Dead Sea Scrolls

date Aug 7, 2007
authors Carsten Peter Thiede
reading time 3 mins
  • Book Title: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish Origins of Christianity
  • Author: Carsten Peter Thiede
  • Year written/published: 2000
  • Summary: A book that deals with the finding and revelation of the Dead Sea Scrolls - archaeological writings found amidst the Shores of the Dead Sea and written around 100A.D. Findings are startling and there were also Hebrew Bible… does that mean there’s a link between early Christianity and the Judaism? The findings are baffling and thought provoking.

On celibacy…

To this day marriage is the first of the mitzvoth. A movement which saw itself as particularly pious and orthodox must have had a very good reasons to abandon or modify it, and observers with Jewish background and upbringing such as Philo and Josephus must have known there were such reasons – and they were comprehensible to Torah reading Jews.

early church

… and early church means Christendom before the reign of Constantine the Great who ended almost 3 centuries of empire-wide, but precarious, development, which had been marked by the intermittent persecutions and have Christianity the status of legitimate even preferred religion.

All the links…

As for some practical consequences today, anyone who visits Cairo should look for the Ben-Ezra synagogue in the Fostat and reflect for a few quiet minutes on the unbroken line of Jewish thought which leads from the ancient scrolls of the Old Testament and the theology of early Jewish movement to the origins of Christianity, and indeed to the amazing neighborhood of Jewish and Christian knowledge in the Middle Ages, preserved and handed on in an Arab Muslim culture.

New testament…

The writings of the New Testament belong to the Jewish Library of the late Second Temple period. Identifying fragments from Qumran Cave 7 as passages from Jewish-Christian writings (Mark, 1 Timothy (mean that this library has grown. Mark, 1 Timothy and other writings of what later became known as the New testament are no less Jewish in origin than the writings of the Essenes and other groups who texts may be among the scroll fragments at Qumran. The later developments of a Christian church, and of Christian ‘world mission’ was to target people from non-Jewish cultures, should not deflect our attention from the fact the Christian documents of the first generation were written by Jews, about another Jew, Jesus of Nazareth, as the incarnation of 2 Jewish concepts: son of God and Messiah.


… Every translation follows a different pattern. The vocabulary, the idiom, the sentence structure, the rhythm – they are meant to b different, because every one of these translations aims at a specific type of reader. No one would want a claim that only one of them can be correct or inspired or accepted for Bible study.

Essenes and the Christians

The messianic community of the 1st Christian generation must not be judged by the standards and structures of the established church 2 or 3 centuries later. Thus, groups of Jews who claimed that the Messiah had come, and that he was Jesus of Nazareth, did not separate themselves form Judaism merely by doing so. On the contrary, they would claim – as Pail and other put it– that the age-old Jewish messianic hope had reached the stage of its true fulfillment. Even so, the claims that the origins of Christianity are overshadowed and put into question by this alleged discovery are characteristic of a debate which continues to fascinate many people: What did Jesus and the people of Dead Sea Scrolls have in common? Did the Essenes influence the development of early Christianity? And if so, what of it?