When a Roman Catholic scholar involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls Project discovers a heretical message contained in one of the Scrolls he hides it. Decades later, a prominent archeologist discovers reference to the scroll in an archeological dig. This discovery spurs the world religions into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, in which all who seek the hidden scroll are mysteriously silenced, leaving the salvation of humankind to a father and son, who must either find the hidden scroll … or die trying.

The Dead Sea Scrolls in Ten Easy Steps

6)      In 1984, one of the Scrolls’ scholars suggested that the ‘Teacher of Righteousness’ described in the Dead Sea scrolls refers to either Jesus or James, and his opponent, ‘the Man of the Lie,’ a.k.a. ‘the Wicked Priest’ is . . . drumroll, please . . . Paul! This implies that the Dead Sea scrolls both validate Jesus as a prophet and expose Paul as a corrupter of his teachings.

That’s No Gospel, It’s Enoch!

Here's an interesting update on an earlier post

Identification of Dead Sea Scrolls challenged

By Peter W. Flint


In 1972 the Spanish scholar José O’Callaghan startled the world of biblical scholarship when he announced that he had identified nine New Testament fragments among the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

In the 30 years since, O’Callaghan’s findings have annoyed many scholars, excited a few and left most scratching their heads—wondering if they will ever know for sure what these tiny fragments contain.

But now, thanks to the painstaking research of two European scholars and one Disney World carpenter, all this has changed. It seems certain that two of the nine fragments are definitely not New Testament texts, that the same likely holds true for the other seven, and that at least some of these fragments and several other unidentified pieces from the same cave can now be positively identified: They come from the First Book of Enoch!

Reader's Review: I couldn't put it down!


Loved it from the beginning to end. I recommend it. The only book I know that links Judaism to Christianity to Islam in a way that makes you think...well, we all alike why don't the Catholics hug the Jews and the Jews Muslims! even if our rabbis, priests and imams don't think that is a good idea just yet. Very human, very real - yet the storyline is fiction...I hope you picked on that! deep theological messages though which I really believe are TRUE.

A Gospel Among the Scrolls?

Scholar claims to have identified a fragment of Mark among the Dead Sea scrolls and the oldest fragment of Matthew

On December 24, 1994, the Times of London ran a front-page story entitled “Oxford papyrus is ‘eyewitness record of the life of Christ.’” The article reported the claim that three papyrus fragments of Matthew’s Gospel in Magdalen College, Oxford, date to the mid-first century C.E. Instead of having been written a generation or more after Jesus’ death, as is—or was—the scholarly consensus, Matthew’s Gospel was written within a decade or so of the crucifixion by someone who was there at the time, so the article said. This, of course, would indeed be astounding and worthy of the treatment the Times gave it.

“Not since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947,” the story continued, “has there been such a potentially important breakthrough in biblical scholarship.” The newspaper devoted nearly two full pages to the story, including an editorial that likened the alleged new discovery not only to finding the Dead Sea Scrolls, but also to Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s treasures and to Schliemann’s location of Troy. Two days later, the Times included an extended interview with Dr. Carsten Thiede of Paderborn, Germany, on whose scholarship this claim is based.

Thiede’s claims are threefold. First, Matthew’s Gospel is an eyewitness account of the life and teaching of Jesus—so today’s Bible scholars (who date it to about 80 C.E.) are wrong, and the early church fathers were right after all. Second, at the time Matthew was written the formal separation of Christianity and Judaism had not yet occurred. Third, “Recognition of Christ’s divinity was made before the end of classical Judaism in 70 C.E.”

All three claims made by Thiede are controversial, to say the least. In fact, they disagree with mainstream biblical scholarship.

Read Details Here

The Dead Sea Scrolls in Ten Easy Steps

4)  After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel expanded its border to the Jordan River. The Qumran complex was in that territory, so became property of Israel. And so did the scrolls.

