Publisher's description of Robert Eisenman's The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians:
By the co-author of the highly successful The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, this book takes us back to Qumran on the Dead Sea for a further exploration of the relationship between the Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity's formative years. Included in this volume are Professor Eisenman’s two ground-breaking works, Maccabees, Zadokites, Christians and Qumran and James the Just in Habbakkuk Pesher, which were not previously widely available.
These classics are a foundation piece of Professor Eisenman’s research on the Dead Sea Scrolls and fascinating for the beginner and scholar alike. Most importantly, these works triggered the debate over the relationship of the Dead Sea Scrolls to Christian Origns, which ultimately led to the freeing of the Scrolls in the early 1990s, a struggle in which Eisenman played a pivotal role.
Also included are previously unpublished papers and essays written by Eisenman and presented at international conferences over the last decade. Together they provide a most thorough examination of the Dead Sea Scrolls and link them more closely with first century Christianity.
In addition, this volume provides new translations of three key Qumran documents, the Habakkuk Pesher, the Damascus Document, and the Community Rule, available previously in the sometimes inaccurate and often inconsistent renderings by consensus scholars, missing the electric brilliance of the writers of the Scrolls. For the first time, the reader will have a chance to see the difference between these and a translation that grasps the apocalyptic mindset of the authors of the Scrolls.
Professor Eisenman presents a fascinating and compelling picture of a nationalistic, xenophobic, and militant ‘Messianic Movement’ in Palestine that is very different from the way we currently view Christianity. He also subjects the archeaology, paleography, and other external dating tools of Qumran research to rigorous criticism. This book challenges preconceptions and for the first time sets forth the detailed arguments necessary to connect the Righteous Teacher at Qumran to the first Christians, even the family of Jesus itself. It also connects the ideological adversary of the teacher ‘the Spouter of Lying’ with one associated with Paul.