James, Paul, and the Dead Sea Scrolls
by Hanan ben Avraham
Hello. For my subject, my aim is to use ancient sources that tell us what we know about James, and Paul, and to analyze what they say, and see what use they may have for the religious minded. Little is me but the arrangement of passages I hope will be clear and relevant, and occasional comments.
Have you heard about James the brother of Jesus?*
About his election to succeed Jesus, and about his death, WE ARE NOT INFORMED BY CANONICAL ACTS. We must go to other sources. Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340 CE), Archbishop under Constantine, tells us in his Ecclesiastical History that James was "the lord's brother, who had been elected by the Apostles to the episcopal throne at Jerusalem," (E.H. 2.23).
Knowing Jesus would soon depart from them, his disciples, according to the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, asked him who would lead them, "And Jesus said to them, 'In the place you are to go, go to James the Righteous,
for whose sake Heaven and Earth came into existence,'" (Coptic logion 12).
Palestinian Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis (315-404 CE), had access to works he said were called the Anabathmoi Jacobou (the 'Ascents of James') and the Gospel of the Hebrews (used by ancient Jewish Christians called
Ebionites, or the 'Poor'), both now lost, in which we learn, "once during a drought, he [James] lifted his hands to Heaven and prayed and at once Heaven sent rain...Thus they no longer called him by his name, but his name was, rather, the Righteous One [in Hebrew, the 'Zaddik'].
"[T]o James alone, it was allowed to enter once a year into the Holy of Holies [the innermost sanctum of the Temple], because he was a Nazirite and connected to the priesthood. Hence Mary was related in two ways to
Elizabeth [John the Baptist's mother] and James was a distinguished member of the priesthood, because the two tribes alone were linked to one another, the royal tribe to the priestly," (Panarion 30).
He tells us the 'Ascents of James' was about the discourses James gave from the Temple to the Jerusalem masses, and says that James was "the First to whom the lord entrusted his throne upon earth."
Jerome (342-420 CE), basing his knowledge on Hegesippus, Clement of Alexandria, and the Jewish historian Josephus, also knows this when he says in his Lives of Illustrious Men ch. 2 that "He [James] alone enjoyed the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since, indeed, he did not wear woolen, but only linen clothes, and went into the Temple alone and prayed on behalf of the people, so that his knees were reputed to have acquired the callousness of a camel's knees", and that after Jesus died he "was immediately appointed Bishop of Jerusalem by the Apostles."
Palestinian Jewish Christian Hegesippus (100-180 CE), portions of whose five books of early Church history only survive in passages cited by Eusebius, tells us, "There were many James', but this one...the Lord's brother...was Holy from his birth. Everyone from the Lord's time till our own has called him the Righteous", and that "[b]ecause of his unsurpassable Righteousness he was called the Righteous, and Oblias," the latter being a strange word he describes as meaning "Bulwark of the People, and Righteousness," (E.H. 2.23); for Epiphanius, the word means "Wall"; for Eusebius, the "Protection of the People."
The second century Syriac Apostolic Constitutions tell us that James was "the brother of Christ according to the flesh...and one appointed Bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord Himself," (8.35).
In another passage surviving only in Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria (150-215 CE) tells us that the 'gift of knowledge' was imparted by Jesus to "James the Righteous, to John, and to Peter," and that these in turn "delivered it to the rest of the Apostles, and they to the Seventy, of whom Barnabas was one," (E.H. 2.1).
Clement of Rome (30-97 CE), or someone purporting to be him, addresses
his letter in the non-canonical Pseudo-Clementine Homilies of Clement
to "James...the Bishop of Bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the Holy Assembly
of the Hebrews and the Assemblies everywhere," as does Peter similarly
in his Homilies letter.
