The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception

Michael Baigent, Author, Richard Leigh, With Simon & Schuster $20 (296p) ISBN 978-0-671-73454-1
For the lay reader, this crystalline, well-documented work offers substantive evidence that for more than 40 years a small coterie of Catholic scholars established a stranglehold on access to the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered in the Qumran caves east of Jerusalem in 1947. Baigent and Leigh ( Holy Blood, Holy Grail ) claim that the elite group had direct links to official Vatican propaganda offices, that at least two among them were outspoken anti-Semites, and that they suppressed material that connects early Christianity to the Qumran community as well as to the zealous defenders of the fortress of Masada. Drawing on the findings of independent Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Robert Eisenman of California State University, the authors advance startling theories that should change the way we view ancient Judaism and nascent Christianity. They argue that the Essenes, Zealots and Nazorenes or early Christians in first-century Palestine weren't different Jewish sects but were, rather, various sobriquets for members of a broad messianic nationalistic movement dedicated to upholding the Law of Moses and determined to violently overthrow the Roman occupiers. The authors also amass evidence that the Habakkuk Commentary and other Dead Sea Scrolls refer to the same events as those recounted in Acts, in Josephus and in the works of early Christian historians; that Paul was sent forth by the hierarchy in Jerusalem for the express purpose of recruiting an army, and by preaching a new religion, he was depoliticizing and emasculating the militant movement; and that Paul might have been a Roman agent or informer. Baigent and Leigh demonstrate the perfidies of clandestine, cliquish scholarship that isn't accountable to the public and make urgent the forthwith publication and translation of all Scrolls material. Photos. BOMC and QPB selections. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-671-79797-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-552-13878-9
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4481-8339-5
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