color from the tradition in the country and whatnot, but the basics of monasticism are often the same, and you're going to see that with these Jewish monastics. There was organized asceticism from time to time among the Jews. We know that from the Old Testament. The Rechabites, I'll always put on the board here things where I think you need the spelling. The Rechabites are mentioned in the Old Testament. They're mentioned in Jeremiah chapter 35. About the 9th century B.C., so 900, 1,100 years before Christ,


we had monastics among the Jews. These were descendants of Jonadab Ben-Rechab, thus the name Rechabites. And this group, this offshoot, were a group who decided as a group they were going to abstain from all wine and live very, very frugally in poverty in tents. Another group that came along later with Samson and such were the Nazarites, and you'll find mention of those Nazarites in the Book of Judges, chapters 13, 16, also in Amos, chapter 2, 1 Maccabees, and the Book of Acts, chapter 18. Who were the Nazarites, or the Nazarenes,


as sometimes you see mentioned that way? These were a group who cut their hair off, who didn't have any alcoholic beverages, who didn't eat unclean food, sound familiar, who had no contact with dead bodies. Well, that sounds particular to the situation, so also remember Pharisaism is very much that way. Jesus, so in time. The taboo of the dead bodies. But these Nazarites, they would take the Nazaretic or Nazarene vow to do all this stuff by way of asceticism. This was always a temporary thing. You didn't take your vows as Nazarites for the rest of your lives. Nazarites were usually temporary monastics, and it was most probably a voluntary act of devotion. It was looked on as something special. Somebody who had some reason to do this type of act


in a Jewish mentality, which wouldn't be too many people probably, would take this Nazaretic vow. And these continued down to Jesus' time, with variations from Samson on down the centuries there. About from the years 200 B.C. to 280, we had any number of ascetical groups who were caught up in apocalypticism, so the apocalyptic times. Caught up with the end of the world and dualism. Think your most extreme ideas about offshoot groups


who are into millennialism and all this sort of thing, the end of the world type thing, and you will have the flavor of a number of these apocalyptic groups. Most were extreme, others were not quite so extreme. At least as extreme from the 20th century point of view. Some of these groups were the Essenes, whom we will look at first. The Therapeutes. That's a U there. Therapeutes. The Baptists. Not the Southern Baptists. It's the Near Eastern Baptists. Qumran. Qumran. And you can put behind the Essenes slant Qumran. They're not sure Qumran was a scene.


They were living a lot that the Essenes were living, but it's not necessarily the same. There are some differences. Doesn't matter. Taken together as a whole, the Essenes and Qumran, very, very similar. The Zealots. And we hear mention of that in the Gospels, huh? In the Gospel stories regarding Peter, Simon. The Zealot. Member of the Zealot Party. This was more or less a political group dedicated to the overthrow of the Romans, but from this point of view. From an apocalyptic mindset. They were monastic. Not monastic as such, no. We're just talking apocalyptic groups. But Qumran and Essenes and Therapeutes, yes. Also Pharisees.


There were groups of Pharisees that were into asceticism. And of course, in the early church, groups of Christians. Excuse me. A Jewish slant Christians. There is one hypothesis that Zoroastrian, what's Zoroastrianism? Persian. Dualism, Persian religion. Big into astrology. Such connections. That Zoroastrianism came from the east and affected Jewish religion and early Christianity. And out of that, or parallel with the Essenes,


that were before Christ and also after Christ, that all of this came together and flavored who the Essenes became in the time after Christ. So Jewish elements, Persian elements, and Christian elements into Essene life. Also Gnosticism. There are various schools of Gnosticism at the time before Christ and during the time of Christ and after. And a number of these are aligned with, surely with Zoroastrianism. Surely with certain groups of Jews and Christians or pseudo-Christians during this time. And also, certainly with some of the Essenes.