Even Josephus (37-96 CE), who was not a Christian as we understand it --but who was a contemporary of James-- knows about him, and even insists that James' death was the reason the Jewish people believed Jerusalem fell: "These things [the Uprising and consequent destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans] happened to the Jews in requital for James the Righteous, who was a brother of Jesus known as Christ, for though he was the most Righteous of men, the Jews put him to death." This passage, remarked on also by Origen (185-254 CE), and Jerome, only exists in Eusebius' E.H., Jerome's Commentary on Galatians, and Origen's letter (Contra Celsus 1.47), and, interestingly, IS NO LONGER EXTANT IN ANY MANUSCRIPT WE HAVE OF JOSEPHUS. Commenting on it, Eusebius says, "So remarkable a person must James have been, so universally esteemed for Righteousness, that even the most intelligent of Jews felt this was why his martyrdom was immediately followed by the siege of Jerusalem," (E.H. 2.23). This contradicts Christian belief that the Temple fell because of the prophecy and death of Jesus, as Origen is well aware and at pains to 'correct' in Contra Celsus. This latter also tells us that "the wonderful thing is that, though he [Josephus] did not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony that the Righteousness of James was so great...that the people thought they had suffered these things on account of [him]," (Commentary on Matthew; 10.17).
For his part, Jerome, in his Lives, writes "This same Josephus records the tradition that this James was of so great Holiness and reputation among the people that the destruction of Jerusalem was believed to have occurred on account of his death," and in a Commentary that "So Holy was James that the people zealously tried to touch the fringes of his garment," (Commentary on Galatians 1:19); these are the fringes commanded to be worn by observant Jews in Numbers 15:38, "so that, when you see [them], you will remember all the commandments of the Lord and DO THEM."
"For whose sake Heaven and Earth came into existence," "Holy from his birth," "the Righteous One," "Bulwark of the People," Jerusalem falling "on account of his death" ... These are strong words, and not to be lightly dismissed, and are consistent with what ALL SOURCES SAY ABOUT HIM. It is important to point out that our sources are not presenting James
as just the Head of "Christianity", but the POPULAR JEWISH LEADER OF HIS DAY, the Zaddik, par excellence, whose death brought the downfall of Jerusalem, and is in keeping with the notion in Proverbs (10:25) and the Kabbalah (Zohar 1.59b) that "the Zaddik is the Foundation" and "the Pillar that upholds the world." Paul understands this when he speaks in Galatians of going up to Jerusalem and meeting "James, Cephas, and John, those reputed to be Pillars," (Gal. 2:9), and his attitude towards them is very, very helpful in determining who is the parallel character in the Dead Sea Scrolls known as the 'Windbag,' the 'Comedian,' the 'Spouter of Lies,' the 'Man of Scoffing.'
Josephus and Hegesippus -and because of them, Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus (160-235 CE), Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome -even ancient Christian literature recently found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt (like the lost Gospel of Thomas above) knew of James' death, but not, oddly, Acts. Because Josephus knew of it first hand, it would seem best to use his account.
According to him, when the Roman Governor died in 62 CE -and the new one was still on his way to Judaea- Establishment High Priest Ananus ben Ananus used the occasion to illegally try and execute Jesus' brother James, because of his role as supreme leader of the Jesus Movement:
"[H]e assembled the Sanhedrin [the 'Supreme Court'] of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some of his companions. And when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the Law, he delivered them to be stoned. But those citizens who seemed the most equitable and THE MOST CAREFUL IN THE OBSERVATION OF THE LAW were offended by this," (Antiquities of the Jews 20.1).
Two generations later, a more legendary account is recorded by Hegesippus, but with the note that James "proved a true witness to Jews and Gentiles alike that Jesus is the Christ," (E.H. 2.23).
It is now we must turn to the Pseudo-Clementines for information on James' leadership, which tell us: "The Assembly of the Lord, which was constituted in Jerusalem, was most plentifully multiplied and grew, being governed with the most Righteous ordinances by James," (Recognitions of Clement 1.43).
"Our lord and prophet, who has sent us, declared to us that the Evil One, having disputed with him for forty days, but failing to prevail against him, promised that he would send Apostles from among his subjects to deceive them. Therefore, above all, remember to shun ANY APOSTLE, TEACHER OR PROPHET WHO DOES NOT ACCURATELY COMPARE HIS TEACHING WITH JAMES...the brother of our Lord...and this, even if he comes to you with recommendations," (Homilies of Clement' 11.35).
