Bandits Prophets and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time by Richard A. Horsley; John S. Hanson

By Richard A. Horsley; John S. Hanson

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Additional resources for Bandits Prophets and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus, 1st edition (New Voices in Biblical Studies)

Sample text

Moreover, yet a third 24 BANDITS, PROPHETS, AND MESSIAHS group, the priestly, aristocratic Sadducees formed, possibly in reaction to the Pharisees. It has become increasingly clear that the group known in ancient sources as the Essenes was the same as the Utopian community living in the wilderness at Qumran, where their writings, the Dead Sea Scrolls, were recently found. Perhaps the most satisfactory reconstruction of the origins of the Qumran community is that, in direct reaction to the illegiti­ mate assumption of the high priesthood by the Hasmoneans, numbers of the Hasidim withdrew into the wilderness by the Dead Sea to continue their disciplined preparation for the advent of the kingdom of God.

11:27-33). Indeed, the Jewish ruling groups had good reason to be "afraid of the people," for the common people were not docile and passively resigned to their situation in life. They held ideals of what life should be like, and a memory which informed and buttressed those ideals. They remembered times when their forefathers had been free, and not under the control of domestic or foreign overlords; and they remembered previous conflicts in which their forebears had become subjected, but were able successfully to reassert their freedom.

What had begun as a Judean peasant revolt, guerrilla warfare against Seleucid armies, ended not in the final establishment of the Kingdom of God, but simply in the establishment of a new dynasty of high priests. ) and his successor, Alexander Jannaeus (104-76 B . C E . ) , pursued a consistent policy of territorial expansion. They transformed the peasant militia bands of Judas the Maccabee and his brothers, who had been fighting for self-preservation, into a national army seeking conquest of gentile territories.

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