London, March 19 (ANI): An academic from Jerusalem has claimed that the Dead Sea Scrolls were the work of the Sadducees, a class of Jewish priests dating back to the time of King Solomon.
According to a report in the Telegraph, the academic in question is Rachel Elior, a professor of Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
For more than six decades, scholars have believed the scrolls originated with a different, ascetic Jewish sect called the Essenes.
The Essenes are said to have lived in the 1st Century, in mountains in Palestine, where they recorded religious practices on parchments.
Now, Elior has claimed that the 930 scrolls were written by the Sadducees, a group of Jewish priests living in Jerusalem, and that the Essenes did not exist.
The scrolls were found by a shepherd in a cave at Qumran, on the edge of the Dead Sea, in 1947 and were one of the most important archaeological finds of the century.
Some scholars believe that the Essenes may have had an impact on early Christianity, suggesting that John the Baptist and Jesus may have met them.
But, Professor Elior said that the scrolls shows recorded practices of priests descended from Zadok, the first high priest in Jerusalem after the conquest of the city by the Israelites hundreds of years earlier.
She claims the Sadducees later took the scrolls to Qumran.
"I believe any serious scholar truly can't but admit that the law reflected in the scrolls is a Sadducee law. The Essenes are only a literary invention of a Utopian society that lived a most benevolent and chaste life," she said. (ANI)