Jesus the Wicked Priest

Jesus the Wicked Priest

How Christianity Was Born of an Essene Schism

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Decodes the Dead Sea Scrolls to reveal Christianity’s hidden Essene origins

• Reveals the Essenes as key figures behind Jesus’s trial, torture, and crucifixion

• Shows how Jesus, a former Essene himself, was deemed “the Wicked Priest” for his liberationist politics and humanist bent

• Examines the lost Christian doctrine of reincarnation and the secret role of Gabriel in the Virgin Birth

The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1947 at Qumran, are generally believed to have been written by a Jewish sect known as the Essenes between 350 BCE and 70 CE--but until now no convincing methodology has linked the Scrolls to the actual life and teachings of Jesus. Marvin Vining builds from the controversial work of Barbara Thiering to demonstrate that the Scrolls do speak directly to the origins of Christianity and even reflect a mirror image of the Gospels from the perspective of Jesus’s enemies.

Christianity arose out of a schism between the exclusivist, rigid, and militant views of the Essenes and the inclusivist, tolerant, and nonviolent views of Jesus. Jesus was raised an Essene, but he refused to follow their orthodoxy. Vining shows that the Dead Sea Scrolls are written in a secret coded language called pesher in which Jesus emerges as the Wicked Priest, the antagonist to the Teacher of Righteousness who was the leader of the Essenes. Jesus the Wicked Priest revitalizes the Gospel message by revealing Jesus’s true role as a tireless social reformer and revolutionary teacher. Vining’s study reopens Christian doctrinal questions supposedly long settled, such as reincarnation and the Virgin birth--even demonstrating that these two issues are related. He discloses that the angel Gabriel was incarnate in a living human being and transmitted the seed of a holy bloodline to the Virgin Mary.
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  • Bear & Company | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781591430810 | 
  • March 2008
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Read an Excerpt

From Part 2

Identifying the Essenes in the New Testament


By now, most informed readers should be familiar with the scholarly consensus that a Jewish sect known as the Essenes wrote the famous Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947 near a small Judean village known as Qumran. But who were the Essenes? We know that the Essenes existed from at least the second century BCE to the fall of Israel to the Romans in 74 CE, though in all likelihood they were around much earlier. In other words, we know the Essenes existed before and well through Gospel times. But why is it that the Essenes never once appear by name in the New Testament?... see more

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