The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies
Essene Manner of Instruction and Methods of Interpretation
Compiled from ancient and historical sources

Philo Hypothetica = Hypothetica
Philo Every Good Man is Free = Quod Omn. Prob.
Philo Therapeutae = De Vit. Cont. (De Vita Contemplativa)
Josephus War = War
Josephus Antiquities = Ant.
Pliny Natural History = Pnh
Bible; New International Version = NIV
allegorical: having hidden spiritual meaning that transcends the literal sense of a sacred text.
parable: usually a short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle.
metaphor: a correspondence between linguistic forms that serves as a basis for the creation of another form or suggests a likeness or analogy between them.

Essene Manner of Instruction and Method of Interpretation

Quod Omn. Prob. 12.82 Then one, indeed, takes up the holy volume and reads it, and another of the men of the greatest experience comes forward and explains what is not very intelligible, for a great many precepts are delivered in enigmatical modes of expression, and allegorically, as the old fashion was;

De Vit. Cont. 3.28  they take up the sacred scriptures and philosophy concerning them, investigating the allegories as symbols of some secret meaning of nature, intended to be conveyed in those figurative expressions.

De Vit. Cont. 3.29 They have also writings of ancient men, who having been the founders of one sect or another, have left behind them many memorials of the allegorical system of writing and explanation, whom they take as a kind of model, and imitate the general fashion of their sect; so that they do not occupy themselves solely in contemplation, but they likewise compose psalms and hymns to God in every kind of meter and melody imaginable, which they of necessity arrange in more dignified rhythm.

De Vit. Cont. 10.76 And he, indeed, follows a slower method of instruction, dwelling on and fingering over his explanations with repetitions, in order to imprint his conceptions deep in the minds of his hearers, for as the understanding of his hearers is not able to keep up with the interpretation of one who goes on fluently, without stopping to take breath, it gets behind-hand, and fails to comprehend what is said;

De. Vit. Cont. 10.77 but the hearers, fixing their eyes and attention upon the speaker, remain in one and the same position listening attentively, indicating their attention and comprehension by their nods and looks, and the praise which they are inclined to bestow on the speaker by the cheerfulness and gentle manner in which they follow him with their eyes and with the fore-finger of the right hand. And the young men who are standing around attend to this explanation no less than the guests themselves who are sitting at a meal.

De Vit. Cont. 10.78 And these explanations of the sacred scriptures are delivered by mystic expressions in allegories, for the whole of the law appears to these men to resemble a living animal, and its express commandments seem to be the body, and the invisible meaning concealed under and lying beneath the plain words resembles the soul, in which the rational soul begins most excellently to contemplate what belongs to itself, as in a mirror, beholding in these very words the exceeding beauty of the sentiments, and unfolding and explaining the symbols, and bringing the secret meaning naked to the light to all who are able by the light of a slight intimation to perceive what is unseen by what is visible.

Matthew 13:3 Then Jesus told them many things in parables.

Matthew 13:10-13 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto the people in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Therefore speak I to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see and though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
Matthew 13:34 Without a parable spake he not unto them.

Matthew 13:35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world."

Matthew 13:43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. For he who has ears, let him hear.

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