"Dead Sea Scrolls Shocker"

Clever title for a new Time Magazine article heralding the newest theory related to the ancient biblical texts. One Israeli scholar now believes that the Essenes, the 1st century Jewish group believed to have written the scrolls, never existed. She contends that Josephus, the Jewish-Roman historian, fabricated them in an attempt to impress the Romans.

So who wrote the scrolls? Probably a group of outcast priests who took the source of their faith's wisdom with them, according to this new theory, which has sparked some outrage among scholars studying the Dead Sea Scrolls today.

I wonder what all the fuss is about. No one is arguing the veracity of the scrolls, only who might have written these copies and hidden them in the caves. The existence of the Essenes is in question--not the scrolls' significance. It seems that if they indeed originated in the temple and were secreted out by priests for safekeeping, their importance would be emphasized all the more.

Perhaps our resident NT scholars will chime in soon. Would love to hear from Darrell Bock and others from DTS about it.