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Scrolls from the Dead Sea. Whether the lion the lion the lions and none to terrify. Its interpretation concerns Dimitri who sought to enter Jerusalem by the Council of the seekers after saying and he filled with pray and his den with its interpretation concerns the lion of Wrath by the seekers after they. Hang man up a law. Which was never done before. This is an excerpt from the famous new commentary one of the nearly 40000 parchment fragments found recently in caves near the Dead Sea. We don't know who put them there but it is probable that one day in the spring of
68 as the Roman legions wept down on Jerusalem. The documents were hidden in caves. Which gave them refuge for almost 2000 years. These scrolls all found recently comprise 20th century scholarships most fascinating and momentous fine. The crucial issue program 12 scrolls from the Dead Sea. A radio exploration of the most significant archaeological find of our time. These programs are produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. The discovery in one thousand forty seven of the Dead Sea Scrolls brought into focus for laymen
the studies of biblical specialists scholars and theologians. One of these scholars is Professor Menachem Mansoor chairman of the department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Recently Professor Mansoor traveled in Europe Israel and America collecting documentary materials for these programs. He tape recorded interviews with over 25 leading scholars and theologians and gauged in the work. Now back at the University of Wisconsin professor Mansoor has planned and written this series of programs exploring the meaning and content of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Professor Mansoor. In previous talks we have discussed the manual of discipline of the Dead Sea Scrolls sect which refers to a mysterious leader the teacher of righteousness. We have talked about the several theories relating to the identity of the Teacher of Righteousness and we have reached the conclusion that it has not yet been possible to identify this personality in a definite manner.
However in January of 1956 Bible scholars throughout the world were astonished by three dogs given by Dr. John Allegro in which dramatic parallels were drawn between Jesus Christ and the teacher of righteousness. The leader of the community Mr. Allegro is a sound scholar a recognized philologist a member of the international team working on the scrolls and one of the most promising students of Professor Raul a leading authority on Biblical interpretation. And his BBC talks Mr Allegro suggested that the New Testament Jesus Christ may have been modeled on the scrolls Teacher of Righteousness. Let us hear a fair summary and interpretation of views recently deciphered but unpublished scrolls Allegro said revealed historical parallels between the life and teaching of Jesus Christ and those of a
Jewish religious leader called the teacher of righteousness. This man according to Allegro was crucified about a century earlier than Christ by the Jewish tyrant king Alexander jenius. Josephus the famous Jewish historian of the 1st century A.D. speaks of this tyrant. He tells of Janay as long reign spent almost entirely in wars with his neighbors and with his own people. And Josephus describes a rebellion in his reign and the best jewel and cruel manner in which it was put down. Not a man to take rebellion lightly Janae has sent his mercenary troops against the rebels slaughtered hundreds and drove many of the faithful into the wilderness of Judea to die of hunger. This exodus into the wilderness according to John Allegro brought about the founding of the Qumran community. This flight was organized and led by a priest whom they called the teacher of righteousness. Furthermore says Allegro it's probable that a few years
later John Mayer's or the wicked priest as he's branded in the scrolls launched a stormy attack on the Qumran community. The teacher of righteousness was dragged forth as he himself was offering sacrifice at the altar and was given into the hands of the Gentile mercenaries and was crucified. When the Jewish king finally left in peace descended once more on the scattered community returned and took down the broken body of their master to stand guard over it until the Judgment Day for they believe that the terrible events of their time were surely heralding the visitation of God Himself. When the enemies of truth would be scattered and the kingdom of heaven come on Earth on that glorious day they believed their master would rise again and lead his faithful flock. The people of the New Testament as they call themselves to new and purified Jerusalem. Perhaps it should be pointed out here that Professor Andre Dupont so mare of the Sorbonne one of the first scholars to publish works on the scrolls
inferred before Allegro that the leader of the Qumran community called in the scrolls the teacher of righteousness was persecuted probably at the instigation of a wicked priest of the Jews. Mr Allegro went a step further in his claim that he's been able to identify the priest as Alexander jamais is they be ledger and priest king of Israel. Mr Allegro stated that the similarity of terms and ideas in certain New Testament writings with those of whom Ron has already caused a minor revolution in New Testament scholarship. For instance many of the conceptions of St John previously traced to later Greek influence are now seen to spring directly out of sectarian Judaism with the result that scholars have had to make a complete reappraisal of John's sources and dating. For instance Palestinian and Jewish background of the Gospel of St. John is now
established. This latter view is by the way endorsed by almost all scholars of all denominations interviewed for these programs. Those where a Legros views we can well understand the alarm of the public at these imposing parallels between the sect and Christ. Time magazine reporting on that statement remarked that Allegro was so sure of himself when he made the BBC broadcasts that experts assume that he had access to a bombshell discovery but a bombshell of quite a different kind exploded. The magazine remarked This was in a form of a letter to the London Times in March 1956 by five of our Legros own colleagues denouncing his misuse of the scrolls. The letter reads as follows. To the Editor of The Times sir it has come to our attention that considerable controversy is being caused by certain broadcast statements of Mr. John
Allegro of the University of Manchester concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls. We refer particularly to such statements as imply that in these schools a close connection is to be found between a supposed crucifixion of the Teacher of Righteousness of the Essene sect and the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The announced opinions of Mr Allegro might seem to have special weight since he is one of the group of scholars engaged in editing as yet unpublished writings from him. In view of the broad repercussions of his statements and the fact that the materials on which they're based are not yet available to the public we his colleagues feel obliged to make the following statement. There are no unpublished texts at the disposal of Mr Allegro other than those of which the originals are at present in the Palestine Archaeological Museum where we are working upon the appearance in the press of citations from Mr Legros broadcasts.