And there is effect upon Qumran. But we don't know how much. We don't know how much Zoroastrianism really plays on that. Certainly Gnosticism does. And dualism. But how key Zoroastrianism was to it, that's one fellow's hypothesis. But who says it's, eh, it's really important. It's absolutely essential. Well, you know, they say, there's so much going on at that time, how do we know? How important the tenets of Zoroastrianism itself are to that. Are you open to questions as we go along? Yeah, sure, always. Were Zoroastrians Gnostic? No. No. I'm not an expert on Zoroastrianism. There could very well have been a group even among the Zoroastrians who lived a semi-monastic life. But it would make sense, because there's always that impulse for some professionally religious people


to band together to live the pure life. And of course with the dualistic framework, it's ready for it, you know. All you have to do is step into the dualism up to your neck and you can, you know, what else can you do but be monastic? Because you want to be among the pure, the chosen, the elect, da-da-da-da-da. So there could very well have been monastic cults among the Zoroastrians. Do you know anything about Zoroastrianism in specific? I think there were some groups doing it. More like musicians, yeah. They would do their things together. Maybe some kind of pseudo-liberty. They're compared to like the bands of prophets. Yeah, but not really... Do you know anything about Zoroastrianism? Wouldn't surprise me, though. Yeah, I always find some monks lurking around. It seems to be universal. So the Essenes. How do we know about the Essenes?


How do we know they even really existed? Well, we have four primary sources. Excuse me. We have four secondary sources of people who write about the Essenes. Okay. These sources are Philo of Alexandria, who in two of his works mentions the Essenes. Every Good Man is Free. That's one of the works. Every Good Man is Free. This is Philo. And you can read Philo in our library. We have it in English. Two or three copies of this. In various editions. And the Hypothetica also mentions the Essenes. When I was doing this, I read all of these sources just out of curiosity what they had. And there's not a lot said, but it's very descriptive. What is said is very descriptive in the history.


Also Flavius Josephus. Now there would be a fun one for you to read. If you want to read one of these, read Philo or Josephus. Flavius Josephus, two works. The Jewish Wars, which we have, and Antiquities, which we also have. And again, descriptions of these people called the Essenes and what their life was like from his historical point of view. Also Pliny the Elder. P-L-I-N-Y. By Pliny the Elder, his natural history mentions the Essenes. Natural history. Sometimes reading these sources, you find them humorous little phrases when their lifestyle has been described. They started doing it tongue-in-cheek, you know, making fun of them. They have one of the first descriptions


of Christian literature also. Really? Well, here's another person you'll recognize. The fourth source, liturgical. Hippolytus. Hippolytus wrote a work called The Reputation of All Heresies. Sounds like something out of England. The Reputation of All Heresies. He also treats the Essenes in that work. Hippolytus. So, we have these sources who write about this group. Qumran itself was probably Essenes, or extremely close to or similar to the Essene belief system. It could have been an offshoot, you know, sort of like Trappists and Cistercians. Qumran could have been the Trappists of the Essenes.


Just to give you an example. Or the Monte Carbone of the Camaldolese. And their framework for lifestyle is very, very similar to other Essene establishments we have. And the Essenes are spread around. It's not just near the Dead Sea. The Essenes are in a number of places. The community of Qumran itself was on the vanguard of this. Apocalyptic Judaism. I'm just assuming that most of you, if not all of you, have read something about the Essenes. We have a large section on the Dead Sea Scrolls and some stuff on the Essenes themselves. Have you read anything on the Essenes? No? Yeah, okay. Well, it's there for you. It's fascinating stuff.


If you read this Biblical Archaeology Review, this one review, we get this very slanted and biased work, but you get a lot of information regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls coming out in that publication. It's fascinating, because there's always little snippets here and there about the Essenes themselves and about the community of life. In a very biased way. I don't know, I didn't look. There were some complaints about it, because it is so biased. Yeah, I don't remember dropping it. Somebody might be hiding it as soon as it comes in. Huh? Anti-Christian. Yeah. Jewish sources. But almost fundamentalistic.


