I recently did an interview with John Shuck on the radio show/podcast progressive spirit, also on youtube about my book “All Things in Common: The Economic Practices of the Early Christians.” I hope you enjoy it.
Continuing from the last post, talking about fragments from Qumran and their relevance to messianism, let us move on to the fragment from Qumran called the “Heavenly Prince Melchizedek” (11Q13) or the “Melchizedek document.” This fragment gives us a pointed look into the mindset of at least some Jews in the century prior to Jesus. Like the Messianic Apocalypse, the Melchizedek document is dated to the early first century B.C.E. Here is the fragment:
I’ve made the connection earlier in this blog between Jesus and early Christianity and the Jubilee, especially in Jesus’ Mission statement. Christianity wasn’t the only form of Judaism that made the connection between messianism and the Jubilee; the idea had been around in Judaism for a while.
To demonstrate various views of the Messiah and his connection to the Jubilee, I want to look at some documents from the Dead Sea Scroll first of all the Messianic Apocalypse (4Q521). The Messianic Apocalypse is dated to the early first century B.C.E. and is made up of 2 fragments, the first one reads:
This post is a continuation of this one. Here I’d like to go into specifically the economic structure of the Essene Community and compare it to the early Christian community. Specifically I want to examine the communal economic systems that both the Essenes and the Christians implemented in their respective communities. It’s going to be quite long, and involve a lot of quotes. Let’s get right into it looking at what Philo says:
In this post I would like to go over some parallels I find between the Essenes, as described by Josephus and Philo, and whose works we have in some of the Qumran documents (according to many scholars). The 3 parallels I see are community meals as a form of worship, a type of pacifism, and a (small C) communist economic structure. In thist post I’ll go over the first 2.