|"The Pierced Messiah Text"|The War of the Messiah
is a series of Dead Sea scroll fragments describing the conclusion of a battle led by the Leader of the Congregation. The fragments that make up this document include 4Q285, also known as The Pierced Messiah Text, and 11Q14 with which it was found to coincide.
Dead Sea scrolls/4Q285Thanks to a questioning reader prompting me to research further the subject of messianic Judaism in the first century CE, I think that I've found both the particular casus belli for Chrestians and the manuscript trail from Chrestians in the first century, to the authorship of the first gospel account.If you Google 'messianic Judaism' then you are likely to be presented with Jews and Judaism in modern times, but this is not what we need to understand the end of Second Temple Judaism and the rise of Chrestianity. Well, I've searched a number of times over the years and only now (is my ignorance revealed and) do I think we have artefactual evidences to answer both questions.My notes are available here: Qumran messiahMost of the scholarly arguments on this do not yet concern me or the history I'm writing, so fortunately, we can take a simple approach.The Poor community at Qumran were, according the War Scroll, expecting war with the Herodian monarchy and Rome; the Jews were to be led by one or more messiahs.
The Pierced Messiah Text (4Q285)This is what frightened the Greco-Roman elite across the eastern empire, the heartland of Chrestianity in the early period of the modern era.Josephus describes Saul's attacks on The Poor. John and James suffered extra-judicial killing by the Herodian monarchy; killing the messiah was a logical step for the Chrestians.This piece (in the Qumran messiah folder) BAR articles on the Pierced/Piercing Messiah Text (4Q285), describes some of the arguments. However, I am more concerned with how The Poor held a view of the messiah different in an important regard from the later portrayal of the messiah.What we have is a textual record of how Chrestians perverted, parodied even, the Qumran messiah.I have made comments here: Chrestian editors of BaruchThe gospel account - Q or otherwise - emerged from this.I suggest that using the fall of Jerusalem to set the textual date may be wrong, for its total destruction was byAquila, as he built Aelia Capitolina for Hadrian. The gospel literature post-dates Hadrian. Baruch (with its alterations) is the literary link; extracts from Chrestian editors of Baruch:
This six-line fragment, commonly referred to as the "Pierced Messiah" text, is written in a Herodian script of the first half of the 1st Century and refers to the "stump of Jesse"—the Messiah—from the Branch of David, to a judgement, killing, and cleansing of the land of the dead by the Messiah's soldiers
- The War of the Messiah
That the first part of the book was originally written in Hebrew is probable...
Date and Authorship.
Baruch borrows from Daniel; the hypothesis that Daniel borrows from Baruch or that both draw from earlier material being less satisfactory. Here, however, a difficulty is encountered. In ii. 26 the Temple is said to be in ruins—a statement which accords with two periods only, those of the Chaldean and the Roman conquests. As the former period is out of the question, certain scholars, such as Kneucker, for example, assign this part of the book to a time later than the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. It is difficult, however, to reconcile with such a date the view of the dead given in ii. 17, where it is said that those whose spirits have been taken from their bodies will not ascribe honor and righteousness to the Lord. This statement is in accordance with the Old-Hebrew conception of the life in Sheol, which can scarcely have been current after the year 70 of the common era.
Date of First Part
Some recent writers see in the names of the two Babylonian princes an allusion to Vespasian and Titus, which is a plausible assumption if ii. 26a be retained. The date given in i. 2, the "fifth year," is obscure; it may mean the fifth year after the fall of Jerusalem (B.C. 581), or, more probably, may be taken from Ezekiel, whose epoch is the fifth year of Jehoiachin's captivity (B.C. 592). But there is no reason for supposing (as, for example, from Jer. xxix. and li.) that Baruch was ever in Babylon. Though there are difficulties in any hypothesis, it seems probable, upon the whole, that the first part of Baruch is composed of two confessions, which an editor in the Maccabean time combined, prefixing the statement about Baruch.
Date of Second Part.
Kneucker, Marshall, and several other recent critics, however, place its composition after the capture of Jerusalem by Titus, holding that the "strange nation" of iv. 3 ("give not thine honor . . . to a strange nation") refers to the Christians, and relates to a time when the antagonism between Judaism and Christianity had become pronounced. While this is possible, the expression may also be understood to allude to the antagonism between Judaism and Hellenism in the second century B.C. The verse iii. 37 ("afterward did he [or it] show himself [or itself] upon earth and converse with men"), which was much quoted by early Christian writers, interrupts the connection and is undoubtedly a Christian interpolation.
The second poem (iv. 5-v. 9) belongs to the same general period as the first. It is divided into a number of strophes, each beginning with the words "Be of good cheer." The people, scattered and afflicted, are exhorted to trust in God; and Jerusalem, mourning over her children, is urged to take courage. The picture accords either with the late Maccabean period or with the time soon after the Roman capture of Jerusalem.
It was, however, accepted by the Alexandrian Jews as a work of edification; and through the medium of the Septuagint it passed into the hands of the Christians
My comments:Winning the war(s) required theological elements, a messiah and resurrection. We already know of Saul attackingThe Poor and then penetrating Qumran; he is also the agent of Helen of Adiabene in providing grain to a starving Judea; we may surmise he helped prevent her full conversion to Judaism; his fakery is later described in parody as his conversion on the road to Damascus. Though he didn't know either the IS Chrest of the original texts, nor the laterJesus Christ, he sure knew the messiah at Qumran. He is the logical source for providing Qumran's texts to his Herodian and Roman masters.Whether or not Chrestians believed any of their mythical and religious nonsense, we cannot know, but they sure knew what The Poor believed and they knew how to parody that.
relates to a time when the antagonism between Judaism and Christianity had become pronounced
That is, between Judaism and Chrestianity.
accepted by the Alexandrian Jews as a work of edification; and through the medium of the Septuagint it passed into the hands of the Christians
These Alexandrian Jews who passed it on to the Christians – i.e. Chrestians – are likely to have been either the family of the alabarch, or their followers.