In the Recognitions of Clement, we also learn of someone named Saul -"one of our enemies"- who, upon entering the Temple with a few other companions while James was reading and interpreting Bible prophecy concerning Jesus, "began to cry out," and "while James the Bishop was refuting him" he "began to drive all into confusion with shouting, and undo what was arranged with much labor." A riot ensues, "in the midst of which, this enemy attacked James and threw him headlong from the top of the [Temple] steps, and, supposing him to be dead, cared not to inflict further violence upon him."
Though James doesn't die here, both his legs were broken, so "our friends lifted him up...and we returned to the House of James, and spent the night there in prayer. Then, before daylight, we went down to Jericho, to the number of five thousand men [see Acts 4:4]."
Then this Saul (like the Saul who became Paul in Acts) "received a commission from Caiaphas, the High Priest...that he should arrest all who believed in Jesus, and should go to Damascus with his letters, and that there also, employing the help of unbelievers, he should make havoc among the faithful, and that he was hastening to Damascus chiefly on this account," (1.70-71).
Acts: "As for Saul, he made havoc of the Church ... and ... breathing out threats and slaughter against the Disciples of the lord, went unto the High Priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this Way, whether they be men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem."
It is on this trip (according to Acts) that Paul first 'sees Jesus,' but the manner in which he 'proved this was the Christ' "confounded the Jews who dwelled in Damascus," and that, after this, "the Jews took council to kill him," watching the gates "night and day to kill him," (8:3-9:23).
This was how Paul came to know the Movement. For, as he says, "I certify to you, brothers, that THE GOSPEL WHICH WAS PREACHED BY ME IS NOT MAN'S GOSPEL, for I DID NOT RECEIVE IT FROM MAN, NOR WAS I TAUGHT IT, BUT IT CAME THROUGH A REVELATION of Jesus Christ.
"For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the Assembly of God violently and tried to destroy it ... But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and called me through his Grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me ['Jesus Christ'], in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I DID NOT CONFER WITH FLESH AND BLOOD, NOR DID I GO UP TO THOSE WHO WERE APOSTLES BEFORE ME, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other Apostles except James the lord's brother. Now the things I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie. [Continued below.]
"If you have bitter jealousy and contentiousness in your heart, do not boast and lie against the Truth. THIS IS NOT THE WISDOM THAT COMES DOWN FROM ABOVE, but earthly, MAN MADE, DEMONIC ... He who speaks against his brother and who judges his brother speaks against the Law and judges the Law. But if you judge the Law, YOU ARE NOT A DOER OF THE LAW, but a judge," (Epistle of James 3:5-4:11).
"I communicated to them the Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those reckoned to be important, lest somehow I should be running or had run in vain.
And because he was advocating 'freedom from the Law' -as opposed to what he terms 'bondage' to it, he declares his follower Titus, "who was with me, being a Greek, WAS NOT COMPELLED TO BE CIRCUMCISED" because of "false brothers secretly brought in to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage. To them we did not yield subjection even for a moment, so that the truth of the Gospel might continue with you.
"But those who seemed to be important...had nothing to add to me.
"And when James, Cephas, and John, those who seemed to be Pillars, perceived the Grace that was given to me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go to the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. [i.e., they didn't want him around them.] Only, they asked that we remember the Poor [i.e, the Ebionites], which is what I was most forward to do.
"But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, for he stood condemned. For BEFORE CERTAIN MEN CAME FROM JAMES, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But WHEN THEY CAME he drew back and separated himself, fearing THE CIRCUMCISION PARTY. AND WITH THEM THE REST OF THE JEWS acted insincerely, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their DISSIMULATION .... I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel.
"Knowing that a man is NOT JUSTIFIED BY WORKS OF THE LAW, but by faith in Jesus Christ...we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, AND NOT BY WORKS OF THE LAW, FOR BY WORKS OF THE LAW SHALL NO ONE BE JUSTIFIED ... Even Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as Righteousness," (Galatians 1:11-3:6).
