Skip to comments.Skeleton 'may be John the Baptist'
Posted on 08/01/2002 6:52:18 PM PDT by vannrox
A professor claims a skeleton discovered near where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found may be the remains of John the Baptist.
He suggests the phrophet who annointed Christ may also have been the leader of the tribe to which the burial ground belonged.
Israeli archaelogists say his theory is far-fetched and that the burial site unearthed is probably that of an 18th century Bedouin man.
US professor Richard Freund at a Centre for Judaic Studies in Connecticut, has been art of an expedition in the Judean Desert.
Professor Freund says there is "circumstantial evidence" the well-preserved skeleton they discovered may be the founder of the Jewish sect called Essenes whose scribes wrote the ancient Hebrew scrolls.
"It is possible that a single person like John the Baptist, a leader in the New Testament, may have been this anonymous mysterious person, the Teacher of Righteousness, mentioned in the text of the Dead Sea Scrolls," he said.
But Magen Broshi, one of the heads of the expedition and an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, dismissed Freund's theory.
"No person in the world believes there is a connection between the two. There is nothing to it. What we have unearthed is most probably a skeleton of a Bedouin man from about two or three hundred years ago," he said.
Mr Broshi said there was too much of a discrepancy in the dates of the John the Baptist who was killed in AD 29 and the sect who lived from 150 BC to AD 68. But Professor Freund says the skeleton was found in an elaborate burial chamber in a prominent position in the Qumran cemetery.
"There is no other burial like this. It is the most elaborate burial one can imagine in a very simple place," he argued.
Story filed: 23:26 Thursday 1st August 2002
PS. Jesus was an Essene, though not a member of the strictly-celibate sect of Essenes that ran Qumran.
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