by Acharya S
24 January 2010
dead sea scrolls
(Photo by Berthold Werner)
"They speak of a Teacher of
Righteousness and a pierced messiah, of cleansing through water
and a battle of light against darkness.
"But anyone looking to the Dead Sea Scrolls in search of proof,
say, that Jesus of Nazareth was the messiah presaged by
the prophets, or that John the Baptist lived among the scroll's
authors, will be disappointed."
News items are circulating about how
"hints" and "insights" contained in the famous
Dead Sea Scrolls
discovered in caves near the ancient site of Qumran can be found in
In other words, certain ideas in the
scrolls also appear in the New Testament, meaning, of course, that
the impression of christianity as a "divine revelation" appearing
whole cloth miraculously from the very finger of God is clearly
Few scholars today claim that any of the Dead Sea Scrolls ("DSS")
date to the time after christianity was allegedly founded by a
"historical" Jesus in the first century of the common era. Indeed,
it is agreed that most of the scrolls pre-date the turn of the era
and that none of them show any knowledge of Jesus Christ or
In my book
The Christ Conspiracy, I demonstrate that
an amalgam of the many religions, sects, cults and brotherhood
traditions of the Mediterranean and beyond. One of the major
influences on christianity is that of Jews, obviously, including
those mentioned in the New Testament, i.e., the Pharisees and
Ancient Jewish historian Josephus also
mentions the sect of the Essenes, who are traditionally associated
with Qumran, in a "by default" argument.
However, scholar Solomon Schecter - who discovered a scroll at Cairo that was later found at
Qumran - points to a heretical sect of Sadducees or Zadokites, as
they are called in both the Bible and DSS.
In The Christ Conspiracy, I discuss this Zadokite origin of the DSS and this group's obvious influence on the
What this rumination all means, of course, is that christianity is,
as I contend in my books, largely unoriginal, representing not fresh
and new "divine revelation" but, again, the amalgamation of not only
the ideas of the Zadokite authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls but also
influences from the Essenes, Jews, Samaritans and many others.
Hints of the
Scrolls in Bible
To understand how the Dead Sea Scrolls influenced early
christianity, just turn to the New Testament.
Take, for example, the
Great Isaiah Scroll, a facsimile of which is
on display as part of the Milwaukee Public Museum's Dead Sea Scrolls
exhibit. Written around 125 B.C. and the only scroll to emerge
virtually intact from the caves at Qumran, its messianic message is
quoted in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, John and Luke, the earliest
of which wasn't written until around A.D. 65.
The scrolls' so-called "Son of God" text reads much like the story
of the Annunciation in the Gospel of Luke. And the Scrolls'
"Blessing of the Wise" echoes the beatitudes of Matthew's Sermon on
This early dating of the gospels, it should be noted, is based only
on the a priori assumption that the story they relate is at least
partially true in recounting a "historical" Jesus who truly
walked the earth at the time he is claimed in the gospels
There is no external evidence whatsoever for the
existence of any canonical gospel at this early a date. In fact,
canonical gospels as we have them do not show up clearly in the
historical record until the end of the second century.
Moreover, the Sermon on the Mount - supposedly the original
monologue straight out of the mouth of the Son of God himself
- can be shown to be a series of Old Testament scriptures strung
together, along with, apparently, such texts from Qumran.
No "historical" founder was necessary at
all to speak these words, as they are a rehash of extant sayings.
(Even in this patent literary device the gospels cannot agree, as
Luke 6:17-49 depicts the Sermon as having taken place on a plain.)
It is easy to see why
the Catholic Church would blanche
upon the discovery of these scrolls, as it could be - and has been -
argued that these texts erode the very foundation of christianity.
It appears that this news, however, when released slowly has little
affect on the mind-numbing programming that accompanies christian
The bottom line is that the existence of the Old Testament and the
intertestamental literature such as the Dead Sea Scrolls shows how
christianity is a cut-and-paste job - a fact I also reveal in The
Christ Conspiracy, in a chapter called "The Making of a Myth,"
which contains a discussion of some of the texts obviously used in
the creation of the new faith.
These influential texts evidently
included some of the original Dead Sea Scrolls, serving not as
"prophecy," "prefiguring" or "presaging" but as blueprints of
pre-existing, older concepts cobbled together in the New Testament.