Mysterious Dead Sea Scrolls and the
Sleeping Prophet who predicted their discovery
by Terri Bilbo
Without a doubt the Dead Sea Scrolls are the most dramatic archaeological find of this century. This collection of ancient scriptures is still making news almost 50 years after the discovery. Just last month The Angel Scroll was publicly identified as an authentic part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. This particular parchment describes embalming recipes for the resurrection of the dead and the use of herbs and stones for healing, practices that the Jewish historian Josepheus attributed to the Essenes. Included for review was another document which describes a religious vision of an angel escorting a man named Yeshua on a journey through the Heavens, entering through the gates of a heavenly palace.
The documents that have become known as the Dead Sea Scrolls have created a storm among the worlds scholars, and theologians are strangely quiet about the implications of the writings and the writers. Qumran is especially significant because it has been well established that the community was in existence at least 100 years prior to the birth of Christ and for 68 years after his death. The location is in the geographic center of important events in Christs life, such as the baptism by John the Baptist, which took place just a few miles away. Qumran is also close to an easy trade route from Jerusalem to Jericho, and in the middle of the vast wilderness the Baptist wandered over, and to which Christ retreated during his forty days in the wilderness. These facts have raised many questions in scholars minds as to how much Jesus knew about Qumran and the work the Essenes were doing there and why they disappeared without a trace in this very time period.
The Edgar Cayce readings suggest a close connection between Jesus, his family and friends, and the Essene community. The Sleeping Prophet often spoke of the Essenes as the religious organization that evolved into the Christian Church. Before their discovery, scholars had traditionally believed that the Essenes, if they existed at all, were cloistered, celibate monks. They supposedly recruited new members, either by accepting mature men who wanted to get away from the world, or they would take in sons from outside families, provided that the boys were young enough not to have been influenced in the ways of the world. Women, scholars thought, played little, if any, role in helping the Essenes.
On the other hand, Edgar Cayce, eleven years prior to the discovery of the scrolls, mentioned that the Essenes of this time recognized the twinness of the soul and that women played a vital, even critical, role in Qumran and even the actual birth, training, and public ministry of Jesus the Christ. According to the readings, only a few of the Essenes lived for any length of time in what could be described as a monastery. Thousands of them resided throughout the Middle East, all of them leading normal lives for the Jews of their time.
Evidence supporting these two factors came to light during the excavations at Qumran from 1949-54, and more recently in Jerusalem itself. A cemetery was found at Qumran between the monastery and the sea that held over 800 graves, and experts have concluded that numerous skeletons found were women, even girls. In fact, Edgar Cayce told one woman she was the first Essene woman to attain leadership stature in the community. Cayce explained that she was instrumental in collecting an recopying the scriptures for the Qumran community. She may have been the person charged with deciding what commentaries would be preserved in the Qumran literature. The commentaries included in the Dead Sea Scrolls are discussions of the Old Testament Scripture, but Cayce explains that she also was associated with the New Testament. Repeatedly in the readings he reminds her of things she said or written, and these are from the Gospels. Experts have long agreed that the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., as much as 10 years before, and that they are so closely related that scholars believe them to have descended from another book called the mysterious Q document.
The Essenes were at Qumran at that time and could well have made copies of these writings to circulate among the growing and widely scattered Christian communities. There had been some uncertainty about the date of the Gospel of John, because it was known that he was a teenager when Jesus chose him to become one of the Twelve, and that he had lived to an old age in the Grecian seaport of Ephesus, in what is now Turkey. Johns complex symbolism, especially in his prologue, led some to deduce that John wrote his account of Jesus in his old age after spending many years in discussions with Greek philosophers. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls changed that opinion. John is so definitely Essenic, particularly in his references to the light and the darkness, that the prevalent opinion now is that he may have been an Essene himself. Experts say John came to know Jesus through John the Baptist, and they are confident that John the Baptist was an Essene.
New evidence about the Essene community was recently published in the scholarly magazine Biblical Archaeology Review article, Odd Tomb Out: Has Jerusalems Essene Cemetery Been Found? in the March/April 1999 Issue. Finding an Essene cemetery in Jerusalem cast serious doubts that the Essenes were a small cloistered cult but points out they were a thriving community of believers who were in Jerusalem, Qumran, and Carmel.
If John the Baptist and John the Beloved were Essenes, just who were they and what did they believe? The name comes from the Romans, who called them the Expectant Ones, for they expected the Messiah to come. They were also known as The Elect, The Carmelites, and The Poor. They thought of themselves as The Remnant, and they called themselves The Brotherhood. The Essenes did not believe in offering blood sacrifices, and thus were thought of as heretical at the time. They performed healings, as Josephus attested to, and also believed in precognition, ESP and astrology. They believed that all the Sons of Light were priests in Gods eyes, each saint was called to a specific purpose, whether it be priest or farmer, shepherd or parent, marriage or healing, but their main purpose was to spread the word of the Lord.
Why were the Dead Sea Scrolls hidden in these caves in the heart of this wasteland? Cayce explains that this Messianic group was outgrowing their headquarters in Mount Carmel, so they decided to expand. The actual building was carried out in secret; aqueducts were built to transport freshwater from the hills in the rainy season, and cisterns were made to hold the enormous amount of water needed. Also, in preparation for the library, they studied the best methods of preserving the written word. They made their own scrolls and ink, and they knew that the dry air at the City of Salt was perfect to store the Holy Scriptures. They intentionally made and preserved these scrolls for the coming age! One must be astounded that here they are being discovered and studied exactly at the end of the age of Pisces and the beginning of the age of Aquarius.
One must also wonder, since Edgar Cayce was correct about so many things concerning the location and make-up of the Qumran community eleven or more years prior to its discovery and two years after his death, could he also be right about Jesus early associations with the Essenes? To find out more about Edgar Cayces readings on this topic, pick up a copy of the book, The Remnant, or the book, Edgar Cayce on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) was founded in 1931 by Edgar Cayce. The Dallas Fort-Worth A.R.E. chapter will be presenting a free of charge a moving story told in narrative form revealing the mysteries of Christs birth, Marys part in this mystery, and a more detailed explanation of who the Essenes were and why they wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls on December 4, 1999. For more information on this event or about Edgar Cayce and his readings, please feel free to call metro 817-577-9143. website: http://www.are-cayce.comHome | Archives | Contact Us | Advertising Rates | Writers Guidelines | Mission Statement
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