It's sort of like their side of the whole Protestant fundamentalist thing, or even Catholic. Just the whole fundamentalist thing. That's sort of their lens that they use. And they're always chipping away, and you get tired of it. I mean, you can see points, but they're always chiseling away, and you get really tired of it after a while. But I think, just parenthetically, I don't think we should get rid of it. I think we should have a little bit of everything in our periodical section. We've got room for the whole spectrum there, from right to left, in all of the fields. It's good to have a healthy collection. So that's our Jewish fundamentalist section. The... The Essenes, or let's say the Qumran community, aligned with the Essenes, have a lot in common with early Christianity.


That is, they have... You can find a lot of the Johannine language that you find in the Johannine literature. It's the same. It's the same. Sometimes you can read some of the Essene literature, and you think you're reading right out of the Gospel of John. It's amazing, from John's letters. Very, very similar. It's dualistic language. And it's fascinating to study the Gospel of John and the critics who say that John is involved in a polemic against the Gnostics, or is positively influenced by the Gnostics, and thus we have his particular type of Gospel message. Anyway, the language is dualistic. The language often is Gnostic-sounding. So what's the connection between Essenes and Gnosticism? Oh, they're heavily Gnostic. Yeah. But usually when we talk about Gnosticism


or Gnostic groups at this time, we're talking about other, more specifically philosophically Gnostic groups that are into head-trip more than anything else, but through the Gnostic lens, through the dualistic lens. Whereas the Qumran community isn't so much into a head-trip, they're into the whole thing. They're into light and vindication. I've got a vengeance! And the pure, the whole dualistic thing, but from another really enfleshed standpoint. I mean, they're going to usher in the end of the world, the end of time, bringing the Messiah, who is a war figure, with a sword in his hand. And they're just waiting. And they're getting ready, and they're drooling, and they're everything. They've got their army. It's black hats and white hats. Classic. It's cowboy, it's Roy Rogers. It's right there.


And that's their whole thing. It isn't just studying some text to discover how we can return into particles of light and float, you know, away into this pure stream of consciousness. But there's that influence from Gnosticism there that helped form their language, helped form their dualistic beliefs, and the whole thing. Gnosticism's all over the place right now in various forms. You can't cope. Also, you have the elements of community and unity, which you find the body, the people as the body, also, you know, in John, very, very prominent. You have that in the scene literature, or Qumran literature also. And you find certain common, and this shouldn't surprise us at all, common motifs running through the literature.


What are the motifs concerned with? Who are they? They're apocalyptic. And so their whole thing is going to be eschatological. And so, yeah, you've got angels all over the place. Angelology. And, you know, this is also rampant, angelology during these centuries, these three or four centuries. Angelology, the desert. The whole figure of the desert is eschatological. And the coming one, coming out of the desert, or into the desert, into light. Preparing for the advent of the Messiah. Hey, what does this sound like, you know? Preparing for the advent of the Messiah. It sounds like what we're doing right now, getting ready for Christmas. This is their main thing in the Quran. Preparing for the advent of the Messiah. Of course, their Messianic figure is, again, a political one. Also religious, of course.


Highly religious, but politically enfleshed. The New Covenant. The Last Times. A Davidic Messiah. The Messiah. The Messianic banquet. Life of community of goods. Primitive Christian community, Acts 2. What did the first Christians do in Jerusalem? They banded together, put all their money in the pot, and fed the poor, and, you know, same thing. Very first Christian community. Waiting for the kingdom. A lot of, you know, what's the point? The point is, we have Christians, we have various sects of Jews, we have various sects of Christians,


much more than we know. A lot of various, well, this is a confusing time in the early part of the church, you know? Trying to figure out this whole thing that happened with Jesus, and how we go about continuing, and what should we accent, which, you know, and then persecutions, and we get stuck off here, and there's a group there, and how do you, you have all kinds of various things going on. Well, also Judaism. It's a very confusing time, and a very, again, eschatological apocalyptic time. And a lot of this is connected with just where the world is at at the time. And Rome, what do you got? You got this big behemoth Rome running around suppressing everybody. Everybody's fed up. And so, how do you, how do you work up a rebellion? Well, if you can't do it militarily, and they tried in various places, of course, well, do it philosophically,


