Dead Sea Scrolls

Preface

Again, through the power of YouTube’s suggestion was able to get an easy to digest introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Videos

  1. THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS (AMAZING DEFINITIVE ANCIENT HISTORY DOCUMENTARY)
  2. Judaism, Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls ( Added on August 17th, 2015 )

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has revolutionized our picture of the early history of Judaism and of the Jewish background of early Christianity. With the completion of the publication of the entire scrolls collection, it is now possible to draw significant conclusions from this treasure trove of ancient documents. This illustrated lecture by Professor Lawrence Schiffman will discuss the discovery of the scrolls, the archaeology of Qumran where the scrolls were unearthed, the nature of the library, and its significance for the study of Judaism, Christianity and their common destiny. Series: Herman P. and Sophia Taubman Endowed Symposia in Jewish Studies

Read

Essenes

Because of proximity to where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and because of the customs contained in them, some betrothed them to the Essenes.  Here is what is documented in Wikipedia ( about this sect ):

  1. 2nd Temple Judaism
    • Timeline :- 2nd century BCE to 1st Century CE
  2. Contemporary of the Pharisees and the Sadducees
  3. The Dead Sea Scroll is thought to be part of the Essenes Library.  The Library has probably been hidden for as far back as 300 BCE until their discovery in 1946.
  4. Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian, attributed these traits to them
    • Piety
    • Celibacy
    • Absence of personal property and of money
    • Communal
    • Commitment to a strict observance of Sabbath
    • Immersion in water every morning
    • Eating together after prayer
    • Devoted themselves to Charity and Benevolence
    • Forbade the expression of anger
    • Forbade from swearing oaths
    • Forbade from Animal Sacrifice
    • Channels of peace and carried weapons only for protection against robbers
    • Abstain from Criminal and immoral activities
    • Transmit their rules uncorrupted
    • Study of the books of the elders
    • Preserved secrets
    • Mindful of the names of the Angels kept in their sacred writings
    • Jews by birth
    • Have comparable greater affection for each other
    • Immortality of the soul and assured that they would receive their souls back after death
    • Chose not to possess slaves, but served each other
  5. They lived in Qumran
  6. Because of their strict interpretation and observation of the Mosaic Law they called themselves the Yahad (Community) to set themselves apart from other Jews who are referred to as “The Breakers of the Covenant
  7. Founded by Jewish High Priest called by them “Teacher of Righteousness
  8. The Saint Thomas Christians, Nasrani,  of southwestern India may have connections to the Essenes

Contemporaries of Sadducee and Pharisees

Sadducee

From Wikipedia and other sources:

  1. Active in Judea during the Second Temple
  2. Aristocrat
  3. Believe
    • Their is no faith
    • Soul is immortal, No after life
    • Believed in the Torah ( First five books of the Torah ) ( + )
    • No Oral Law ( Did not believe in passed down laws )  ( )
    • Did not believe in Angels and Spirits
  4. Had temple responsibility
  5. Jesus was against the manner in which they dispensed their responsibility
    • ( At the beginning of his ministry ) The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.

      And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.

      And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

      His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”  ( John 2:13-17 )
    • ( 3 years later, at the end of his ministry ) And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.
      And he was teaching them and saying to them,
      “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”( Mark 11:15-17, Luke 19:45-46, Matthew 21:12-13 )

Pharisee

From Wikipedia and other sources:

  1. Active in Judea during the Second Temple
  2. Apostle Paul started out as a Pharisee
  3. Jesus upheld that Pharisees have Mosaic authority, and teaches his followers to be totally subjected to their authority and teachings
    • The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do” ( Matthew 23:1-3 )
  4. Gamaliel is often cited as a Pharisaic leader who was sympathetic to Christians
    • So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice” — ( Acts 5:38 – 39 )
  5. Legacy
    • At first the values of the Pharisees developed through their sectarian debates with the Sadducees; then they developed through internal, non-sectarian debates over the law as an adaptation to life without the Temple, and life in exile, and eventually, to a more limited degree, life in conflict with Christianity. These shifts mark the transformation of Pharasaic to Rabbinic Judaism” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharisees )

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