Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Essenes, a Hebrew sect, whose members were strict in observances, of ascetic habits and mystical tenets, and adopted the monastic life. Some have advanced the improbable theory that Christian teaching originated in the Essenes. Possibly St. Paul meant them when he spoke of "the straitest sect." They held communistic principles with regard to property. Nineteen etymologies have been at different times proposed as to the name. Many of them are said to have become Christian, and to have formed the mystic sect called Therapeutic, and to have first established moneisticism in the Christian Church.