Jesus and the Essene Passover

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Fifty years of scholarship concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls have brought clearer understanding concerning a fascinating stream of Jewish piety which existed during the final days of the Second Temple.

In past articles I have tried to demonstrate that at points the writings of the Qumran library are important for recognizing the Hebraic linguistic milieu for the vocabulary of the New Testament. Beyond these linguistic parallels, however, modern scholarship has attempted to identify whether there existed direct contact between the Essene Congregation and figures in the New Testament. In particular, similarities between John the Baptist and the Qumran Congregation regarding their baptisms, their self-identification with Isaiah 40:3 and their apocalyptic rhetoric, have drawn some scholars to the conclusion that John may have at one time had direct contact with the Essenes.

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  1. JP

    Dear Everett,
    Thank you for your interest in this fascinating topic. You may be interested to know that Dr. Notley elaborates further on this issue in two of his recent books:

    1. R. Steven Notley, In the Master’s Steps: The Gospels in the Land (Jerusalem: Carta, 2014), 61-67.
    2. R. Steven Notley, Jerusalem City of the Great King (Jerusalem: Carta, 2015), 46-54.

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  • R. Steven Notley

    R. Steven Notley

    R. Steven Notley is Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the New York City campus of Nyack College. A member and past director of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, Notley earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Religions at the Hebrew University (1993).…
    [Read more about author]

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