Debunking a Theory of a Deadman

God, you’re an idiot Josephus…

Everyone has heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls. For years, most scholarship on the scrolls has maintained that the scrolls were written by the Essenes, a Jewish sect that was too pious to survive this mad, mad world. Written about extensively by Philo and Josephus, it was natural to assume by the location of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the time they were written, that they came from the Essenes.

Well, Rachel Elior, a scholar from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, will have none of that. You see, for Elior it is pretty hard to believe that some people wrote a bunch of scrolls if those people never existed.

That’s right. Throw out your Jewish Day School education now. She says the whole Essenes people existing is all Josephus hogwash. And even if they did exist, they clearly didn’t write the scrolls. Her proof of that is right in the text.

For one, the Essenes are never mentioned in them. According to Elior, you would think that in such a vast amount of scrolls giving the biography of the Jewish people, they would mention themselves. But, of course, they don’t.

But here is Elior’s biggest piece of evidence. Wait for it…

In the scrolls, it actually says the author are “priests, sons of Zadok.” Zadok, according to the article (because I know nothing about any of this), was a Priest in the Temple who’s family was eventually deposed. Zadok’s family, according to Elior, were not Essenes.

Elior’s next book will prove that Santa doesn’t exist either. You’re no fun Elior. Seriously. You’re a buzzkill. Buzzkill.

Discover More

Did Moses Write the Torah?

Although modern traditionalist Judaism uniformly affirms the divinity of the Torah, classical sources disagree on what role Moses had in its production.

The Making of a Torah Scroll

Written by hand, a sefer Torah is produced according to strict specifications.

A Crash Course in Early Jewish History

From biblical times to the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism.