Bible and archaeology news
A new study of more than 200 textile fragments recovered from the Qumran caves suggests the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls were part of the local Essene community. The study, conducted by Orit Shamir of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Naama Sukenik, a graduate student of Bar-Ilan University, found that all of the textiles from Qumran were made of white linen, despite the fact that colorful wool garments were far more common in Israel during the Second Temple period. According to Shamir and Sukenik, the white linen fits with the description of the Essenes found in Josephus, who wrote that the Essenes “make a point of keeping a dry skin and always being dressed in white.” “They wanted to be different than the Roman world,” said Shamir. “They were very humble; they didn’t want to wear colorful textiles and they wanted to use very simple textiles.”
Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update.
Dig into the illuminating world of the Bible with a BAS All-Access membership. Combine a one-year tablet and print subscription to BAR with membership in the BAS Library to start your journey into the ancient past today!Subscribe Today
If Josephus wrote that Essenes make a point of keeping a dry skin and always dressed in white then the likelyhood of them beeping Essenes is high enough to believe they where Essenes. Not that I think I think everything Josephus wrote is like the bible but in the light of so many other evidences these guys where Essenes.
Did the scrolls get written there, or somewhere else? If they were in fact written there (I suppose an impossible thing to prove), does it mean that the Essenes wrote them? Or just chose to hide them?
So they found textile samples? How do we know that these samples have anything to do at all with the Scrolls?
Well, most of the Essenes were priest so its not a surprise that they wore white. The symbolism of white being pure, they were also in the deserts wondering. Wearing white probably wasn’t going to keep them as hot, compared if they were wearing colored clothing.