Therapeutae


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Therapeutae

(thĕrəpyo͞o`tē) [Gr.,=worshipers], Jewish monastic order living on the shore of Lake Mareotis, Egypt, about the 1st cent. A.D. They led an ascetic life devoted to solitary prayer and study of the scriptures, gathering on the sabbath for study and a communal meal. They may have a connection with the Essenes, although evidence is scanty. The only ancient source to mention them is Philo's De vita contemplativa.
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Thus, we could say that what would later lead to the practice of secular naturopathy today was the Christian practice of nature cure, dietary reform, herbalism, and hygiene beginning with the Therapeutae (Essenes) and developing through Christianity of Europe.
Questions regarding the mingling of Gentiles and women among Jews in diaspora synagogues yield much speculation in the study, especially in light of references by Philo of Alexandria to a monastic type of Judaism practiced in Egypt by the Therapeutae (male) and the Therapeutrides (females).
56) The exceptions here are radical groups like the Essenes and Therapeutae who did live in celibate communities, before the advent of Jesus' ministry.