For a Kinder, Gentler Society
The Dead Sea Scrolls
and the Personages of Earliest Christianity
  • Arthur E. Palumbo, Jr.
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
The Dead Sea Scrolls. and the Personages of Earliest Christianity
Sound Bite

The Dead Sea Scrolls are a puzzle. What time frame do they cover, and whom do they refer to? Very few scholars have examined the period from 37 BC to AD 71 as the possible setting for the scrolls. Nevertheless, the scrolls allude to events that only have real relevance in this time period This book on the Dead Sea Scrolls presents a theory that connects Scroll allusions to personages and events in that period and suggests a new view on how and why the Romans crucified Jesus.


About the Author

Arthur E. Palumbo, Jr., holds a Masters degree from Norwich University. His book on the Dead Sea Scrolls was published in 2004. Mr. Palumbo has studied the Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian beginnings for more than twenty-five years. Several of his articles have appeared in the scholarly journals The Qumran Chronicle and Folia Orientalia.

At the same time, he has been fascinated with the history of America's Founders, the US Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. Much of what he learned through independent research stood in contrast to the vague notions about our nation's foundations that most Americans now hold. This led him to write his second book, The Authentic Constitution, based on his desire to make the real information about America's founding documents more readily available. In his book on the US constitution, Mr. Palumbo presents an originalist interpretation of the Constitution.

About the Book

Who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? Paleographical dating has tended to downplay the Scrolls' importance and to distance them from the personages of earliest Christianity, but a carefully worked out theory based on radiocarbon dating and other...

Who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? Paleographical dating has tended to downplay the Scrolls' importance and to distance them from the personages of earliest Christianity, but a carefully worked out theory based on radiocarbon dating and other tests connects Scroll allusions to personages and events in a specific time period and suggests a new view on how and why the Romans crucified Jesus.

Part I of this study is an attempt to deal more realistically with the evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls; very few scholars have ever examined the period from 37 BC to AD 71 as the possible setting for the scrolls. Nevertheless, everyone would admit the existence of scroll allusions that only have real relevance in this time period. Part II takes up Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity.

Having researched the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls and studied the details of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity, the author has come to a startling conclusion. Admittedly, the explanation put forward in this work as to how and why the Romans crucified Jesus is a surprising one and we will not divulge it in this synopsis. The way the author sees it, if something like that explanation did not take place, then it is simply inexplicable why the Romans would have crucified Jesus - a peaceful teacher and healer - as a rebel. The only alternative would then have to be that the historical Jesus was really a political revolutionary who attempted in some way to free Israel from the Romans and become its King, a theory that has been offered in various forms beginning in the 18th century. But if he was indeed a rebel, then the later Christians, who strenuously strove to live at peace with Rome, must have been the actual creators of the pacifistic Jesus of the New Testament -- and these unique and time-honored teachings of peace, non-violence, and love were fabrications. That seems less credible than the compelling hypothesis proposed in this work.

Bibliography, Index


Preface

The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (ca. AD 37-ca. 100) describes three Jewish sects (i.e., the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes) that he states all came into existence ca. 146 BC.2 By the first century AD, the...

The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (ca. AD 37-ca. 100) describes three Jewish sects (i.e., the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes) that he states all came into existence ca. 146 BC.2 By the first century AD, the Pharisees and Sadducees had become members of the establishment supporting the Herodian family and making concessions with the Romans. The Essenes were not interested in politics, but simply accepted the authority of the ruling establishment without argument. Only the newly formed “fourth school of philosophy” in AD 6 was an anti-establishment sect.

The Pharisees were mainly laymen who endeavored to practice the written words of Scripture as accurately as possible. In doing this, they had created a large body of oral tradition that they felt was just as binding as the written Word. However, they were not in agreement about the interpretation of Scripture. Each Pharisaic school offered its own exposition in this area. The Sadducees comprised the priestly class (most importantly the high priestly families) and the lay nobility. They were the aristocracy of the country. In Jerusalem, they controlled the Temple and the Sanhedrin, which was the ruling body (with certain restrictions) under the Roman occupation. Not accepting the oral tradition of the Pharisees, they followed only the written words of Scripture.

The Essenes were an ascetic, communist, pacifist and celibate sect with many similarities to the Greek Pythagoreans. Living together in small groups throughout the land, they practiced their own private rituals and kept to themselves. Each Essene was to “for ever keep faith with all men, especially with the powers that be, since no ruler attains his office save by the will of God.”5 Not only does Josephus describe them,6 but also Philo of Alexandria (ca. 20 BC — ca. AD 50) in Quod omnis probus liber sit and Apologia pro Judaeis and Pliny the Elder (died AD 79) in Natural History.

Most scholars have concluded that because of some correspondences with certain traits in the Dead Sea Scrolls,8 the Essenes wrote the scrolls. However, there are significant differences as well, which makes the identification unlikely.9 For example, the Dead Sea Scroll sect was not pacifist10 or celibate11 and did not reject slavery,12 as did the Essenes. Furthermore, when one studies the scrolls, one cannot help becoming aware of the pivotal role of priests and the importance of the 364-day solar calendar to the sect yet Josephus, Philo, and Pliny say nothing about these things.

The founder of the “fourth school of philosophy” was Judas the Galilaean. He “threw himself into the cause of rebellion” in opposition to the assessment of property that Quirinius, the governor of Syria, was ordered to take for the purpose of determining the tax that would be levied on the people….


Table of Contents
Part I. The Dead Sea Scrolls

Part I. The Dead Sea Scrolls

Chapter 1. Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Chapter 2. The Baptism of John

Chapter 3. John’s Food and Dress

Chapter 4. The First Ones

Chapter 5. Zadok

Chapter 6. John the Baptist

Chapter 7. Dositheus

Chapter 8. James the Righteous

Leaders of the Dead Sea Scroll Sect

Leaders before the New Covenant

Leaders of the New Covenant

Future Leader of the New Covenant

Chapter 9. The Hymn Scroll

Chapter 10. The Kittim

Chapter 11. The Lion of Wrath

Chapter 12. Herod, Agrippa I, And Agrippa Ii

Chapter 13. The Coming Visitation

Chapter 14. Khirbet Qumran and the Scrolls

Part II. Christianity

Chapter 15. The Family Oo Jesus

Chapter 16. Microletters

Chapter17. The Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus

Chapter 18. The Hypothesis

Chapter 19. The Slavonic Josephus

Chapter 20. The Fate of the Son of Joseph

Chapter 21. Simon Magus

Chapter 22. Saul, Paul, The Pillars, And the Twelve

Chapter 23. The Creation of Christianity

Bibliography

Index
Reviews
Library Journal Review | More »

Pages 316
Year: 2004
LC Classification: BM487.P32
Dewey code: 296.1'55—dc22
BISAC: REL033000
BISAC: REL040040
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-296-5
Price: USD 26.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-297-2
Price: USD 33.95
Ebook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-298-9
Price: USD 33.95
Available from

Search the full text of this book
Related Books
• The Authentic Constitution —   An Originalist View of America’s Legacy