Revealing the Jewish Roots of Christianity
“From award-winning scholar John Bergsma comes an intriguing book that sheds light on the almost-forgotten Jewish sect of the Essenes, a radical religious group with striking parallels to the first Christians. The library of these devout worshippers is known to moderns as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the only surviving Jewish documents written before or during the lifetime of Jesus. Bergsma reveals how the Judaism of this sect influenced the beliefs, sacraments, and practices of early Christianity, eventually transforming the Roman Empire and Western civilization. Curious details and often-ignored oddities in the Gospels and other New Testament books suddenly make sense and come to life against the backdrop of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which reveal a kind of Judaism unknown to most readers today.
“In this enriching and exciting exploration, Bergsma demonstrated how the Dead Sea Scrolls – the greatest archeological discovery of the modern era – help explain how the first Christians could so quickly organize into a worldwide Church that became, in a few centuries, the strongest institution in the Roman Empire. Though mysterious and sometimes elusive, the Scrolls are a time machine that can transport us back to the ancient world, bringing color and depth to the culture and society that gave birth to history’s largest religion.” [From book jacket].
Part One: Introducing the Dead Sea Scrolls
Chapter 1: The Archeological Find of the Twentieth Century
Chapter 2: Waiting for the Messiah
Part Two: Baptism and the Scrolls
Chapter 3: The Scrolls, John the Baptist, and Baptism
Chapter 4: The Scrolls, John the Apostle, and Baptism
Chapter 5: Baptism Today
Part Three: The Eucharist and the Scrolls
Chapter 6: Did Qumran Have a Eucharist?
Chapter 7: When was the Last Supper?
Chapter 8: Putting It All Together, Reading the Last Supper in the Light of the Scrolls
Part Four: Matrimony, Celibacy, and the Scrolls
Chapter 9: Celibacy in the Scrolls
Chapter 10: Marriage in the Scrolls
Part Five: Holy Orders and the Scrolls
Chapter 11: Priesthood and the Scrolls
Chapter 12: Priesthood in the Gospels
Chapter 13: Priesthood in the Early Church
Part Six: The Church and the Scrolls
Chapter 14: Did St. Paul Write Anything About the Church?
Chapter 15: The Scrolls, the Reformation, and Church Unity.
Chapter 16: The Essenes and the Early Church, What is the Relationship?
Image, ©2019, Hardcover, 270 pages