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Re: Jesus, "the Holy Spirit", and the Dead Sea Scrolls

On Wed, 26 Jun 1996, Bob Schacht wrote:
> At 02:30 PM 6/25/96 -0400, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote(in part):

> OK: Several months(?) ago, I had an exchange with Bill Arnal about whether
> or not the Dead Sea Scrolls were relevant to understanding the historical
> Jesus. He thought not, and I didn't have too much to counter his skepticism
> with. But now I have the book "Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls: The
> controversy resolved," edited by James H. Charlesworth (Anchor Bible
> Reference Library, Doubleday, 1992). This is a pretty mainstream
> publication. For example, Charlesworth doesn't give much weight to Eisenman
> or Thiering.

I'm glad.

> Evidently these folks (contributors to the book) think there IS
> some value regarding the historical Jesus in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
> Charlesworth notes (p. xxxv) that although Jesus' ministry was contemporary
> with the Qumran community, "none of the Dead Sea Scrolls refer to him, and
> they do not mention any follower of Jesus described in the New Testament."
> Hence, any influence should be seen as going from Qumran to Jesus, rather
> than v.v.
> But now here's the interesting part. On pp. 20-22, Charlesworth writes that
> "Jesus may have inherited from the Essenes their concept of 'the Holy
> Spirit'." He notes that the technical term for the Holy Spirit does not
> appear in the OT, and occurs only three times in the Jewish apocryphal
> works. However, the term is abundant in the DSS. And he summarizes much
> research on this point. For example, the Qumran Essenes developed the
> concept of "the Holy Spirit" in the second century B.C.E. to substantiate
> their claims agains the Temple priests, and their choice to live in the
> desert.

Yes, this is interesting.

> So we have the possibility that Jesus baptized in "the Holy Spirit" (Matthew
> 4:11), no evidence that he baptized with water,

John 3:22 seems like _some_ evidence.

But on the broader issue of possible connections between early
Christianity and Qumran, I thought that a good case has been made about
links between some later parts of the NT (such as the Revelation, and some
of the Pastorals) and some of the writings and ideas from Qumran. This
theory says that post 70 CE refugees from Qumran perhaps joined the Jesus
people and influenced the direction of the movement. 

> descriptions of his life and
> work feature a key concept developed by the Qumran Essenes, and Steve Davies
> in _Jesus the Healer_ makes a case for spirit-possession as a major feature
> of Jesus' life (beginning with his baptism by John) and ministry.

Best wishes,


Yuri Kuchinsky ::    	*	*	*	*	*	*
in Toronto     ::    All power corrupts, but we need the electricity.
webpage like any other...  http://www.io.org/~yuku