When we further pursue the letter and compare it with the gospel reports, we will in neither of them find contradiction as regards facts. The only difference is that in the gospel all is transformed into a miraculous Oriental tradition, when the Essene letter, on the other hand, pays no attention to any supernatural, undefined and imaginative illustration, but records the facts as they are.
A dead corpse cannot walk about, for as long as the world has existed God never did contradict himself by overthrowing eternal laws of nature. Even if a single law of nature was set aside, that whole endless chain of cause and effects, where every law keeps the other in balance, they would fall together in chaos.
If Jesus really as a messenger could go about, speak, eat and drink, even other men could do the same. But as the laws of nature do not permit of it, it has not been possible even in the case of Jesus. When ignorant and unintelligent men say, "For God, everything is possible," it only shows their ignorance of Divine nature, for no more than God can suffer the east rising sun to rise henceforth in the west, no more can he produce anything else in contrast to his eternal laws of nature.
The Essene letter in its representation of these events has therefore the important advantage that it treats with things possible in nature. The recovery of Jesus is according to this letter, supported by many circumstances that even now can easily be explained.
Jesus was not, as his companions in suffering, beaten with heavy clubs, and the letter even indicates the fear of Joseph and Nicodemus that this would be done. If it had been done no recovery had been possible, and it would have been foolish to attempt it.
The fact that they carefully took him down from the cross, bound around him leaves that were saturated with salves and liquids that were prepared from the aromatic herbs of the Orient, and filled with powerful fragrant qualities, the proximity of the grotto, where the body was laid on soft moss, where the spices might evaporate, and, together with the smoke of the aloe, necessarily must exercise an animating influence on the benumbed nerves.
Further the bleeding of the wound in the side, that was a sure sign of the still existing circulation of the blood, must necessarily assist the slumbering life to assume its functions by leading away the blood that during the crucifixion had been forced back to the heart, brain and lungs, and thereby benumbed these organs, so that the circulation of the blood could take place.
The earthquake exercised a magnetic, electric, animating influence on the nerves, and when at last the shaking of the ground in the direction of the grotto filled the grave with electric gasses at the time that the body shook, it could not but cause him to awake from his slumber of death.
All these circumstances are powerful means of calling back the slumbering to life, especially in the Orient.
Furthermore, Nicodemus, the experienced physician, and Joseph, the tenderhearted friend of Jesus, hoping the best from the operation of the drugs, went together in the night to receive more minute information of the recovered but still weak Jesus. That the Essene youths in their white flowing garb of the Order could be considered supernatural beings - angels - is easily explained by the excited state of the mind of the concerned persons, and the imaginative mind of the Orientals.
In the old letter is plainly showed that Jesus was brought back to life only through the exertions of the Essenes, and this is easily explained by he vowing that the Order should be unto him as father and mother, and they in their turn fulfilled all their motherly duties.
The circumstance that Jesus never appeared in two places at the same time also speaks against the miraculous representation of his life. But indeed, he was subjected to time and place like other mortal beings.
Another miraculous representation is the ascension of Jesus. Men that can believe in the body rising from actual death can also unconditionally believe in the possibility of a bodily ascension to heaven.
But the intelligent man, who from scientific and rational reasons considers it impossible for an actual dead body to return to life, will see in the ascension another Jewish tradition - one of the apotheoses that were usual in olden times, not alone among the Jewish people, to glorify the memory of distinguished persons. With the Jewish people had the religious tradition formed, the firm belief that all prophets ought to ascend to heaven, and the tradition of Elias and his chariot of fire is a sidepiece to the one of Jesus' ascension.
It is not doubted of such that possess a scientific knowledge of death and its natural course, that Jesus did not bodily ascend to heaven as Marcus and Lucan report (two men who were not present, and formed their account only from the rumors.) Indeed, this representation stands in opposition to the Christian thought that Paul has expressed so gloriously. Paul says in the first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter XV, V. 50: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."
Even if it were a secret, what happened on Mount Olive, the two disciples that were present, Matthew and John, in their writings, do not inform us a single word about the ascension. Even then the Essene letter's account would be a very interesting one -- that Jesus on the Mount only took a usual departure and afterwards fulfilled the duties of the Essene order by living a secluded life.
