Predestination and essenism

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6 Scopus citations


The widely spread Essenes practice of the future events prediction is likely to be based on their belief in the absolute predestination. In this light the hitherto unclarified etymology of the very term can be traced to the Aramaic notion (pl. st. emph.)/resp. (st. abs.; sing.), which is likely to be interpreted as "what man has to suffer, predestination, fortune"; this derivation appears to be relevant not only semantically, but also linguistically. Thus the term "Essenes" can be interpreted as the "fatalists" (see e.g. Tantlevskij 2013). The doctrine of predestination also plays the key role in religious outlook of the Qumran community, and it is considered to be one of the most fundamental arguments in favor of the Qumranites identification with the Essenes. Some Platonic- Pythagorean (not only Stoic) doctrines can be regarded as certain Hellenistic parallels to the Essenic-Qumranic conception of predestination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-53
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Philosophy


  • Eschatology
  • Essenes
  • History of ancient philosophy
  • Judean history and ideology in Hellenistic and early Roman periods
  • Platonism
  • Predestination
  • Pythagoreanism
  • Qumran community
  • Sectarian Judaism


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