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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Shortly after the first Dead Sea Scrolls came to light, scholars began trying to explain the ultimate origin of the deposits. This article suggests that the totality of the evidence now available offers only very uncertain support for the traditional form of the Essene hypothesis. The discussion focuses on the sectarian texts and their use in writing the history of the Teacher of Righteousness and his movement. This is proper method in the first instance, and so little has been said of the non-sectarian writings found among the scrolls. It would seem then that the non-sectarian texts tend to support the broad parameters of the reconstruction offered here, and tend to question the classical Essene hypothesis as originally conceived and often still propagated. The Teacher and his movement appear to belong to the first century BCE.

Keywords: Teacher of Righteousness, Dead Sea caches, Essene hypothesis, Dead Sea Scrolls, first century BCE, non-sectarian texts

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