We have reviewed all the pertinent materials published and unpublished. We are unable to see in the texts the findings of Mr Allegro. We find no crucifixion of the teacher no deposition from the cross and no broken body of their master to be stood guard over until Judgement Day. It is our conviction that either he has misread the texts or he has built up a chain of conjectures which the materials do not support. Yours faithfully. Rowland of Opie. JT Miller John Stuckey John struggle. I also approached Dr John's drug of the University of Oxford England and a colleague of Mr Allegro. I asked him whether there is any statement in the fragments published or unpublished to the effect that the master of righteousness was in fact crucified.
Listen to Mr. straggles answer. Frankly no. There is no evidence. One of my colleagues has come out with this theory. But I am myself and I think all those who are with me working on these manuscripts the moment with the exception of him find his evidence completely insufficient from the evidence of the first cave it had been suggested that the teacher of righteousness met the death at the hand of his persecutors. And Mr. Allegro thought that he was able on the basis of a text to specify even the manner of this death. But the text that he had juiced it to us a completely inadequate for this. The crucifixion always seems to take place in the whole of the manuscript and not in the manuscript itself. I think to myself that one can not only say that it is.
Not the most probable construction. It is I would say an almost impossible construction and I would I would always keep my mind open for the possibility that in another text we should find some reference to this but on the basis of the text so far as so far found it will be surprising that this hadn't been mentioned a little less enigmatically to start with. And I quite frankly I find I don't expect that we will find it in any further texts. It doesn't seem to have it even if he was crucified it had pretty well no effect on the theology of the Essene to firm up nothing in the texts proves this. Nothing again in the text disproves
this. If the argument from silence has any value but if it is a construction on the basis of the texts I must say that the basis is pretty rickety and it is certainly not the most probable construction. To my mind it is. Highly improbable though I don't say impossible. Four days later following the publication of the letter in The Times Allegro had to admit that his theory was based not on facts contained in the scrolls themselves but largely on inference. Quote all reconstructions of historical events Allegro said are inference. The theory remains no more than inference claiming only probability. And I myself have never gone further than this in advancing it out in view of the wide publicity given to our
views of the issues involved. I thought it fit and important in all fairness to Mr Allegro to see what he himself has to say. This interview I deprecated in Manchester England at Mr Legros home. Here is Mr John Allegro explaining his theories on the Teacher of Righteousness. Mr Allegro. Now in the first place Dr. Mansoor it appears from the wording of your question that I've been badly misquoted in the United States. Now I'll give you what I actually said in my recent BBC broadcasts. But let me first make one thing quite clear. These talks I gave were of a very popular nature and being very short left no room for detailed readings from manuscripts or point by point proofs. But this is what I actually said last January quote probably hardly a decade after they'd established themselves in their simple buildings at km around
the terrible Jenae us the wicked priest as they call him stone down to their new home drank fourth teacher and as now seems probable gave him into the hands of his gentile mercenaries to be crucified. We're already in Jerusalem this you're a Jewish tyrant had displayed his best reality by inflicting the same awful death on eight hundred rebels and a Qumran manuscript speaks in shocking totems of the enormity of this crime. For to a Jew this death was the most cursed of all since the body even normally found no resting place but was left to mold it on the cross. But when the Jewish king had left and peace descended once more on the scattered community return and took down the broken body of their master to stand guard over it until the Judgment Day for they believe that the terrible events of their times were surely heralding the visitation of God
Himself. When the enemies of truth would be scattered and the kingdom of heaven Come on earth in that glorious day they believed their master would rise again and lead his faithful flock. The people of the New Testament as they call themselves to a new and purified Durance of them. Now if my proofs. First the wicked priest stormed down to come around. Well this is a graphic way of describing what the backup commentary tells us of the wicked priest that he quote pursued after the teacher of righteousness to consume him in his fierce anger in the house of his exile on the Day of Atonement. Now second in and as now seems probable gave him into the hands of his gentile troops to be crucified. Now let's be quite clear on this point. It new we are saying is that the teacher was killed by the wicked priest. It does say in one
