Ok, so i’m a bit late to this info since it was many years ago, but i’m reading tidbits online that say Pope Benedict connected Jesus to the Essenes in terms of when and how he celebrated the last supper - see here:
It is likely that Jesus followed the calendar of the Essenes of Qumran, possibly explaining some contradictions within the Gospel accounts of the Passover, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope made this observation Holy Thursday in his homily during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
In his address, the theologian commented on the historical investigations on the manuscripts of Qumran, found in the Dead Sea in 1947.
“In the narrations of the Evangelists, there is an apparent contradiction between the Gospel of John, on one hand, and what, on the other hand, Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us,” said Benedict XVI.
The Pope continued: "According to John, Jesus died on the cross precisely at the moment in which, in the temple, the Passover lambs were being sacrificed. His death and the sacrifice of the lambs coincided.
“This means that he died on the eve of Passover, and that, therefore, he could not have personally celebrated the paschal supper, at least this is what it would seem.”
The Holy Father said that according to an interpretation of the texts, “still not accepted by all,” Jesus “celebrated Passover with his disciples probably according to the calendar of Qumran, that is to say, at least one day earlier – he celebrated without a lamb, like the Qumran community who did not recognize the Temple of Herod and was waiting for a new temple.”
Cardinal Albert Vanhoye, former rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome, explained that in Jesus’ time the calendar of the Essenes was more traditional that the one more recently adopted by the priests of Jerusalem. He said that this doesn’t signify that Jesus formed part of the Essenes.
The new lamb
Benedict XVI, however, said that it does imply that Jesus “celebrated Passover without a lamb, no, not without a lamb: Instead of the lamb he gave himself, his body and his blood.”
The Pope continued: "And he himself was the true temple, the living temple, the one in which God lives, in which we can find ourselves with God and adore him.
“His blood, the love of he who is at the same time Son of God and true man, one of us, this blood has the power to save. His love, this love in which he gives himself freely for us, is what saves us.”
Benedict XVI urged those present to “ask the Lord to help us to understand ever more deeply this marvelous mystery, and to love it more and more.”
The Pope added: "And within it, to love him more and more. Let us ask him to attract us more and more to him with holy Communion.
“Let us ask him to help us not to keep our lives for ourselves, but to surrender them to him, and in this way, to work with him so that all people find life, the authentic life that can only come from he who is the way, the truth and the life.”
I haven’t read his books on Jesus, and unfortunately in this time in my life I don’t have the ability to.
So my question is, does Pope Benedict speak to this issue in this books (volume 1 and 2) and does he come to any sort of conclusion?
From my understanding he comes short of declaring that he thought our Lord WAS an Essene (or John the Baptist for that matter), but I read so many things online using Pope Benedict’s words to make the connection that our Lord and John WERE Essenes completely.
For example, i read things like “Essenes were vegetarians, and John was one to - he didnt eat locusts in the insect sense, but the flower sense.”
Anyway since this is something that arose a number of years ago, I was thinking the Pope either made himself clear since then, or the Church or Catholic Apologetics had clarified this idea?
The spiritualists, athiests and other internet kooks seem to have had a field day with this…