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.
In his examination of Philo's Therapeutae, discussed above, Boyarin is aware that the men of this community were also celibate, but comments--without explanation--in a footnote that, despite this, they have not had to renounce their sexuality.
Jewish Women Philosophers of First-Century Alexandria: Philo's "Therapeutae" Reconsidered, by Joan E.
(56) The exceptions here are radical groups like the Essenes and Therapeutae who did live in celibate communities, before the advent of Jesus' ministry.
His essay on the Therapeutae (Contemplative Life) can perhaps be seen as an expression of his ideal of life.
4QD[.sup.c] 3.1.17 on mandatory sexual abstinence within Jerusalem) and Therapeutae (Philo Cont.
"Not all rabbis in antiquity were married, and we have examples of celibate Jews in antiquity, attested by the Dead Sea community and the group in Egypt mentioned by Philo--the Therapeutae," she said.
We may compare Philo's account in his De vita contemplativa of the parallel male and female celibate orders of the Therapeutae. Such an order of women in the Beloved Disciple's community would be relevant to the interpretation of the group of `Hebrew' widows implied by Acts 6:1-6 and the `Hellenist' widows (perhaps not members of such an order) over whom they seem to hold priority.
He looks first at Jewish views as found in Philo in respect of the family and then at his description of the Therapeutae and what he has to say about celebrated people like Abraham who left home and kinsfolk; he then turns to Josephus and does the same for him, introducing his description of the Essenes.