document that he died or rather euphemistically was gathered in. Nevertheless I am convinced that he was killed for these reasons. First the purpose of these biblical commentaries was to point to crucial events in the sects history and the operative word there is crucial. As signs of even greater happenings expected in the near future you must understand that they had no chronicles of connected events like the New Testament gospels or the like. They were only interested in historical events insofar as they could be shown to be fulfillments of ancient biblical prophecy and milestones in the progress of all creation towards the one great event of the future which was the coming of the kingdom of heaven in the last days and that it seems to me that the recording of what must otherwise be accounted as only a narrow escape on the Master's in the master's life would be
undeserving of mention in some serious form. So I think you really mean that he was killed and again a comment made in a commentary on Psalm 37 on the verse which reads. The wiki to watch out for the righteous and seeking to slay him etc. applies it again to the priest and promises out of revenge on him. Thirdly the Niihau commentary part of which I just published now in this important work and elsewhere. The wicked priest seems to be given yet another pseudonym that a lion of Wrath. This person it said that quote he used to hang men up alive that is. Crucify them. And this we know to have been the mode of punishment taught Janise by his foreign Gentile mercenaries for the treatment of his political enemies. He aroused the horror of his Jewish
compactly it's so Josephus tells us by crucifying eight hundred of them in Jerusalem following his crushing of a revolt which incidentally has been thought by many scholars to have been that following which the teacher and his followers fled into the desert in the first place. The new commentary then goes on to say that quote This was never before done in Israel for the man hanged alive upon a tree is called. The writer leaves the next words on spoken as being too terrible to utter. They are also as we know from the precept in Deuteronomy. A curse of God. It was this aspect of crucifixion usual Remember gave the early Christians such trouble since it meant according to the Law of Moses that Jesus had become him self a cursed of God by His death. Now I soon is from this reference to crucifixion by the line of hope that the sect had some particular reason for remembering the fact and noting what I just said
about the nature of these biblical commentaries that he played some important part in their own history. If their own master made Husing this way it would explain much and would incidentally be another reason for the writers wanting to avoid those dreadful words. Now took down the body of their master to stand guard over it until the Judgement Day And on that day they believed their master would rise again and lead his faithful flock etc. The Sanct certainly expected the coming of a priestly myside. Now of that there is no reasonable doubt they use of him Furthermore all the same titles that they apply to their own master namely Teacher of Righteousness. The priest and interpreter of the law. The first in the Zeta kind frank document the second in the manual of discipline and the third in a fourth. A document which
is in process of publication. Now it was long ago suggested that the two figures teacher and beside are well one and the same in the thought of the sect and this identity of phraseology coupled with the extreme reverence they accord their master in their literature. Seems to me to support the idea almost conclusively the burial of the master mentioned goes along of course with this expectation of facing resurrection and needs no further comment but interesting of this parallel with Jesus of Nazareth. Is it proves nothing about the historicity of the latter. Nor indeed is it all that relevant for the correspondence in which I drew in my talks between the Koran and the New Testament Messiah as it were not with the teacher founder of the community or tour but with the expected viddy Messiah out of a coma for the sect expected the coming
of two messiahs one priest of whom I've just spoken and one of the line of David says in one document shortly to be published. Speaking of THE LEAD a video Messiah that he would quote arise with the interpreter of the law in the last days to save Israel. And furthermore we learn of him in another place that God will be get him. And again that he is the fulfillment of God's promise to the Davidian house. I should be his father and he will be my son. I think this son ship of the Messiah that the video Messiah is significant. It's said of him in Koran literature as Paul says of the Christian Messiah that he would quote slay the wicked with the breath of his lips. And in Koran he is called Prince of Israel a messianic title which must surely lie behind the
inscription about Jesus cross king of the Jews. A further point in the Qumran documents as I say there are two messiahs envisaged in the New Testament. Only one. Now this difference is important but it's also interesting to note that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews describes Jesus the late viddy Messiah in terms of the high priest of Israel. The office of com Ron of course taken by the resurrected teacher. It does seem therefore that the idea of a dual messianic office wasn't by no means unknown in the New Testament. Just some of the parallels in the manner of the death of Jesus and the probable manner of death of the master. Interesting but not of Supremes importance by any means. The differences between the Koran priestly Messiah and the New Testament Davidic
