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The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea$
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Joan E. Taylor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554485.001.0001

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‘A Peculiar Problem’: A Short History of Scholarship on the Essenes

‘A Peculiar Problem’: A Short History of Scholarship on the Essenes

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 ‘A Peculiar Problem’: A Short History of Scholarship on the Essenes
Source:
The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea
Author(s):

Joan E. Taylor

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554485.003.0001

The history of scholarship on the Essenes has been one embedded within a large project to define Judaism at the time of Jesus. This was generally done with underlying assumptions about the continuities between Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism, and displayed Christian bias, so that the Essenes were considered marginal to a mainstream that stood in continuity with later developments. A new paradigm of Second Temple Judaism allows for a more balanced assessment, with the Essenes placed rightly at the centre.

Keywords:   history of scholarship, Essenes, Second Temple Judaism, Rabbinic Judaism, Christian bias

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