This is the follow-up work to Prof. Eisenman’s Maccabees, Zadokites, Christians, and Qumran: A New Hypothesis of Qumran Origins, in which he attempts to prove in a case-by-case manner some of the hypotheses he suggested in that original ground-breaking work.E.J. Brill Leiden, 1986.
“Both works turn out to be, surprisingly enough, just about exactly the same number of pages and what Prof. Eisenman does in this short volume is to go through what is known by scholars as “The Habakkuk Pesher” and laymen, “The Habakkuk Commentary” – “Pesher” in Hebrew having the same sense as “Commentary” in English – in a line-by-line, passage-by-passage fashion; and meticulously set forth just how they can relate to known events, ideas, and happenstances known from and associated with the life of James or as all Early Christian accounts would have it: “James the Just” (the cognomen, “the Just One” of course, being at all times all-important) or “James the Zaddik.””
“As everyone knows, he has expanded this in two 1000+ page books since: James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls (1997-98) and The New Testament Code: The Cup of the Lord, the Damascus Covenant, and the Blood of Christ (2006) and two shorter ones: James the Brother of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls I and II (2012 and 2013); but these two initial volumes represent his first forays into this territory. Once again, despite the impression by a few critics, who try make light of or marginalize his theories or scholarship (as if they could produce anything better); as in MZCQ, he absolutely distinguishes between “the Spouter of Lies” or “Lying” (the so-called “Liar” or “Scoffer” – for Eisenman, a more accurate translation of this last being “the Jester”) and “the Wicked Priest”; and this dichotomy has withstood the test of time and initiated a host of imitators.”
“Not only does he make it clear – despite some simplistic “Consensus” theorizing – that these two are utterly different; but, in doing so, he absolutely confirms through internal analysis a First Century CE date for principal Qumran original Documents (called by so-called ‘consensus scholars’, “Sectarian”), a position he already basically set forth in MZCQ. The first, of course, is an internal ideological Adversary of the hero of the Scrolls, “the Righteous Teacher” – “the Liar” who “denied the Law in the midst of their entire Congregation” – the second, the present Establishment High Priest and this, definitively not a “Maccabean” but the reigning “Herodian” one.”
It is he who is responsible for the death or destruction of “the Righteous Teacher” and some of those with him – called revealingly “the Poor” – “the Ebionim” in the Hebrew of the Scrolls and very probably equivalent to “the Ebionites” of Early Church History about whom Eusebius in the 4th Century is so contemptuous and scathing of. These and many other things are meticulously delineated in this, Eisenman’s first foray into a line-by-line decipherment of the Habakkuk Pesher – having already dealt definitively and in detail with the twin issues of Archaeology and Paleography in MZCQ preceding it. Both of these very-hard-to-acquire books will not, it is hoped, disappoint, Prof. Eisenman’s many admirers.”