Messiah are far greater. The interesting correspondences are between the looks for lameness I've come around and Jesus. But then again in the New Testament traditions there are major differences which I for one have never sought to minimize. Of course the question may reasonably be asked whether in the New Testament we have accurately recorded in the hopes and ideas of the very first Jewish Christian church. And whether if we had Christian manuscripts from the churches first days we should find all those differences as yet displayed. But until we do find such manuscripts with which to make a really valid comparison would come around possible. We must freely acknowledge the differences as well as the similarities between come around in the New Testament. The promise of these scrolls is not only in what they were already produced but in what may yet be found in this. Perhaps indeed such
first hand records of a Jewish Christian community contemporary with the may be they're now awaiting discovery. You have just heard Mr John Allegro defending his theory but in June 1956 the text of the scrolls upon which Allegro had made his inferences was published in The Journal of the biblical literature. It was a commentary on the Old Testament book of home an excerpt of which you have heard that the opening of the program. For one thing the text itself is of the utmost importance since for the first time we have in a text the actual names of historical persons who played some role in the world in which they lived. There are clear references to Greek kings Demetrios Greek kings ruled over Palestine Syria and Egypt
after the early years of the first century B.C.. This is also an important evidence in the dating of the scrolls. When the text was published it required but little examination of the Hebrew text to see how slender is the basis it provides for a Legros theory Aleksandr Janae is not mentioned at all in the texts. Moreover there is no evidence whatever that the teacher of righteousness was concerned in this incident at all. Whether it had to do with us or another. The simple fact is that this teacher of righteousness was not so much as mentioned in the text. Again it is not even certain that the text refers to a course of fiction at all. The Hebrew passages are still hanging man alive on a tree which could perhaps imply a crucifix though by no means certain that it seems from the published text and from the words of Mr Allegro himself. That is a
whole reconstruction of events. A simple chain of conjecture or inference as Mr Allegro is entitled to his opinion. However they should have been perhaps more cautious in view of his being a member of the international team working on the scrolls. I want to conclude by saying that Mr Allegro has contributed a great deal to the study of the scrolls. In the meantime Mr. Allegro has published an important and popular book on the scrolls. His account of the discovery and his description of the material found his most interesting delightful and reliable about his theory on the crucifixion of the Teacher of Righteousness is played down and modified in this book. Mr. Allegro also claimed that he had been misquoted by the popular press. This is not unusual. Anyhow this goes by his theory has faded out in our next and last program I shall take you to various centers of learning
in the United States Britain France and Norway to hear the views of the scholars on the importance and significance of this momentous discovery. Scrolls from the Dead Sea program 12 in a radio exploration of the most significant archaeological find of the century. These programs are produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center. Professor Menachem Mansoor chairman of the department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin is the author already and the writer for the series the reader was Karl Schmidt heard in tape recorded interviews with Mr. John Allegro of Manchester University and Mr John Spagnola of Oxford production and editing by Carl Schmitt and Clare Prothero. The music by Don vaguely. These programmes are distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the NEA E.B. Radio Network.
Scrolls from the Dead Sea
The crucial issue
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program offers views on the parallels between the Teacher of Righteousness, Christ, and the Messianic doctrine.
Series Description
The story of the Dead Sea Scrolls, featuring interviews with 30 leading scholars, scientists, archeologists and theologians.
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Composer: Voegeli, Don
Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Production Manager: Schmidt, Karl
Speaker: Schmidt, Karl
Speaker: Stribling, Don
Speaker: Allegro, John Marco, 1923-
Speaker: Strugnell, John, 1930-2007
Writer: Mansoor, Menahem
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 57-21-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:52
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Chicago: “Scrolls from the Dead Sea; The crucial issue,” 1957-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 10, 2023,
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APA: Scrolls from the Dead Sea; The crucial issue. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from