Josephus' Description of the Essenes: Illustrated by the Dead Sea Scrolls
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1948, scholars studying the passages in Josephus' works which mention the pre-Christian sect of the Essenes attempted to explain various sections in Josephus primarily by comparing them with what other ancient writers, such as Philo and Hippolytus, had written concerning this group. With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, however, and the subsequent identification of the Qumran community with the Essenes by the majority of scholars, a whole new treasure trove of first-hand information concerning the Essenes has been made available. This study provides the first detailed analysis of and commentary on Josephus' description of the Essenes in the light of the new material from Qumran. A fresh translation is provided alongside the Greek text of the passages in Josephus, as well as a full commentary on the major passages in which he describes this group.