In this first volume of collected essays on ancient Judaism Flusser examines the influence of apocalypticism on various Jewish sects. He states that the teachings of Jesus, while reflecting first and foremost the views of the sages, were also influenced by Jewish apocalypticism. Examining the Essenes, their effect on Hebrew language, the split of sects, and much more, Flusser's collected essays offer an important source of study for any Dead Sea Scrolls scholar.
“In the course of investigation it has, moreover, become apparent that Josephus is a more accurate witness than Philo in all matters Essene.” (Page xi)
“ Thus, the division into two hostile groups was determined prior to the creation of the world.” (Page 2)
“The discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls, whose authors were apparently the Essenes, has generated many new insights into different areas of the study of ancient Judaism, and will undoubtedly continue to do so.” (Page 1)
“The teachings of the sect—of at least some of them—were esoteric, and never intended for Israel as a whole” (Pages 2–3)
“do not contain any principled opposition to matter as such” (Page 284)
David Flusser taught Judaism in the Second Temple Period and Early Christianity at the Department of Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He published extensively on the New Testament and its Jewish background and the early Church, and is renowned worldwide for his pioneering research. He was the recipient of the Israel Prize in 1980.