His followers are rather "justified by [Jesus'] blood," (Romans 5:9). (In 1 Corithinians 10:16, he bids they DRINK it.)
Whether Paul is right or wrong is not being proposed here, only that THIS IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THE TEACHING OF JAMES, who advises gentiles --like God does in Genesis 9:4- TO ABSTAIN from blood (Acts 15:29), and also, in his letter, asks, "[D]on't you realize, YOU VAIN MAN, THAT FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS USELESS? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the Altar? You see that faith was active along with works, and faith was brought into completion by the works. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as Righteousness.
"WHAT DOES IT PROFIT, MY BROTHERS, IF A MAN SAYS HE HAS FAITH, AND DOESN'T HAVE WORKS? CAN FAITH SAVE HIM? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it doesn't have works, is dead," (James 2:14-23).
"If any man among you seems to be religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain," (James 1:26).
Paul: "I bear them ['Israel'] record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For THEY, BEING IGNORANT OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS and going about to establish their own, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God, for CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW," (Romans 9:2-4).
"Christ has redeemed us from THE CURSE OF THE LAW ... [so] that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith," (Galatians 3:13-14).
"For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel. Therefore I beseech you, be followers of me," (1 Corinthians 4:15-16).
James: "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD also.
"[T]he tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. So is the Tongue among our members; it is a world of iniquity, it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is set on the Fire of Hell.
"[T]he Tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly Evil, full of deadly poison .... Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works, with the meekness of wisdom. But
if you have bitter jealousy and contentiousness in your heart, do not boast and lie against the Truth," (James 2:26-3:14).
"Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more.
"[T]he truth of Christ is in me, NO MAN SHALL STOP ME OF THIS BOASTING .... The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore, knows I'm not lying," (2 Corinthians 11:10-31).
"I say the truth in Christ, and do not lie," (Romans 9:1).
"I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not," (1 Timothy 2:7).
"[B]efore God, I do not lie," (Galatians 1:20).
And to justify his preaching of living by faith alone, Paul cites Habakkuk's 'the Righteous shall live by his faith' in Romans 1:17.
In an interpretation of the above Habakkuk (2:4), the Dead Sea Scrolls (found only 50 years ago, in caves near Jericho) tell us its interpretation "concerns all DOERS OF THE LAW in the House of Judah, whom GOD WILL SAVE from the House of Judgment BECAUSE OF THEIR WORKS AND THEIR FAITH in the Teacher of Righteousness," (7:17-8:3).
The 'Teacher of Righteousness,' or 'Righteous Teacher,' leads a Messianic Movement befuddled by "the Spouter of Lies, who leads many astray in order to build his city of vanity ON BLOOD and erect an Assembly upon Lying, for the sake of his glory, tiring out many with a worthless service and instructing them in works of Lying, so that their works will be of Emptiness. And they will be brought to the same Judgements of Fire with
which they insulted and vilified the Elect of God," (Habakkuk Pesher 10:9-13).
Unlike the Spouter of Lies ("who led the simple astray"), the Righteous Teacher "expounded the Law to his Council and to all who freely pledged themselves to join the Elect of God TO KEEP THE LAW in the Council of
the Community, WHO SHALL BE SAVED on the Day of Judgement," (Micah Pesher fragment).
"Those who were unfaithful together with the Liar, [who] did not listen to the word received by the Righteous Teacher from the mouth of God" and "who were silent at the time of the chastisement of the Righteous Teacher and did not aid him against the Liar WHO REJECTED THE LAW in the midst of all their Assembly" were "UNFAITHFUL IN THE NEW COVENANT in that they have NOT BELIEVED IN THE COVENANT OF GOD and have profaned His Holy Name," (Habakkuk Pesher 2:1-2, 5:12, 2:3).
