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Essenes the First Christians?
● Many religious scholars claim that early Christianity sprang from the Jewish sect of the Essenes. Recently a major study and translation of a 27-foot-long (8.2-meter-long) Dead Sea Scroll was published in Hebrew by Yigael Yadin, the famed archaeologist. Does it support the claim that the Essenes were a link between Judaism and Christianity? According to Yadin, this scroll surprisingly showed that the Essenes were, “not only the most extreme in their legalistic approach to all temple laws of purity, but ardently believing that the sacrifices and all that go with them are essential, as prescribed in the Torah [law of Moses].” Yet, clearly, Christians were noted for their not observing such rituals.
Though Mr. Yadin believes that the Essenes influenced Christianity, he was obliged to ask: “How come that such an extreme sect influenced early Christianity, which broke away from this very law of Moses . . . ?” In answer, he could only offer a guess that the “early Christians came in touch with the Essenes in a late phase,” when the Essenes had changed some of their views.
However, the Bible makes irrelevant such unfounded speculations about how Christianity got its teachings. They came from God himself.