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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:01 am 
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Apollo
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By Navaratna Rajaram

Some Excerpts:

On September 22, 1991, trustees of the Huntington Library in California performed an act of great symbolic significance: on that day they released to the public transcripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls that had remained concealed from public view for nearly four decades. It was an act that signalled the collapse of the Church monopoly over the Scrolls - a monopoly that the well-known Biblical scholar Geza Vermes had termed the 'academic scandal par excellence of the twentieth century'. Historian Robert Eisenman, the key figure involved in breaking the Scrolls monopoly had only said that it 'cannot be considered anything but reprehensible. '

This was an event of such momentous significance that future historians may well compare the collapse of the Scrolls monopoly to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The latter was the symbol of the ending of the Dark Ages and the beginning of the Age of Reason. So too can one view the collapse of the Scrolls monopoly: it will allow us to learn the truth about the origins of Christianity, in particular, how this obscure sect in the most backward corner of the Roman Empire came to dominate Western Civilisation for the better part of fifteen centuries. In the words of Robert Eisenman, 'The work in this field is now at a beginning.'

Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls so important? And what made Eisenman (and others) risk their reputations and careers in trying to bring these two thousand year old manuscripts to light? After all, it is not every day that a professor of an obscure and esoteric subject is involved in an advemure worthy of a John Le Carre novel. To answer these questions, it is best to let Eisenman himself speak on their behalf.

So what in effect do we have in these manuscripts? Probably nothing less than a picture from which Christianity sprang in Palestine. But there is more - if we take into consideration the Messianic nature of the texts as we delineate it in this book, and allied concepts such as 'Righteousness, ' 'Piety,' 'justification, ' 'works,' 'the Poor,' 'Mysteries,' what we have is a picture of what Christianity actually was like in Palestine. The reader, however, probably will not be able to recognize it because it will seem virtually the opposite of the Christianity with which he or she is familiar. (Eisenman and Wise, p. 10; emphasis added.)

This book is about the Dead Sea Scrolls and their place in history. Every educated person today, at least in the 'Christian' West, has a vague notion that the Scrolls somehow alter our perceptions of Christianity. But few outside the small circle of Biblical scholars have any idea of how far-reaching the change is. While there is no shortage of books on the Dead Sea Scrolls, most of them have been written by Biblical scholars and not easy for the average reader to follow; they presuppose too much on the part of the reader. The various sectarian and academic battles have tended to confuse the public further. What I have to offer in these pages is a popular account of the subject by examining the Scrolls against the background of both the history and the current state of the Church.[1] The book may therefore be read as a popular history of the Church as modified by the revelations of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is a history, however, written from the perspective of an Easterner who views Christianity as embodying an expansionist ideology opposed to pluralism. There is something to be said for such a perspective - a perspective not rooted in the Western Biblical tradition.

http://www.burningcross.net/crusades/de ... crisis.pdf

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Janani Janmabhoomishcha Swargadapi Gareeyasi - Being near to your mother in your motherland is better than being in paradise

Ekavarnam yatha dugdham binnavarnasu dhenushu | tataiva dharmavaichitryam tatvam ekam param smritam ||
Just as milk is of only one colour though obtained from cows of different colours so also the peculiarities of different religious thoughts lead to the same one ultimate truth - Mahabharatha


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:48 am 
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Isis

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Hey Balu! Looks like an interesting perspective. I have downloaded the pdf for reading at my leisure. A different perspective is welcome to that subject of the Dead Sea Scrolls (though I am suspicious about it all, due the controversy between Christian and Jew in the translation and revelation of it all from the beginning). I do not know that whatever version that is published and used is going to be whole and truthful. There is so much politicking surrounding it, that could be misleading...even to the stories about the controversies surrounding it. Never-the-less, an easterners perspective, particularly one who has described himself as such...a free-thinker it seems...may be a relief to read.

I have read John Allegro's book "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross" years ago and he (apparently the only agnostic) was among one of the original translators on the DDS project. I found it bizzarre how John Strugnell was ousted by his own strange pronouncements about "Judaism". I suspect dramatic obfuscations acted out for public consumption surrounding these documents. So I remain suspicious no matter what the perspective is. It may be interesting, but not so important to my world view concerning either religon, or any religon in general.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:07 am 
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Apollo
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:02 am
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Location: Bharathavarsham
skullnboner wrote:
Hey Balu! Looks like an interesting perspective. I have downloaded the pdf for reading at my leisure. A different perspective is welcome to that subject of the Dead Sea Scrolls (though I am suspicious about it all, due the controversy between Christian and Jew in the translation and revelation of it all from the beginning). I do not know that whatever version that is published and used is going to be whole and truthful. There is so much politicking surrounding it, that could be misleading...even to the stories about the controversies surrounding it. Never-the-less, an easterners perspective, particularly one who has described himself as such...a free-thinker it seems...may be a relief to read.

I have read John Allegro's book "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross" years ago and he (apparently the only agnostic) was among one of the original translators on the DDS project. I found it bizzarre how John Strugnell was ousted by his own strange pronouncements about "Judaism". I suspect dramatic obfuscations acted out for public consumption surrounding these documents. So I remain suspicious no matter what the perspective is. It may be interesting, but not so important to my world view concerning either religon, or any religon in general.


I'm still reading Rajaram's write up myself. Many of the things that he has written about Christainity's early history would be common knowledge for people like you, but for someone like me, it makes quite a few things clear. It starts from a basic idea about Jews and Christians which is good.

I found the first part of his narration about the power play and the financial goings on inside the Vatican very interesting. Maybe what Dan Brown has written about the Vatican is not all pure fiction??.

_________________
Janani Janmabhoomishcha Swargadapi Gareeyasi - Being near to your mother in your motherland is better than being in paradise

Ekavarnam yatha dugdham binnavarnasu dhenushu | tataiva dharmavaichitryam tatvam ekam param smritam ||
Just as milk is of only one colour though obtained from cows of different colours so also the peculiarities of different religious thoughts lead to the same one ultimate truth - Mahabharatha


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