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

Joan E. Taylor

in The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199554485
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745911 | DOI:
‘A Peculiar Problem’: A Short History of Scholarship on the Essenes

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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

Chapter.  9734 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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