A major new work on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest sacred documents of Judaism, which reveals their surprising connections to early Christianity.
“A luminous treatment of a fascinating subject! Highly recommended!”—Scott Hahn, author of The Fourth Cup
From award-winning scholar John Bergsma comes an intriguing book that reveals new insights on the Essenes, a radical Jewish community predating Christianity, whose existence, beliefs, and practices are often overlooked in the annuls of history. Bergsma reveals how this Jewish sect directly influenced the beliefs, sacraments, and practices of early Christianity and offers new information on how Christians lived their lives, worshipped, and eventually went on to influence the Roman Empire and Western civilization. Looking to Hebrew scripture and Jewish tradition, Bergsma helps to further explain how a simple Jewish peasant could go on to inspire a religion and a philosophy that still resonates 2,000 years later.
In this enriching and exciting exploration, Bergsma demonstrates how the Dead Sea Scrolls—the world's greatest modern archaeological discovery—can shed light on the Church as a sacred society that offered hope, redemption, and salvation to its member. Ultimately, these mysterious writings are a time machine that can transport us back to the ancient world, deepen our appreciation of Scripture, and strengthen our understanding of the Christian faith.
“An accessible introduction . . . This is a handy entry point for readers unfamiliar with Essenes or those interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls.”—Publishers Weekly