In the Damascus Document (so named because of its references to 'dwelling' in and 'the New Covenant' in 'the land of DAMASCUS'), we learn that God had "visited them, and caused a Root of Planting to grow from Israel
and from Aaron [the royal tribe and the priestly tribe], to inherit His Land and to prosper on the good things of His earth. And they understood their sinfulness and knew that they were guilty men. And they were like blind men and groped for the WAY [the name for early Christianity in Acts] for twenty years. And God considered their WORKS, because they sought Him with a whole heart, and raised up for them a Teacher of Righteousness
to guide them in the Way of His heart. And he made known to the Last Generations what He would do to the Last Generation, to the Congregation of Traitors who were turners-aside from the Way. This is the time about
which it is written, 'Like a straying heifer, thus did Israel stray [Hosea 4:16],' when the Man of Scoffing arose, who poured over Israel the waters of Lying and caused them to wander in a trackless waste with no Way,
bringing low the everlasting heights, ABOLISHING THE PATHWAYS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND REMOVING THE BOUNDARY MARKERS which the First marked out as their inheritance. For which reason He called down on them the curses of His Covenant, for they sought smooth things and preferred illusions, watched for 'loopholes' and chose the easiest way. And they justified the wicked and condemned the Righteous, and they transgressed the Covenant and broke the Law, and they banded together against the life of the RIGHTEOUS ONE, and against all walkers in perfection ... They pursued them with the sword and attempted
to divide the people ... Their works were unclean before Him.
"All among the members of the Covenant who transgressed the boundary of the Law shall be cut off ... However, all those who hold fast to these statutes, coming and going in accordance with the Law ... shall listen to the voice of the Righteous Teacher and not desert the Laws of Righteousness...and they will see His Salvation [Hebrew: Yeshua; English: Jesus], because they took refuge in His Holy Name," (1:5-2:1, 8:48-57).
Like the Jerusalem Assembly led by James, the above community refers to itself as the 'Poor' (Ebionites), interpreting that a passage in Psalm 37 "concerns the congregation of the Poor, who shall possess the
whole world as an inheritance," (Psalm 37 Pesher 3:10, for just one example). And their leader suffers the same death as James, destruction at the hands of "the Wicked Priest, who pursued after the Righteous Teacher to swallow him in his hot anger in his EXILED HOUSE ... He will be paid the reward which he rewarded the Poor," (Habakkuk Pesher 6:4-7:3). The Talmud (a compilation of Jewish legal traditions) tells us that, in the time of Jesus and James, "the Sanhedrin WAS EXILED and took up residence" outside the Temple, (b. Shab. 15a, R.H. 31a-b, and A.Z. 8b).
"'Righteous One, whose word we are all obliged to accept, the people are going astray after Jesus who was crucified. So tell us, what is meant by the Door of Jesus?' And [James] replied as loudly as he could: 'Why
do you question me about the Son of Man? I tell you he is sitting in Heaven at the right hand of the Great Power, and will come on the clouds of Heaven,'" (James, preaching to the Jerusalem masses from the Temple
on Passover, as preserved by Hegesippus (E.H. 2.23).
According to Josephus, the Jews' "chief inducement to go to war was an ambiguous oracle found in their sacred writings, announcing that at that time a man from their country would become the king of the world," (Jewish
This is the ancient 'Star Prophecy' (found in Numbers 24:17-19), and we know Christians applied it to Jesus from Justin Martyr's (100-165 CE) Dialogue 106: "A star shall come out of Jacob, a sceptre shall rise out of Israel. He shall smite the temples of Moab and destroy all the children of Seth...and Israel shall accomplish mighty deeds."
It also occurs THREE TIMES in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and, in the Damascus Document is interpreted to apply to "the Prince of the whole Congregation, and with his standing up [literally 'arising,' in the sense of TO BE
RESURRECTED, like the dry bones in Ezekiel 37:10] he shall utterly destroy all the sons of Seth," (7:19-21).
In the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness it is interpreted to mean, "By the hand of Your Messiah, who DISCERNED Your testimonies, You have revealed to us the times of the battles of Your hands, so that You may glorify Yourself in front of Your enemies and overthrow the Legions of Worthlessness, the Seven Nations of Vanity, by the hand of the Poor Ones of Your Redemption.
