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Customer Review

on 5 July 2001
I started reading this book when I went to bed at 11pm and it kept me awake till 4am. I could barely believe what I was reading. Every few pages I would groan and think how could this have been allowed to happen. One of the most important discoveries of early judaeo/christian material found for centuries and they let it slip into the hands of the clergy. Talk about putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Then at about 4am I decided to check the publishing date which was 1992 so then I wondered if my indignation was out of date. According to the postscript this seems to be the case because the material was released at the time the book went into publishing. This must have been rather galling to the authors but at least they should be credited with helping to bring pressure to bear on the proper authorities. Parts I and II rail at length at the international team originally charged with the research into the scrolls. Part III is very different and draws a lot from R H Eisenman's books in which they venture their analysis on whom the Qumran community really were. It certainly contains some fascinating allegations. It's a strange book. I'm not sure I can really recommend it because things have moved on since parts I and II were written. Part III contains a lot of interesting stuff but the authors themselves seem to imply that you should R H Eisenman's books on the subject. On the other hand it is a gripping read, has another interesting approach into the birth of Christianity and has a good dig at the Catholic church.
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3.9 out of 5 stars