do it religiously, do it mystically, but whatever, it's gotta go somewhere. That energy has to go somewhere. And I think a lot of it ties into the apocalypse. Rome ties in a lot with the apocalyptic movement. I read that a lot, but it makes sense to me. Just people are fed up with Rome. I mean, Rome right now, it's still strong. And it's ruthless. Rome is ruthless. There's a lot of justice in the Roman system too, of course, but from a Roman perspective. Okay. During the spring of 1947, just before I was born, a young Ta'anir goat herd named Muhammad Ad-Dib, D-H-I-B, ran after one of his goats


near the Dead Sea and stumbled on a cave containing great big jars. And these jars were filled with ancient manuscripts. In those jars, among many other things, including, you know, testamentary literature, scripture passages, long passages from Isaiah and others, we find documents for the life of a monastic community of Jews in that place or nearby. There are also primitive maps. One was entitled The Community Rule. These are all rules. The Community Rule. And this gives all the laws


and practices for a monastic group, this monastic group of Qumran. Then there's the Damascus Rule. And this gives all the rules and laws for how to live if you're a layperson at this time. Remember, all couched within this. It's the end of the world. How are we going to live? If you're not in the monastic group, here's the rules for you to live on the outside. That's like the obelisks. The obelisk rule, the Damascus Rule. The War Rule. This was like the Third Reich architects on the plans for the future, which they never got to unfold. They had the plans down. Well, these were the plans. These were the plans for once this all happens, what does the future hold for us?


What is it? What do we do? The War Rule. The Messianic Rule. You'd think it would be the other way around. You'd think the Messianic Rule, that sounds like what you do in the future. And it is. But it's specifically a plan for this community in the future, this community of Qumran. The War Rule is about how the future will unfold and then how the world itself will be, or how it should be set up. But the Messianic Rule gets specific to Qumran again. And lastly, the Temple Scroll. I'm giving you the important ones. The Temple Scroll. This is the fun one. This is all the little rules about liturgy, how they did liturgies, how they bathed themselves. They're big into ritual baths before the aid, before this, before that.


You had to take various ritual baths. We'll get into that a little bit. Typical day in Qumran. Also, the liturgical list, all the big feast days that they're going to have. And there's some rules and descriptions about how to build the temple of the future. How that new Messianic King of Israel and the army of Israel should be set up. What is their code of conduct. You know, we're very close to getting a whole array of new documents and new scrolls. There's a big, as you know, big controversy right now about what has been going on. What are they hiding? What's going on? And there's a big tug of war about bring it all out now type fight going on. And then there's all kinds of politics involved.


And of course, even right from the beginning, you had Arabs in this, American scientists, paleontologists, the Jewish state, the whole thing, you know, in these early years. We got the Jewish state from 1948 on, the Zionist state. There's all kinds of intrigue and people selling it on the black market, all this stuff. So in a way, it's good because that's how we get what we did get, you know. We might not have seen anything yet if some of it hadn't been down. It's split up, but a lot of it's in Israel right now. I don't know if all of it is. I don't know if they ever got hold of all of it. There were still some private sources for some of it. Qumran itself flourished for some 200 years.


150 years before Christ until 68 A.D. 68, remember that day. That's doomsday for Qumran. And also for other realities But 150 years before Christ, this place was already flourishing. Not just beginning. This is when it's flourishing. It already began 50 years prior to that. Tradition has it it was founded by a very charismatic, enigmatic figure who was called, never by name, the Teacher of Righteousness. The Teacher of Righteousness. Now believe me, this is the guy with the white hat. This is like the 10-gallon white hat. This is the figure. And all through the literature of Qumran, you had this


Teacher of Righteousness figure. Very important, very central. Almost like a Jesus to the early Christians. That type of messianic figure. The Teacher of Righteousness. Three priests. Now we're talking Jewish priests, Levites. And 12 Jewish laymen. That's the tradition. These are the ones who started it. They banded around this guy whom they called the Teacher of Righteousness. Why? They were all fed up. They were sick and tired of foreigners coming in and monkeying around with Jewish religion and the Jewish state. And have I taught my prophets Christian? Oh, that's fascinating.


