Prior to the discovery of the Scrolls, the consensus theory was that the Essenes were a small, insignificant religious sect that was formed about 150 BCE.
Rather than looking to determine if the Scrolls' information affected this theory, all the efforts have been directed to making this information fit into the theory. As a result, after 50 years of trying unsuccessfully to do so the Scrolls are now regarded as an interesting puzzle but as having no relevance in Israel's history.
The early writers, Josephus, Philo and Hippolyteus all claim that the Sect is very large. While Josephus, Philo and Pliny claim it was very old.
I placed the information in the Scrolls within this larger framework and came up with a new interpretation that sheds new light on Israel's past.
|Introduction||Community Rule||Habakkuk I||Habakkuk II||Damascus Document||Ecclesiastes||Essenes|