THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS are the subject of an ongoing series in the Tehachapi News
by "contributing writer and amateur historian W. E. Gutman, who traveled to Israel recently." The series title is "The fabulous legacy of the Dead Sea Scrolls." The first installment, on 14 June, was "Description: Doctrine, Prophecy and War."
The second, which came out today, is "Description: The people of the scrolls."
Overall, they are fairly good popular treatments, and they usually stay in the realm of what someone or other has argued as a serious possibility, although today's piece flirts rather heavily with conspiracy theorizing. Excerpts and comments:
Among the beliefs of the Dead Sea Sect was the coming of a superhuman creature called the ‘Son of Man’ who would sit at the right hand of God at the End of Days.
Actually, it is not clear at all that the Qumran sectarians had any interest in the Son of Man, although they did speculate a good bit about eschatological redeemers such as Melchizedek and a couple of messianic figures.
The Essenes’ longing was not satisfied, but it fertilized human history, as did other Essene teachings. Ironically, their writings also came back to haunt evangelical Christian doctrine, sending theological shockwaves. While claims by some Bible scholars that access to Scroll research was denied them have long since been laid to rest, nagging questions linger.
I can't say I recall any "theological shockwaves" in "evangelical Christian doctrine" over the Scrolls. Evangelicals seem to have a very positive interest in them, especially as background to the time of Jesus.
Did Christian editors conspire to suppress the mounting suspicion that members of the Qumran community were actually part of the early Christian Church headed by the Apostle James?
Nope. There have been a couple of people who have argued for this sort of direct connection between the Qumran community and the early Christian movement, but they have not convinced other Qumran specialists and there has hardly been a conspiracy to silence them.
Damaging to traditional religious principles and risking to undermine the Church's authority, the implication is that if the Essenes, with their strict adherence to Jewish law, were in fact “early” Christians, it would then appear that traditional Christianity (which did not become a separate religion until 325 B.C.E) had since drifted far from Jesus’ ethic.
(I think he means 325 C.E., the time of Constantine, although Christianity was a separate religious movement long before then.) Again, no one in real life is actually worried about these supposed concerns, but I guess they makes good press sensationalism