When we are informed that Jesus retired into Solitude, and even from his vow to the Order, that he promised that when his disciples wanted him he would manifest himself to them, it is evident that he did not leave the earth. But even with Jesus the traditions of the Jewish people and the old prophecy appear to have had some influence, and instinctively guided many of his actions and parables, for even he was a child of his time and brought up in the traditions of his nation.
The Essene letter records that Jesus died in solitude six months afterwards, as a result of his sufferings, that had prostrated and broken his constitution and his excited mind. It was to be wished that even the place were recorded where he died and was buried. The old Essene does not give any account of the place, probably on account of being recommended silence on that subject by the Order.
ORDER OF THE ESSENES AMONG THE JEWISH PEOPLE
"And ye shall be unto me a priestly kingdom, and a holy people." 2 M.B.
By the time when the greatest teacher of the Word, the great mediator, Jesus Christ, stepped forth among the Jewish people, proclaiming his doctrines of light and heavenly truths, that these his doctrines might spread light and warmth over the earth and peace in the weary heart of men, had the above spoken of people in a general very much deviated from the path of the Lord, from the knowledge of him and from the doctrines of divinity given to Abraham and handed down to Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, and afterwards further interpreted and explained by the man of God, Moses.
The interpreters of the Scriptures in the different ages of the Old Testament, or the Scribes, had contrived to attribute to the holy Scriptures the meaning and explication that was most convenient to their material advantage, estimation among the people, of their own wishes. Indeed, we find in the Scriptures of the Old Testament that the holy men of the school of the prophets often stepped forth as the champions of truth and defenders of light, who severely reproached the people for their sins and vices, and severely warned the false teachers who led the people astray and misinterpreted the laws of the Lord. But the people seldom heeded him, and many of them fell victims and martyrs for the vengeance of the priests, and the Scribes, and the fury of the people.
By the time that Jesus Christ and his great predecessor, John, stepped forth among the people, the Jewish people were separated into several religious sects, that each had different views on religion. But even from the day that Moses, according to the command of God, consecrated the people to "A covenant people to the Lord." 2 M.B. 19 Chapter.
was always among them a certain class by whom the name of
the Lord, Jehovah, was worshipped in truth and purity. Already
in the time of the first Judges appeared this class a distinct
Order or Brotherhood, named "Nazirees," "Nazarees,"
or "Nazarenes," and in the time of the kings we
find this Brotherhood under the name of the so-called "School
of the Prophets."
In the time of the Maccabai, this interesting Brotherhood appears under the name of "Hasidees," elder "Assidees," that is, "The holy", "the Pious", and afterwards, in the time of St. John the Baptist, and the great Master, under the name of the "Esseers," or "Essenes," that is, the "Children of peace."
It is not to be wondered at, that the scriptures of the New Testament do not directly mention this important and significant Brotherhood, as they lived separately from the world, as a defined order, and admitted nobody that had not undergone a term of trial for three years and sworn not to disclose for any outsider what took place in their meetings. This order had a material influence on the culture and enlightening of the age and ages that were to come.
In the New Testament there are many expressions and references that directly appear to the thinker and the unprejudiced interpreter of the Bible, that indirectly speak of this Brotherhood, and just by these may be explained many undefined and dark questions in the Scriptures, and rationally conceived, that otherwise would appear inexplicable and obscure. We will afterwards represent instances of this nature.
But before we proceed to a more minute illustration of this most remarkable Brotherhood, we will first pay attention to the, in Jesus' time, most important and differing sects of religion among the Jewish people.
These, first, the Pharisees, a sect full of hypocrisy and egotism. They distinguished themselves by rigidly observing all the outward forms of the Mosaic law, assumed holiness, haughtiness and ambition in unison with greedy aim after earthly winnings, but did care little for the real purifying of the heart or true humanity; and combined with these peculiarities great desire for dignity and worldly esteem. At public meetings they always endeavored to be the principal ones and aspired generally for the esteem and favor of the people.
The Master Jesus often severely reproached them therefore, and warned and exhorted the people to shun their false doctrines in the sayings:
"Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." Math Evang. Chap 16, and in the same gospel, Chap. 23 where he four times cries, "Woe", unto them, he says:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but within they are full of extortion and excess."
Pages To Ponder
Crucifixion By An Eyewitness