Dead Sea scrolls and The Essenes

dead sea scrollsSometime in 1946 two young boys were searching this barren and cavernous terrain for a missing goat. While throwing rocks into the caves one of the boys hit an object which they heard crack. Puzzled and curious, one of the them decided to investigate. I imagine this young man, excited, scared, yet determined, as he entered the cave probably with the hope of finding treasure. He crept into this dark mysterious tunnel not knowing that he would unearth ancient remnants of a vase and scroll that would captivate people for centuries to come. Unfortunately he did not realize the gravity of what he had stumbled upon, therefore it would take some time before this find would be determined as one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. This young man’s discovery launched one of the greatest historical excavations of the 20th century.

Over nine hundred scrolls would be discovered within eleven cave sites between the years 1947 and 1956. Following the findings of the scrolls was the excavation of the city of Qumran (in Arabic; Khirbet Qumran; its ancient name is unknown-according to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The city was constructed and inhabited by a group called the Essenes sometime within 200 B.C. to 68 A.D., this sect would prove to be the authors of some of the scrolls found. No one knows for sure who wrote all of the scrolls recovered, as there was such a conglomeration of biblical and non-biblical writings, and they would be separated as such by those involved in the interpretations. A French Archeologist and Catholic Priest, Roland de Vaux believes the Essenes wrote all of the scrolls. This sounds completely illogical, as the Essenes were an elect spiritually based Jewish sect who fled from the Roman rule eventually settling in Qumran, which in all probability would never have been discovered without the acquisition of the scrolls. My findings leave me with a few theories; that the Essenes took with them pre-existing scrolls for safe keeping, when they first left Rome. Or, since the Essenes settled in various places, then in Qumran, it is possible that these other sects were responsible for hiding the non-biblical writings. Or, there could have been groups that quietly withdrew from the beliefs of their leaders, hiding non-biblical writings in caves where they knew they would not be found by sect members.

The Qumran city was built and inhabited within an extremely uncompromising, barren, section approximately thirteen miles east of Jerusalem, along the northwest shore of the Dead Sea-thus the name, “The Dead Sea Scrolls”. The Essenes were a self-sustaining sect as a number of streams fed into the Dead Sea and as the waters interconnected they created a mixture of salts and minerals necessary for developing industry, establishing agricultural sites, and the mixture of waters provided the fundamental ingredients needed for medical care as well. Many have assumed that people were not intelligent during this time in history however the opposite is true, they were extremely intelligent, creating communities that thrived, grew, and prospered. Unfortunately Qumran was conquered by the Romans in 68 A.D. It would be occupied for twenty years by a Roman Garrison, in relation to the Bar-Kochba revolt, before being abandoned for an additional 1800 years. This find, to date, is one of the most captivating as it has inspired the religious, intrigued the scientific community, and prompted historians around the world. The location the Essenes chose makes it most obvious that they had a desire to be self-sustaining and a need for seclusion. Perhaps they thought they could never be found, and free to write the content found on the biblical scrolls.

During the excavation of this Essene site, it was determined they lived secluded from one another as was determined by the placement of certain meeting rooms, housing units (for want of a better word), etc. The leadership was found to be very similar to that of “The Community Rule” or “The Manual of Discipline”, as explained within one of the original intact scrolls that was found. “The Community Rule” goes into detail of what an individual has to undergo before acceptance into this elect organization. This was a group of people who followed the teachings of Isaiah, and prepared for the end of time as talked about in The War Scroll. However this could have been written not in regards to the biblical “end-times” as Christians discuss today but rather the necessity of an upcoming war in order to bring about the new religious rule they believed was to come. It is not completely clear if they spoke of Jesus’ coming or if they wrote of three separate leaders; David who was to be a king (a second King David?), a Messiah of Aaron, and in two additional scrolls a prophet figure is mentioned.

