Radiocarbon dating of the dead sea scrolls
Interview for the Jesus Mysteries forum, with Dennis Walker, May 15, 2012.Also available in three parts in the Jerusalem Post: Part One | Part Two | Part Three Eisenman on Rennes-le-Chateau and the Turin Shroud, from Andrew Gough's Arcadia, February 2011.Their era, 200 BC-200 AD, is shrouded in mystery to church historians.Despite its being one of the most fertile periods for religious ideas that the world has ever seen, vast stores of both Jewish and Christian documents from this time were lost to history because of simple and total fear -- the writers were condemned and their books consigned to the flames."They despise wealth, and their socialism is remarkable. It is their law that all who enter the sect must divide their property among the members of the society, with the result that there is never seen among them either abject poverty nor great wealth, for, since every man's possessions are put into the common treasury, they all have, like brothers, one inheritance."So peculiarly pious are they that they never mention secular affairs before the sun rises, but utter certain ancestral prayers, as if entreating it to rise.
Of most interest have been the "sectarian books", those that tell of the life and beliefs of the scroll writers."Some day the gold and the silver threads of the Gospel story will be disentangled, and men will know the two interpretations which can be put upon the events and episodes in the career of Jesus the Christ.The underlying true events give us great steps and developments in the work of the Christ as he 'enveloped humanity in the mantle of love, grasped the rod of initiation on behalf of his brothers, and faced the Lord of Life Himself, unattended, unafraid and in his Own right.' The episodes refer to happenings in the life of Jesus."( R&I*)In the May 1994 issue of Share International, Benjamin Creme made the following statement: "The Dead Sea Scrolls are a more accurate account of the events surrounding the life of Jesus than are the Biblical texts.They were written as records of historical events, and there are other scrolls still to be discovered.These simple statements challenge nearly every popular assumption that now exists about the Dead Sea Scrolls.
To outsiders, the silence seems strange and mysterious to explain, but it is due to their sobriety, which is the result of the fact that they are all given just enough food and drink to satisfy their needs, but no more."Copies of over 800 manuscripts, and 10s of thousands of fragments, many still awaiting translation, were found in caves near the Dead Sea in 1947. Every book of the Old Testament except Esther is represented.