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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia


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Division of Essenes who bathed every morning before the hour of prayer in order to pronounce the name of God with a clean body (Tosef., Yad., end the correct version being given by R. Simson of Sens: "The morning bathers said to the Pharisees: ' We charge you with doing wrong in pronouncing the Name in the morning without having taken the ritual bath' whereupon the Pharisees said: ' We charge you with wrong-doing in pronouncing the Name with a body impure within' "). In the time of Joshua b. Levi (3d cent.) a remnant still existed, but had no clear reason for their practise (Ber. 22a). The Clementina speak of John the Baptist as a Hemerobaptist, and the disciples of John are accordingly called "Hemerobaptists" ("Homilies," 2:23 comp. "Recognitions," 1:54) similarly, Banus , the teacher of Josephus ("Vita," § 2), was a Hemerobaptist. Hegesippus (see Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl." 4:22) mentions the Hemerobaptists as one of the seven Jewish sects or divisions opposed to the Christians. Justin ("Dial. cum Tryph." § 80) calls them simply "Baptists."

According to the Christian editor of the "Didascalia" ("Apostolic Constitutions," 6:6), the Hemero-baptists "do not eat until they have bathed, and do not make any use of their beds and tables and dishes until they have cleansed them." This obviously rests upon a misunderstanding of their true character. Epiphanius ("Panarion," i., heresy xvii.) goes still further, and says that the Hemerobaptists deny future salvation to him who does not undergo baptism daily.

Bibliography : Grä tz, Gesch. 3:700.K.

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Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Hemerobaptists'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901.

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