The translation, prior to the discovery of Qumran and after the Roman Priest Roland de Vaux’ excavation, would require numerous experts diverse in their field of ancient artifact interpretation. Each professional chosen was assigned a cave in which they were to reconstruct the remnants of the artifacts therein while maintaining the original integrity of the scroll(s). Just as one is unable to describe the taste of a banana for the simple lack of words, so it was with many of the professionals and their assigned relics they endeavored to reconstruct as the findings would prove anything but simple to replicate. They had to work with complex and damaged writings, some only had excerpts, missing small pieces and others which were missing quite large portions of information. Many resorted, I am guessing :), to peremptory editorial decision-making in order to complete the severely damaged scrolls. Missing pieces was not all they were faced with, the chirography of these ancient relics were from right to left, most without commas, periods, or spaces between words. An intelligent mind faces many obstacles each day, theirs’ are wired very differently and some lack common sense, a trade-off perhaps? :)…. Nonetheless, I have found intelligent individuals to be anywhere from extremely eccentric to those that are very imaginative in the ways they choose to perform. I prefer encountering the latter although I have been referred to as eccentric myself, a conclusion I am not happy with but I take it in stride. I am of the opinion it would take an extremely intelligent mind to interpret ancient artifacts, it is not an exact science, as medicine, and psychology. This is why the end results can vary and are not always synonymous among the participants. With so many missing and/or damaged pieces to this puzzle it would take nothing less than a professional in the field, for an ethical and comprehensive perception of the scrolls.

In some of the writings, I read years ago, Angels discussed “us” among one another, there were talks of a final war between the Sons of Light” and “the sons of darkness, I think anyone with or without an inkling of biblical knowledge could figure this thought process out. Also, with reference to the end-times in the biblical sense the war includes the Sons of Light and Dark (which I am assuming are of human origin) fighting alongside supernatural forces with the Sons of Light winning the war. There are scrolls discussing Jesus as a child where he would perform miracles. One is a story in which Jesus and a boy are playing on a rooftop when Jesus’ friend falls off and dies. The mothers were upset and questioned him about what happened, there was inference made that Jesus pushed the boy, nonetheless he performed a miracle-bringing his playmate back to life. This last story I included proves my point, that all of the scrolls could not have been written by the Essenes. Their writings, determined by professionals, made no reference or inference regarding Christianity or the coming of a savior, yet stories like this one are written within some of the scrolls. For Jesus to have been included in the writings, as the Angels, Isaiah, and more biblical figures brings authenticity to the reader that he must have stood out as a unique, and elect little boy.

The finished product we are left with is incomplete as many of the scrolls are unreadable and/or there are not enough sections for anyone to determine a meaning. The ones which have given us some great historical information and reading in general, leaves many of us with more questions than answers regarding religion, however there is no doubt that God was ever-present to these people and played an integral roll in shaping their lives and vision for all of humanity. I am grateful for those who accepted the challenge of this tedious, time-consuming, and highly involved endeavor. They possess distinguishing character traits that a lot of us dream of ascertaining.

I did not feel as though this was an end so I began to dig deeper and I found references to ether which takes me back to The Book of Life, the Sanskrit and the Akashic Record. Continuing my journey with a lot of reading, an interesting interview, and of course mounds of research, I am increasingly being led down different paths yet ending up where I originally started. If Sanskrit dates back to Noah then it is highly likely the Essenes knew of this language. In fact, if they were a Godly people, they not only knew this language but used it. Noah is known to have existed in the 5th century between 600 and 502 B.C. and the Essenes between 200 B.C. to 68 A.D. in Qumran.

I felt a need to push this part further and interview a Priest, Father Bede, a very spiritually wise, and learned individual. I asked him, “Please tell me about The Book of Life”. His response alarmed me at first, “Yes, The Book of Names as mentioned in Revelation“, as he continued his hands came together resting upon his lips and he bent his head back as if looking up to God in prayer, “and it only contains the chosen“. I understood and of course this makes sense. If God made the ether and within this contains “The Book of Life”, “The Book of Names”, or by whatever means you choose to refer to it as, then it would contain everything regarding God’s chosen people.