Cave 8 opening on left ; Cave 7's mysteriously sealed opening on right

In 1972, a Spanish scholar named José O’Callaghan claimed that papyrus fragments from Cave 7 represent some of the New Testament books. Other scholars disagreed, and claimed the fragments from Cave 7 are too small to know what they represent.

But O’Callaghan’s assertion excited a lot of imaginations. Here’s why: The Essenes occupied the Qumran complex for over thirty years following Jesus’ ministry, and their complex was less than a day’s walk from Jerusalem. Yet none of the Qumran Scrolls (i.e., the Dead Sea Scrolls) were New Testament material. They represent all of the Old Testament books except Esther, but to date, nothing has been found that’s provably New Testament.

5)  So questions arose. Did the Essenes store New Testament scrolls in a separate place? And if so, why? They were, after all, orthodox Jews. Unless, of course, some of them were closet Christians.

Full of Excitement - Reader's Review of The Returned

By Candi Dossett 

I was captured from the beginning of this story. The story plays out believable events and situations between two white men and two african american men in the midst of the jungle with only a guide named, Tonto, who may or may not be giving them correct information. Racial tensions, relations, and prejudices from the 1960s are seen from every view. The climactic events will keep you from putting this book down. A must read for adventure lovers. Highly recommended.

Dead Sea Scrolls: "Great Treasure From the Temple?"

Findings by Yuval Peleg, an archaeologist who has excavated Qumran for 16 years, are challenging long-held notions of who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. Artifacts discovered by Peleg's team during their excavations suggest Qumran once served as an ancient pottery factory. The supposed baths may have actually been pools to capture and separate clay.

Some of the scrolls found by Bedouin shepherds in 1947 were discovered in cylindrical pottery jars of this type, which are unknown elsewhere. Many authorities consider the discovery of these unique vessels in the Qumran excavation as well as in the caves, as convincing evidence of the link between the settlement and the caves. These jars, like the other pottery vessels recovered at Qumran, were probably manufactured locally.
Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority 

And on Jerusalem's Mount Zion, archaeologists recently discovered and deciphered a two-thousand-year-old cup with the phrase "Lord, I have returned" inscribed on its sides in a cryptic code similar to one used in some of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

To some experts, the code suggests that religious leaders from Jerusalem authored at least some of the scrolls.

"Priests may have used cryptic texts to encode certain texts from nonpriestly readers," Cargill told National Geographic News.

According to an emerging theory, the Essenes may have actually been Jerusalem Temple priests who went into self-imposed exile in the second century B.C., after kings unlawfully assumed the role of high priest.

This group of rebel priests may have escaped to Qumran to worship God in their own way. While there, they may have written some of the texts that would come to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Essenes may not have abandoned all of their old ways at Qumran, however, and writing in code may have been one of the practices they preserved.

It's possible too that some of the scrolls weren't written at Qumran but were instead spirited away from the Temple for safekeeping, Cargill said.

"I think it dramatically changes our understanding of the Dead Sea Scrolls if we see them as documents produced by priests," he says in the new documentary.

"Gone is the Ark of the Covenant. We're never going to find Noah's Ark, the Holy Grail. These things, we're never going to see," he added. "But we just may very well have documents from the Temple in Jerusalem. It would be the great treasure from the Jerusalem Temple."

Well crafted story - Reader's Review of The Returned

By Kim Watson

Reading "The Returned" was a pleasure. Every detail of the adventure is well crafted and taken care of. The story itself is well planned and laid out to the reader. The editor did his job as well. I didn't notice any grammar or spelling mistakes which sometimes ruin the experience of a nice book.

Dead Sea Scrolls Mystery Solved?

Dead Sea Scrolls Written by Ritual Bathers?

In 1953, a French archaeologist and Catholic priest named Roland de Vaux led an international team to study the mostly Hebrew scrolls, which a Bedouin shepherd had discovered in 1947.

 De Vaux concluded that the scrolls' authors had lived in Qumran, because the 11 scroll caves are close to the site.

