By Gabriele Boccaccini
Respected scholar Gabriele Boccaccini here offers readers a new and challenging view of the ideology of the Qumran sect, the community closely related with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Boccaccini moves beyond the Essene hypothesis and posits a unique relationship between what he terms "Enochic Judaism" and the group traditionally known as the Essenes. Building his case on what the ancient records tell us about the Essenes and on a systematic analysis of the documents found at Qumran, Boccaccini argues that the literature betrays the core of an ancient and distinct variety of Second Temple Judaism. Tracing the development of this tradition, Boccaccini shows that the Essene community at Qumran was really the offspring of the Enochic party, which in turn contributed to the birth of parties led by John the Baptist and Jesus. Convincingly argued, this work will surely spark fresh debate in the discussion on the Qumran community and their famous writings.