"Because, by the hand of the Poor and those Bent in the Dust will the enemies from all the lands and the Mighty Ones of the Peoples be humbled.
"[T]he Glorious King is with us, together with the Holy Ones, the Mighty Host of Angels are under his command, and the Valiant Warrior is among our Assembly ... They are as clouds, clouds of dew covering the earth, as a shower of rain shedding Judgment on all that grows on earth. Rise up, O Hero!
"Blessed be the God of Israel, who keeps mercy towards His Covenant, and the appointed times of Salvation with the people He has delivered!
"Rise up! Rise up! O God of gods, raise Yourself in might, King of Kings! May all the Sons of Darkness scatter before You! The Light of Your Greatness will shine forth on gods and men," (War of the Sons of Light
against the Sons of Darkness, in columns 11-14).
Josephus also tells us the first thing the Jews did upon taking Jerusalem was to burn down "the Record Office, eager to destroy the money-lenders' bonds, and so make impossible the recovery of debts, in order to secure
the support of an army of debtors and enable the poor to rise with impunity against the rich," (Jewish War 2.425-9).
"Come you Rich, weep, howl over the miseries that are coming on you. Your riches have rotted and your clothes have become moth eaten. Your gold and silver are corroding away, and the same corrosion will be like
a testimony against you, and shall eat your flesh like fire. It is a burning fire that you stored up as treasure for the Last Days.
"Look, the hire of the workers who mowed your fields -which you fraudulently held back- cries out, and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord," (James 5:1-8, counseling patience because "the coming
of the Lord has come near").
And what would the Messiah do? According to the Dead Sea Scrolls, he would "heal the sick, resurrect the dead, and to the meek announce glad tidings. He will lead the Holy Ones, He will shepherd them ... And the Law will be pursued," (The Messiah of Heaven and Earth, fragment 1, 2:12-3:1).
Acts 15:23-33 informs us the Apostles wrote letters to the Gentiles in "Antioch and Syria and" Southeastern Turkey, informing them of what they were expected to do as Christians, and, in light of this, it is interesting that pieces of two letters, addressed to someone far away and entitled First and Second Letters on Works Reckoned as Righteousness, or 'MMT,' were found among the Scrolls, which end, "[T]his is the End of Days, when those
in Israel are to return to the Law of God with all their heart, never to turn back again. Meanwhile, the wicked will increase in wickedness .... Remember the kings of Israel, and understand their works. Whoever of them feared the Law was SAVED from sufferings; when they sought the Law, then their sins were forgiven them. Remember David. He was a man of Pious WORKS, and he, also, WAS SAVED from many sufferings and forgiven. And finally, we earlier wrote you [the First letter] about some of the works of the Law which we reckoned for your own good and for that of your people, for we see that you possess discernment and Knowledge of the Law. Consider all these things, and beseech Him to grant you proper council, and to keep you far from evil thoughts and the council of worthlessness. Then you will rejoice at the End Time, when you find some of our words were true. Thus it will be RECKONED TO YOU AS RIGHTEOUSNESS, your having done what is upright and good before Him, for your own good and for that of Israel."
Surviving into the fourth century CE, Ebionites (whose lost Gospel of the Hebrews venerated James) were viewed with disdain by their orthodox Christian contemporaries, and considered HERETICS by Eusebius' time, because, as he puts it, "They regarded [Jesus] as plain and ordinary, a man esteemed as righteous through growth of character and nothing more, the child of a normal union between a man and Mary; and they held that they must observe every detail of the Law -that by faith in Christ alone...they would never win Salvation," (E.H. 3.27).
"For the earth will be filled with the Knowledge of the Glory of the Lord like waters covering the s(ea). The interpretation of the passage is that in their return (to Go)d...(the Spouter) of Lying, and afterwards this Knowledge, like the waters of the sea, will be abundantly revealed to them," (Habakkuk Pesher 10:14-11:1).
You may contact the author Hanan ben Avraham or you may contact Qumran Bet for questions or comments
*Contributing authors often use the terms Lord, Jesus, God which Qumran Bet considers to be pagan names or titles