Ancient Jewish historians had noted the presence of Essenes in the Dead Sea region, and de Vaux argued Qumran was one of their communities after his team uncovered numerous remains of pools that he believed to be Jewish ritual baths.

His theory appeared to be supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves, some of which contained guidelines for communal living that matched ancient descriptions of Essene customs.

"The scrolls describe communal dining and ritual bathing instructions consistent with Qumran's archaeology," explained Cargill, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

This picture features a ritual bathhouse - Mikveh or baptismal. The Essenes were ascetics - a lifestyle characterized  by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures. They paid great attention to purity and ritual bathing.    The ritual baths were constructed according to the Jewish religious laws: the structure was built in the rock and not above it, to be in direct contact with the ground. The water should flow, undrawn, into the pool. The amount of water must be at least 1 cubic meter, 1.2M high, and the walls must be plastered. There are two sets of separated stairs: one side was for the way down to be purified, while the other side for the cleaned bathers.

Reader's Review: Fun Read That is Also Intellectually Stimulating

Atif Fareed (Orlando, FL)

It is refreshing to read a fiction that is fast paced and kept me on the edge. I enjoyed the Eighth Scroll very much and look forward to more fiction books from Dr. Brown

Dead Sea Scrolls Mystery Solved?

Sections of the Dead Sea scrolls.Sections of the Dead Sea Scrolls on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem in 2008.
Photograprh by Baz Ratner, Reuters

The recent decoding of a cryptic cup, the excavation of ancient Jerusalem tunnels, and other archaeological detective work may help solve one of the great biblical mysteries: Who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?

The new clues hint that the scrolls, which include some of the oldest known biblical documents, may have been the textual treasures of several groups, hidden away during wartime—and may even be "the great treasure from the Jerusalem Temple," which held the Ark of the Covenant, according to the Bible.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered more than 60 years ago in seaside caves near an ancient settlement called Qumran. The conventional wisdom is that a breakaway Jewish sect called the Essenes—thought to have occupied Qumran during the first centuries B.C. and A.D.—wrote all the parchment and papyrus scrolls.

But new research suggests many of the Dead Sea Scrolls originated elsewhere and were written by multiple Jewish groups, some fleeing the circa-A.D. 70 Roman siege that destroyed the legendary Temple in Jerusalem.

"Jews wrote the Scrolls, but it may not have been just one specific group. It could have been groups of different Jews," said Robert Cargill, an archaeologis. The new view is by no means the consensus, however, among Dead Sea Scrolls scholars.

"I have a feeling it's going to be very disputed," said Lawrence Schiffman, a professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University (NYU).

Incredibly engrossing! Reader's Review of The Returned

By Sammy 

Never once though I'd be into adventure novels but thought I would give this one a try given its good value. Was quite taken away in the story and setting of the Amazon. Incredibly written and incredibly engrossing.

Reader's Review: Fascinating Author's First Fiction

TamH (IL, USA))
I read this novel on 3 occasions, 100 pages at time. It is absolutely FASCINATING !! A mixture of adventure, theology, and drama. Dr. Brown did a great job mixing these three together, and the product is a novel that is hard to put down.

What I liked most in this novel is the way the author describes the events, the details, and the characters. You can actually "see" the events in the story going on and you feel like you are watching a movie that plays in you head. Another great point is the satisfying amount of "smart humor" that runs in the story line. The author must be a highly intelligent man to be able to come up with that. Most of the jokes are really creative with a small twist. You have to read the book to get what I mean. Dr Brown also describes the main character, the way he thinks and feels, in details that makes it both easy and enjoyable to understand and digest him. The story spreads among two generations and different countries, and there is enough action, and just where it is supposed to be and in the amount needed. There is also a very interesting touch of shy and innocent romance toward the last third of the book-something really missed in most of the novels and movies nowadays. Anybody interested in theology and questioning the origin of faith will also like this story, and it is noteworthy that the religious quotes and interpretations are actually not fictional.

I highly recommend this book and I guarantee you will enjoy it and won't have second thoughts not even a single time.