St. John the Baptist and the Essene Question

A little while back I wrote that I had heard an RCIA instructor inform a class that St. John the Baptist was an Essene. My head snapped up so fast I thought my neck would snap. That’s the kind of thing I’ve come to expect from the History Channel or New Age teachers, and I realize that there may be some legitimate scholars who propose this idea as a hypothesis. Pope Benedict even mentions it briefly in his beautiful book, Jesus of Nazareth. But he does not teach it as fact; he mentions it in passing as a “reasonable hypothesis” that John may have spent some time among a community of Essenes. He is not, however, teaching doctrine, Continue reading “St. John the Baptist and the Essene Question”