Just to follow that back and forth throughout the history of the prophets. Always dealing with this. And how you have even kings of Israel selling out to the Assyrians. Religious-wise, you know. Sticking up the statues of the Assyrian gods. Again, we go through this over and over again. Well, these people are just fed up. By 150 AD, they're fed up. And of course, this ties in again. Remember, always keep this blaring in neons. Everything is filtered through that at this time. Everything. Apocalyptic. For the people on the table. Apocalypticism is what I'm talking about. It's always there. And it permeates every aspect. In 145 BC, so during the time it's flourishing, Qumran flourished a little too much and people got scared in the Jewish state.


And Qumran was persecuted. There was like a pogrom against Qumran. Against this group living out in the desert. These caves. This monastery's weirdos. These no-do-gooders. Persecuted by a fellow Jew. Yeah. Well, the Jews, yeah. The Jews from Jerusalem. Et cetera. And they were dispersed in 145. But five years later, under Simon. I don't know who this Simon is. I just put Simon. They were allowed to return back to Qumran. So there's a five year period during their flourishing time when they weren't there at all. But right again from 140 onwards, they're flourishing. They all came back. Under Simon. Yeah. It was the high priest, I think. Oh, is that who? Okay. And, well, at this time,


of course, the high priests were very young. I suspect that the persecution was from the religious leaders. Not the political. You know, not the... At this time, outside of various charismatic individuals, including prophets who existed, the chief priests are very, very important to what goes or what doesn't go. This is Simon. I don't know if he actually was with them. I think he just allowed them to. Yeah. I don't think he went with them. But, excuse me, that Dead Sea location that we know now as Qumran existed from 140, thanks to this Simon, all the way to this BC,


all the way to 68 AD, when they were dispersed in a rather nasty way by the Roman army, and the settlement itself was destroyed. Before I get into descriptions of their monastic life and what a typical postulant went through in the novice... It's set up that way. We're really talking monasticism now. I want to just talk, just in general, about what the goals were. Why they were doing this. I want to put it into a nutshell. Number one, we've got to prepare the way for the Messiah. Put in parentheses, Prophet Isaiah. He is a biggie for them, the word of Isaiah. In fact, the whole Advent thing, they love Advent. They love our liturgies of Advent, our readings, and the whole cycle.


The whole consciousness of becoming Messiah, right there. And of course, as you know, or you should know, Advent... There's two very strong flavors in the Advent season, Christian Advent season. There is that whole focus on the incarnational event. And that's really emphasized from about the 17th of December on, in the word, in the music, in the antiphones and whatnot. Let's center on that coming of the Messiah in a crib, the whole incarnation thing. But the whole beginning part then, of course, aligned with what's just happened in another way at the end of the last liturgical year, this whole thing. Eschatological and apocalyptic plays a... You know, that coming, the coming in the future, the second coming, is the other focus in the Advent season. Both of those are equal in the Advent season.


And they love it. They love both those emphases. This is right up, couldn't have gone that way. Advent liturgy, Advent consciousness. Okay, that's the first goal. To do that, where? In the desert. Preparing the way in the desert for the coming of the Messiah. Second one, how are you going to do that? Well, if you're dualistic, if everything's black or white, there's no in-between, how are you going to do it? You're going to do the white. Well, what's in the white? All kinds of rules. Well, where are you going to find these rules? You're good Jews, where are you going to find it? The Law of Moses. Observers of the Law. This is like Pharisees, huh? So part of their thing is also the Law, and the Law's middle element. All kinds of... Their life is full of regulations


and rules. To live the Law of Moses perfectly. They sort of have this remnant theology that plays an important part in studying not just the history of Israel's prophets, but also the development of theology in the prophetic literature. The whole remnant thing. You know, the group that's left at the end. And they saw themselves as the followers of this teacher of righteousness, and, well, we must be the remnant. We are the remnant of Israel, because this teacher of righteousness has shown us the right way. And we've got the pure way.


