Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Abstract of Essenes Essay

Here is the abstract of the essay on the Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls
This paper sets out to outline the Essene hypothesis. Accounts given by classical sources Josephus, Philo and Pliny will first be examined, giving a starting point for the discussion. From this, connections will then be drawn between the Qumran texts and these accounts. The Dead Sea Scroll texts that are used in the comparison are those that show a distinctive commonality in ideas and terminology: the Manual of Discipline/Community Rule (1QS), Hodayot (1QHa), the Damascus Document (CD), the War Scroll (1QM) and the Pesharim. Although neither of the accounts given by the classical sources or the Qumran scrolls are close to illustrating the overall lifestyle and beliefs of their respective communitites, the information that is made available through them is helpful at least to formulate theories. Also included in the discussion is a summary of the major finds at the archaeological site of Qumran and their influence on the overall question. Much of what was found by the original excavation team at the ruins points directly to a link between the communities. There are also many problems that arise which must be considered. Varying opinions about the findings at the Qumran ruins, different interpretations of the texts, as well as important theological beliefs of the Qumran community not being mentioned in the classical sources, all are issues that have been raised in opposition to the theory. Issues involving the reliability of the classic authors must also be noted. The study will show that although there are discrepancies within the accounts, as well as continued controversy over the Qumran site, the connections that are shown between the Essenes and the Qumran community are remarkable.

Hayley Gravette