There seems to be general agreement that the Dead Sea Scrolls were buried around the time of the Jewish Revolt of 66-73CE, but for some reason no one seems to be willing to entertain the possibility that the Jewish historian Josephus, who claimed have participated in the Revolt, could have been responsible for their burial. Josephus in his autobiography admits “…I had also the holy books by Titus's (Emperor Vespasian’s son) concession…” Although Josephus does not seem to provide any other details in regards to these “holy books”, it seems natural to suspect that he was referring to books recovered from the Temple after its destruction.

In the book, The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, there is a photograph of a seal with the name "Josephus" on it that was supposedly found among other artifacts at Qumran. The authors only comment on the fact that the name is in Greek and make not the slightest suggestion that it could have belonged to Josephus Flavius. This strikes me as incredible. A possible connection between the seal and Josephus Flavius should certainly be discussed even if there is other evidence that indicates there is no link. What sane historian could completely ignore such an obvious link? When I searched the internet for some discussion of this seal, I found only the suggestion that it was part of John Allegro’s private collection which he presumably picked up while he was excavating at Qumran.

Let’s attempt to put ourselves in Josephus’ position. Suppose that the Temple library contained a couple thousand texts and other lesser libraries existed at religious communities such as Qumran. Josephus’ failure to clearly identify which holy books he was allowed to take could easily be interpreted to mean that he was given a blanket authority to collect whatever holy books he could find. As Josephus planned his move to Rome after the revolt had ended, what would he do with his large collection? He would probably do what any reasonable person would do. He would sort through it and keep only the texts that were of value to him. The rest he would leave behind, perhaps in the belief that they could someday form the nucleus of a new library. If there were texts found at Qumran that would not seem appropriate for the Temple library, then they can easily be explained as belonging to the original Qumran library or some other lesser library.

So, if my idea that Josephus buried the Dead Sea Scrolls seems reasonable, does anyone want to venture a guess as to why it is being suppressed? Could it have anything to do with “Liberius Maximus”?

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 Certainly it is a possibility. One thing I might mention that always got my attention. Josephus took on the Flavius name and later was granted Roman citizenship. He was highly trusted by Rome. Flavius was a Roman family name of emperors and was even used by Constantine. Josephus knew all about Jewish prophesy and sacred writings and this is what first got the attention of the Romans about him. Thus, we see a Flavius connection through Vespasian, Titus, and right on to Constantine. This might be where the bible originally came from. A writer of antiquities hiding and preserving the books that wouldn't fit while Constantine had others hack out the "66 book mastepiece" as he declared Christianity the official religion.

I think most atheists would agree that something odd was occurring during the 1st Century and the fact that two key sources for the history of that time period have names suggestive of "silence"-Tacitus and Tranquillus-should make us look at everything with suspicion.   Could Josephus have used his influence with the Flavians to censor his contemporaries?  (The name Flavius comes from the Latin "flavus" which means "golden" and we all know that "silence is golden".)  If this seems to be silly speculation to you, then you should read Plato's Cratylus which includes a discussion of the "correctness of names" and where it is also noted that "demons" are called that because they are "daemones" (knowing or wise).  If demons are in fact those that are knowing or wise, then what was Christ's true purpose when he cast them out?  (Note what this implies about the true nature of "good" and "evil".)

Also, in the Gnostic work The Tripartite Tractate it is said that “(Baptism) is called ‘silence’ because of the quiet and the tranquility.”  Could this mean that Tacitus and Tranquillus were baptizers?  Remember that at the time that Christ supposedly walked the earth, Philo was admitting that the Books of Moses were allegory.  Christ himself was portrayed as employing numerous parables apparently in the same way as the Sophist Protagoras:

“In the name of the Graces, what an almighty wise man Protagoras must have been! He spoke these things in a parable to the common herd, like you and me, but told the truth, his Truth, in secret to his own disciples.”  (From Plato's Theaetetus)

Where were the lines drawn?  Were the parables the only parts of the Gospels that had hidden meaning or could they be entirely allegorical with occasional allusions (or parallels) to provide context?  If atheists ever wonder about the true nature of religion, the clues are everywhere; they just need to recognize them. 


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