We're in the light, and we've united together, and so we've got to keep this remnant together. How do you do that? You form a common life. You build up your boundaries, and you have a real strict rule with all these laws. This is all in parentheses under this whole business about the Law of Moses. You have all these laws and regulations to keep everyone on this straight and narrow. And so these are all aims for you to accomplish this Law of Moses thing. And because you're the remnant, you are the new covenant. The new covenant's already begun, and you're just the last step before the Messiah comes with his sword in hand to slay the Romans and a lot of others, the sons of darkness. And this new covenant that they matched onto,


in regards to this remnant thing, if you read Jeremiah and his development of that, what is that new covenant? And the images he used is for the new covenant. So Jeremiah 31 and 34 would be a classic reference for you to look at. Also Ezekiel, who carries on Jeremiah's message, Prophet Ezekiel. I just realized I didn't mention Ezekiel. Ezekiel 36, 22 to 20, if you want to look these up. So that new covenant proclaimed by Jeremiah and echoed in Ezekiel by the Prophet Ezekiel, they take that and they say, we are that. We are that. And we've got to protect that. We've got to really build up our walls to keep it. Because otherwise, the end can't come. It's only going to come through us. We're the channel. We're the tunnel.


Third point, then third main goal. The first one is preparing the way for the Lord in the desert. The second one is living out the law of Moses perfectly. The third one is purity. This is right up the alley of any Gnostics or dualists or even apocalyptic people for the most part. Purity. This thing about purity. While their purity is very, very strange. Have any of you read Hayyam Potok novels about the Hasidic Jews? That type of thing, the ritual baths, all this purity. Every time you soil yourself, you can do it so many different ways. They would live in that. Very similar to that sort of thing. Even more so than the Hasidim. The strict Levitical legislated purity on a daily basis. And we'll see some of the ways


you can get impure and what you have to do. Or if you are impure, what happens to you in the community. Why is impurity or why, excuse me, why is purity such a big thing with them? What is their big bellyache? Why did they go off in the desert and live in caves? Because of the foreign influence. And what is the main foreign influence at this time? Not politically, but philosophically. Oh, Hellenists. Hellenists. The Greek speakers. The Greek thinkers. Well, the Hellenists and Hellenizers are slowly, suddenly, and we're talking about Hellenizing Jews, slowly changing things. This is the time of Maccabees. Yeah. They're changing things. They don't like, they don't want changes. We've got to build the, we've got the common ground,


we've got our walls, we've got the channel, we are the channel. Why? Because the rest of them have screwed it up. They've screwed it up, they've lost the purity. How can they live the law of Moses? I ask you. How can they live the law of Moses? They've changed it. You can't live the law of Moses if you change it. It's not the law of Hiram or the law of whatever. It is the law of Moses. It's their, that's their point of view. So, they have all these things about purity to combat the Hellenistic influences, whom they are constantly labeling as impure. So it's black and white, good and bad, pure, impure. It's us and them all the way. They are, they take the us and them mentality right to the, right to the hell. So they're very much a unique phenomenon at this time.


I mean, even among apocalyptic groups, they're unique. You always get this flavor of us and them in apocalyptics. But, I mean, they're something else. They've developed an elaborate, elaborate lifestyle that's consistent and solidified to build up that law and to protect the purity inside. So much so that the focus later on becomes not so much the outside, but even on the inside. You start working on the ones that are in there. And you get finer and finer and stricter and stricter. Okay. So starting next Wednesday, then we'll discuss the monastery itself, what it looked like probably. Bring the maps then. No, there's only three. We could make one up.


And then we'll talk about what it's like to come as a postulant and work your way through Koman. And then we'll also treat the therapies. We have a Jewish group that we're going to work on.