I agree that Barbara Theiring did some very good work. Her ideas have been advanced by Laurence Gardner and others. However, it is time to now realize that the Essenes were a reclusive group who in no way had the means or mandate to start a global movement.
It was the Herodians who tried to bring the Essenses and isolationist Jews in general into the Hellenist world. An important aspect was the creation of a new religion that would be equally acceptable to Jews and Hellenistic Gentiles. A similar initiative had been taken by the first Greek ruler of Egypt, Ptolemy, who invented Sarapis as a religion to unite Greeks and Egyptians. Later this religion was promoted in the rest of the Greco-Roman world.
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