derive the idea FROM .... that any Hasmonean sect or priests survived the reign of Herod the Great?
Or that the Essenes had any real power or influence after the beginning of the first century? Sure, maybe the Essenes existed in some weakened form but according to Josephus, they seemed to keep to themselves and lived somewhere in the Dead Sea area.
Are you simply trying to MAKE your perception of Jesus fit with first century existence BECAUSE the Gospels say so?
I mean .... the Essenes had existed for several hundred years already. It's totally possible that your perception of Jesus could fit as easily with a time period of 85 BC as it could anywhere else. What makes you so convinced that it HAD to have happened in the first century? That's what I don't get. It seems to me that you're stuck with the idea that the Gospels HAD to be right because they SAY so.
As for the Hasmonean priesthood ..... yes .... Herod the Great DID marry Mariamne of the Hasmonean clan, to lend legitimacy to his own reign but ........ he also made sure to kill her, her mother, her uncle ...and her children later. He was DETERMINED to stamp out all traces of the Hasmoneans. Thus, is there any actual foundation to your claim that Hasmonean priests still existed after Herod's death?
I found this little excerpt while doing some Essene research
which I thought was particularly interesting in light of what I'd earlier said about Jesus NOT truly supporting the Mosaic law.
[ The Church Father Epiphanius (writing in the fourth century CE) seems to make a distinction between two main groups within the Essenes: "Of those that came before his [Elxai, an Ossaean prophet] time and during it, the Ossaeans and the Nazarean.". Epiphanius describes each group as following:
The Nazarean they were Jews by nationality originally from Gileaditis, Bashanitis and the Transjordon They acknowledged Moses and believed that he had received laws not this law, however, but some other. And so, they were Jews who kept all the Jewish observances, but they would not offer sacrifice or eat meat. They considered it unlawful to eat meat or make sacrifices with it. They claim that these Books are fictions, and that none of these customs were instituted by the fathers. This was the difference between the Nazarean and the others
After this [Nazarean] sect in turn comes another closely connected with them, called the Ossaeans. These are Jews like the former originally came from Nabataea, Ituraea, Moabitis and Arielis, the lands beyond the basin of what sacred scripture called the Salt Sea Though it is different from the other six of these seven sects, it causes schism only by forbidding the books of Moses like the Nazarean. ]
Remember what I said about the Mosaic law being a fabrication written by Hilkiah and his "college" of associates?
Yes, there likely WERE some laws of Moses which the Israelites had and which they preserved in their oral traditions before 700 BC but ... if they were chiseled in a set of Stones, they CERTAINLY were NOT the 5 books of the Pentateuch!~
The elaborate set of rules and rituals put into the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy were mostly contrived by Hilkiah + Co. and then possibly expanded by later Zadokites who went to Babylon and came back to re-establish the temple and rituals.