Monday, August 15, 2016

Essene Apocryphon

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS AND POPULAR CULTURE WATCH: Pottenger’s cats show the way to good health (Liam Harkness, Mr. Harkness urges that we avoid feeding ourselves or our cats heavily processed food, which seems like good advice to me. But what caught my eye in his article was the citation at the very end:
I find my own conclusion echoed in an ancient Essene passage translated from the Dead Sea Scrolls written 2,500 years ago: “Live only by the fire of life, and prepare not your foods with the fire of death, which kills your foods, your bodies and your souls also.”
Alas, there is no such passage in any of the Dead Sea Scrolls — none of which, incidentally are as old as 2500 years. This quotation actually comes from a modern apocryphal gospel called The Essene Gospel of Peace, which you can read online here. It was published in the twentieth century by one Edmund Bordeaux Szekely. From the content, it is obviously a modern composition. Back in 2008 I noted it when it was cited for its advice on administering enemas. Cross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch.