ESSENES - They were a Jewish sect founded about the year 150 BC in the time of the Maccabeans, whose members, living in types of monastries, formed amongst themselves a kind of moral and religious association. They distinguished themselves by their pacific ways and austere virtues, taught the lave of God and neighbour, the immortality of the soul, and believed in resurrection. They were celibate, condemned war and slavery, held all their worldly goods in common, and devoted themselves to agriculture. Contrary to the Sadducees, who were very sensual and denied immortality, and the Pharisees of rigid external practices and only apparent virtues, the Essenes never took part in the disputes which caused antagonism between the other two sects. In their way of life they were similar to the first Christians, and the moral principles they professed caused many people to suppose that Jesus had belonged to their community before He began His mission. It is certain that He knew them, but there is nothing to prove that He was related to them, so all that has been written to this effect is simply hypothetical. *
* THE DEATH OF JESUS, supposedly written by an Essene is an entirely apocryphal work, whose only objective was to serve one opinion. It carries within it the proof of its modern origin.