To end this particular journey, we have to accept the given interpretation of the Dead Sea Scrolls as irrefutable, by the individuals who performed the task of deciphering. However, if you take a journey into the world of the internet, you will find a variety of stories regarding the scrolls. So, in end, it is up to you to decide but I would highly recommend you reading the book, “The Dead Sea Scrolls”,

If you desire further reading, it is interesting to note, because of the time period and his growing popularity, a Jewish Priest; Flavius Josephus (37 B.C.? – 100 A.D.) who later became a general and then a historian also mentioned the Essenes in his writings. He is recognized as a popular historian today and his work is often used for the study of history.

**denotes quotes from an article published by FRONTLINE and written by:
Jesus’ World

There was a time in my life I believed everyone was chosen, I do not believe this is a truth. I have looked into the eyes of evil and could see no soul. And, just as opposites exist, I have looked into the eyes of the chosen and seen the Spirit of God within them. It is written, “…there will be those…during the end…that in hell will continue to curse me and defile my name…”, said the Lord God, and they walk the earth today just as you and I. Ether is an existence which God created and holds all that belong to Him. There is a Book of Life and there are spiritual realms that exist that we will go through once our bodies give out. I will never understand the one who questions our Creator, our Light, the Truth, the One Breath of Life who is, I AM.

For those of you who seek all answers-you will not find them; those who do not fully understand why-you will not; “if there are prophecies-they will be brought to nothing; if tongues-they will cease; if knowledge-it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became grown, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians, 13:8). Most all of us have the understanding that faith, hope, and love exist, and as Jesus stated; out of all of these, the greatest is love.

dead sea scrolls
The Flavius Josephus Home Page

Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditShare on TumblrFlattr the authorDigg this


Writer, Reseacher, Artist, Jewelry Designer, Hypnotherapist at When Life Talks, LLC
Certifications: Law of Attraction Wealth Practitioner, NLP Holistic Marketing Certification, Business Women's Leadership Skills; Rokhurst College Continuing Education, Environmental Educational Program Development and Instructor
Degrees: Basic Art Degree; Art Institute, Milwaukee
Continuing Education: Certifications: Uncommon Knowledge, Law of Attraction (LOA)
Awards: As Director of Ruffner Mountain Nature Center I worked with colleagues to develop new Environmental Education Programs which were named to the Environmental Success Index by Renew America Foundation, Wa., D.C., the Best Environmental Education Programs by the Center for Environmental Research and Service at Troy State University, First Prize-Education in the CIVIC Category of the 1990 TAKE PRIDE IN AMERICA CONTEST. Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Development of Artist Skills-featured inILLUSTRATOR Magazine.

Activism: Helped establish and served on the Board of Directors of The Hillcrest Aftercare Association to aid those in prison and half-way houses, Published works in the One Voice: a Catholic Newspaper, The Shooting Star: a quarterly newsletter to members of Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. I have work published in the American Poetry Anthology; available in Colleges around the Country and have one book of poetry published-A Private Writing.

I am a Freelance Writer, Researcher, Artist, Activist, Entrepeneur, and offer hypnosis sessions.I also wrote two instructional programs, for professionals like myself, to help children who have or are suffering(i.e., trauma, death, divorce, etc.) When the programs are used correctly, individuals will gain a greater insight on how to teach children relaxation, meditation, and the use of hypnosis so they may have the opportunity to learn or relearn imperative 'life skills', lost (due to trauma, etc.)during various developmental stages. Adults who suffered as children also benefit greatly from hypnosis. You can retrain your brain as well as change your thinking. It is only spontaneous "thoughts" we have no control over. How we "react" or "act" on those thoughts is what we can change.


One thought on “Dead Sea scrolls and The Essenes”

  1. Well written. I have read information about the Dead Sea Scrolls before and wonder why the news media doesn’t publish more information concerning this. Obviously it is historical facts, so why is it not in historical text books?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *