Chapter 7: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gospel of Barn p2

"It (Pesher Habakkuk) describes the struggle between the Teacher of Righteousness and his opponents - the Man of Lies (also termed the Spouter or Preacher of Lies) and the Wicked Priest. The Spouter is pictured as heading a community. The dispute between the teacher and the Spouter is seems to have been based on matters of religious interpretation and law. The wicked priest is said to have begun his rule in truth but then to have abandoned the way of truth. He then persecutes the Teacher, confronting him on the holiest day of the year, the Day of Atonement."

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, p. 228

This prophesy continues in Pesher Psalms:

"This text also mentions the familiar dramatis personae: the Teacher of Righteousness, termed 'the priest'; the wicked priest; and the Man of Lies. The Wicked Priest persecuted the Teacher and sought to kill him. The man of lies lead people astray".

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, p. 229

In Pesher Psalms A 1 III 15-16 we read

"Its interpretation (Psalms 37:23) refers to the priest, the Teacher of Righteousness whom God promised would arise, for He (God) prepared (i.e., predestined) him (the teacher) to build for Him a congregation".

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, p. 120

What we begin to see in all of this is the story of the coming of Jesus (pbuh), his selection of Judas as one of the apostles, the deviance of Judas from the truth, how a sect of the Jews persecuted Jesus (pbuh), how this sect tried to deceive the masses and differed with Jesus (pbuh) regarding the truth of God's message, and finally, how they schemed with Judas to kill Jesus (pbuh). The Teacher of Righteousness is thus a reference to Jesus (pbuh); the "priestly" messiah. The Wicked Priest is a reference to Judas, and the Spouter of Lies is most likely the leader of the "chief priests and Pharisees" who persecuted Jesus (pbuh) and are mentioned so often in the Bible, or it may be a reference to Paul himself.

Many Christian scholars have snatched up these prophesies in order to prove the validity of their claim that Jesus (pbuh) was indeed sent by God and that the Jews are required to follow him. However, they have been thwarted in their attempts by one other quite amazing piece of evidence that the Jews continually manage to refute their claims with, specifically, that the Dead Sea Scrolls claim that the first messiah will be persecuted and that the Wicked Priest will try to kill him, but that the Wicked Priest will not be successful and that it is he who will receive the fate he wished for the messiah.

"The Wicked Priest went so far as to lie in ambush for the Teacher of Righteousness. In interpreting Psalms 37:32, "The Wicked watches for the righteous, seeking to put him to death," the text states: 'Its interpretation concerns the Wicked Priest who watched out for the Teacher of Righteousness and sought to put him to death' Pesher Psalms A 1-10 IV 8-9"

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, p. 233

So Judas will try to kill Jesus (pbuh).

In Pesher Habakkuk 11:4-8 we read

"Its interpretation (Habakkuk 2:15) concerns the Wicked Priest, who pursued the Teacher of Righteousness to swallow him up with his wrathful anger to the place of his exile. And at the time of the day of rest of the Day of Atonement, he (the Wicked Priest) appeared before them to swallow them up and to make them stumble on the day of the fast of their abstention from work."

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, p. 120

"The Wicked Priest began his career with the support of the sectarians, but he quickly lost his way and began to transgress in order to increase his wealth".

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, p. 233

Remember Matthew 26:15

"And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver".

"Various theories have sought to identify the Teacher with Jesus, claiming that he was executed by the Wicked Priest. Had that been the case, the text would not have gone on to explain how God took vengeance against the priest by turning him over to the 'ruthless ones of the nations'. And according to this text, the teacher certainly survived the ambush. Indeed the entire passage is an interpretation of Psalms where the text continues, "The Lord will not abandon him (the Righteous), into his hand (the Wicked); He will not let him (the Righteous) be condemned in judgment (by the wicked)."

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, pp. 233-234

The author goes on to quote Pesher Habakkuk with regard to the Wicked Priest's intentions and his punishment. He says:

"Ultimately, however, the Wicked Priest was punished: '.. because of his transgression against the Teacher of Righteousness and the men of his council, God gave him over to the hands of his enemies to afflict him with disease so as to destroy him with mortal suffering because he had acted wickedly against His chosen one'. The Wicked Priest's enemies tortured him which represents divine punishment for his attacks on the Teacher of Righteousness. The sufferings of the Wicked Priest are even more graphically described in another passage: 'and all his enemies arose and abused him in order for his suffering to be fit punishment for his evil. And they inflicted upon him horrible diseases, and acts of vengeance in the flesh of his body'. The one who suffered was the Wicked Priest, not the Teacher of Righteousness. The enemies of the Wicked Priest, the nation against whom he had made war, are said to have tortured him, so that his life ended in mortal disease and affliction."

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, p. 234

Pesher Habakkuk 9:9-10 reads:

"Its interpretation (Habakkuk 2:8) concerns the Wicked Priest, who, because of (his) transgression against the Teacher of Righteousness and the men of his council, God handed over into the hands of his enemies to afflict him..."

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, p. 119

If we were to read the Gospel of Barnabas, we would find that when Judas came with the Roman troops in order to betray Jesus (pbuh), God raised Jesus (pbuh) unto Him and saved him. He then made Judas look and even speak like Jesus (pbuh) so that the Romans dragged Judas away with them kicking and screaming that he was not Jesus (pbuh) but Judas. Even the apostles were totally bewildered.

After the Romans had their fill afflicting Judas with all manner of abuse and torture, he was finally taken to trial. He was asked many times whether he was Jesus (pbuh) and each time he replied that he was not Jesus but Judas and that Jesus had utilized his black magic in order to alter his form and make him resemble Jesus. Of course, no one believed him. The most his pleas succeeded in doing was to convince some that Jesus was a lunatic. This turn of events appears to be supported by the New Testament where we find that whenever Jesus was asked, "art thou Jesus?" He would reply "Thou sayest"(Matthew 27:11, Mark 15:2). This would be a completely logical response if he was not Jesus but Judas and he had been abused, ridiculed and mocked to the point that he had given up all hope of being believed. In other words, what Judas meant by "thou sayest" was, "you will not believe me if I say otherwise, so why fight it any more."

Judas' enemies (the Romans) then took him and resumed their abuse. They mocked him, kicked him, cut him, spat on him, humiliated him, and tortured him. Finally, they put him up on the cross. It appears, however, that shortly after they took him down, he disappeared from his tomb (perhaps to live in disease and torment and die later on if he was not already dead). The Gospel of Barnabas then goes on to describe how Jesus (pbuh) returned to the apostles to tell them of how God had saved him from the hands of the Jews and the Romans, raised him up into heaven, and how the traitor (Judas) was taken instead.

Once again this chain of events appears to be supported by the New Testament where we find that uncertainty regarding the fate of Judas has resulted in contradicting narrations in it's different books. For example, in Matthew 27:5 Judas is depicted as having felt severe remorse, handed over his blood money to the custodians of the great Temple, and then gone out and hung himself out of shame and remorse. However, in Acts 1:19 far from displaying remorse, Judas is depicted as having purchased a field with his ill gotten gains and then one day while he was out walking he tripped, fell down, and his internal organs burst out. In this manner, divine justice took vengeance against the traitor.

Conservative scholars have tried to harmonize these two conflicting narrations for centuries now, trying to make sense of how in one place it is Judas who purchased the field himself, and in the other it is the chief priests who purchased it. Similarly, in one place Judas died by hanging himself, and in the other he triped and his bowels gush out. In one he was remorseful and in the other he displayed no signs of remorse. As a partial solution to this dilemma, some conservative scholars have suggested that Judas hung himself, the rope broke, he fell down and then his bowels gushed out. In other words, they have taken two contradictory accounts, added in additional details found in neither one, and then come up with a completely new account supported by neither.

As mentioned previously, it is quite possible that the elusive Q document which Christian scholars believe to be the source document for the first three Gospels, (Matthew, Mark and Luke) is indeed the Gospel of Barnabas. This Gospel, once again, appears to have had a strong influence on our current day New Testament, however, the denial of Judas has now taken on various new forms, for example:

In one (Matthew 26:64), Jesus is taken before the high priest who commands him to answer "whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus replies: "Thou has said."

In the next Gospel (Mark 14:61), Jesus is asked the question by the High Priest but this time he is depicted as having answered it directly and courageously. In this version, Jesus affirms "I am…"

However, In Luke 22:67, Jesus now returns to the original "thou sayest" position, albeit with different words. In this version he says: "If I tell you, ye will not believe" Once again, confirming the narration of the Gospel of Barnabas.

Further evidence in support of my assertion that Q may in fact be the Gospel of Barnabas is the fact that the final (Non-Synoptic) Gospel, that of John, contains no mention of the High Priest's question or Jesus' claimed reply. In the Johnine version (John 18:19-23), the questions and answers are quite different than the first three Gospels. The author of the Gospel of Mark appears to have modified the original response in order to depict Jesus as fearlessly answering their questions directly, and heroically standing his ground welcoming their persecution with open arms. On the other hand the other two (Matthew and Luke) still retain the original text reflecting Judas' frustration in the face of the persecution he had intended for his master.

For 1400 years now the Qur'an has been telling us that Jesus (pbuh) was not forsaken by God to be killed by the conspiracy of the Jews and Judas but that "it was made to appear so unto them." Although we as Muslims may never know for certain the details of how this transpired since the Qur'an does not give us these details, still, we read:

"But when Jesus became conscious of their disbelief, he cried: Who will be my helpers in the cause of Allah? The disciples said: We will be Allah's helpers. We believe in Allah, and bear you witness that we have surrendered (unto Him). Our Lord! We believe in that which You have revealed and we follow him whom You have sent. Enroll us among those who witness (to the truth). And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers"

The noble Qur'an, A'l-Umran(3):52-54.

"And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger, and they slew him not nor crucified, but a similitude of that was shown unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save the pursuit of conjecture; for of a surety they slew him not"

The noble Qur'an, Al-Nissa(4):157

Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of David and Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and were ever transgressing. They used not to forbid one another from the evil which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do. You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their protectors and helpers. Evil indeed is that which their ownselves have sent forward before them, for that (reason) Allah's Wrath fell upon them and in torment they will abide. And had they believed in Allah, and in the Prophet (Muhammad, pbuh) and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them (the disbelievers) as protectors and helpers, but many of them are the rebellious, the disobedient to Allah. Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) the Jews and the polythiests, and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: "We are Christians." That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud. And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger (Muhammad, pbuh), you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised. They say: "Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses. "And why should we not believe in Allah and in that which has come to us of the truth? And we wish that our Lord will admit us (in Paradise) along with the righteous people. So because of what they said, Allah rewarded them Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise), they will abide therein forever. Such is the reward of good­doers. But those who disbelieved and belied Our signs they shall be the dwellers of the (Hell) Fire.

The noble Qur'an, Al-Maidah(5): 78-86

The scrolls then go on to describe how "Kittim" (the Roman empire) and the kings of Greece would both try to take Jerusalem (the symbol of the faithful), but that it would be Kittim (the Romans) who would finally be successful. Remember how in chapter one we described the stages of how the Roman empire eventually took control of the whole Christian religion and "protected" it and "spread" it after it was "clarified" and it's doctrines established and preserved through Greek philosophy and writing?

"Some texts also speak about an eschatological prophet who will announce the coming of the messiah, a figure similar to Elijah in the rabinnic tradition"

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, p. 323

Once again, please read section 6.1 where it is made abundantly clear that not only were the Jews expecting a prophet to "clear the way" for Jesus (pbuh) and "announce" him (this was John the Baptist), but they also expected a second messiah to come after Jesus (pbuh).

Referring to the manuscript titled The Rule of the Community, verse 9:11-12, Mr. Schiffman says:

"this text unquestionably refers to two messiahs, Dual Messiah prophesy who will be announced by an eschatological prophet. Based on a the cave 4 manuscripts of Rule of the Community, the original publication team argued that this passage was added to the text later in the history of the sect. However, the evidence in these manuscripts does not sufficiently support such an assertion. As far as we can tell, the two-messiah concept was part of Rule of the Community from the time it was composed".

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Lawrence H. Schiffman, p. 324

"Until the coming of the Prophet and both the priestly and the lay Messiahs, these men are not to depart from the clear intent of the law to walk in any way in the stubbornness of their own hearts. They shall judge by the original laws in which the community was schooled from the beginning"

Manual of Discipline 9:8-11 (The Dead Sea Scrolls and Gospel of Barnabas)

"And these, in specific form, are the regulations which they are to follow throughout the Era of Wickedness, until the priestly and lay Messiahs enter upon their office expiate and expiates their inequities"

Zadokite Document 14:18 (The Dead Sea Scrolls and Gospel of Barnabas)

Mr M. A. Yusseff relates in his book:

"In the late second century, as the Memoirs of Hegesippus says, a man was found collecting traditions about the life and ministry of Jesus from the Nazarenes and Christians in order to write a general ecclesiastical history. Whatever was the nature of such an ecclesiastical history, one thing can be said for sure that the traditions carried prophesies about the Messiah who was to come after Jesus. So pervasive was their presence in the ecclesiastical literature that even the Nicolaitans Church of Rome retained them, though in a distorted from"

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospel of Barnabas, and the New Testament, M. A. Yusseff, p. 109

To see how the Jews recognized these prophesies and indeed acted upon them in anticipation of the arrival of their final Messiah in Arabia, please read chapter 10.

"And when there came unto them (the Jews) a Scripture from Allah, confirming that in their possession though before that they were invoking Allah (for the coming of Muhammad, the last Messiah) in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved, then when there came unto them that which they had recognized, they disbelieved in it. So let the curse of Allah be on the disbelievers"

The noble Qur'an, Al-Baqarah(2):89

The Dead Sea Scrolls make mention of many more quite amazing and illuminating prophesies and parallels with the teachings of the Qur'an and Islam. There are also many parallels with the historical series of events presented in this book, such as the reference to the "seekers of smooth things" (simplifying the law of the religion) which sound amazingly similar to the description of Paul and his followers who "simplified" the religion of Jesus after his departure and removed all obligation from it all the while claiming that his authority came directly from "visions" of Jesus (pbuh). He is even quoted, while preaching this removal of obligation and the law, as saying

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ"

2 Corinthians 11:3 (also see 2 Corinthians 1:12, Romans 3:28, etc.)

"When the prayer was ended, the priest said with a loud voice: 'Stay Jesus, for we need to know who you are, for the quieting of our nation.' Jesus answered 'I am Jesus son of Mary, of the seed of David, a man who is mortal and fears God, and I seek that God be given honor and glory.' The priest answered, 'In the book of moses it is written that our God must send us the Messiah, who shall come to announce to us that which God willed, and shall bring to the world His mercy. Therefore, I pray, tell us the truth, are you the Messiah of God whom we expect?' Jesus answered 'It is true that God has so promised, but indeed I am not he, for he was made before me, and shall come after me.' The priest answered, 'By your words and signs at any rate we believe you to be a prophet and a holy one of God. I pray in the name of all Judea and Israel that you, for love of God, should tell us how the Messiah will come.' Jesus answered, 'As God lives, in whose presence my soul stands, I am not the Messiah whom all of the tribes of the earth expect, even as God promised to our father Abraham saying: "In your seed will I bless all of the tribes of the earth" But when God shall take me away from the world, Satan will raise again this accursed sedition, by making the impious believe that I am God the Son of God. At such time, my words and my doctrine shall be contaminated so much that scarcely shall there remain thirty faithful ones. At that time, God will have mercy upon the world and will send his messenger for whom He has made all things. He shall come from the South with power and shall destroy the idols and the idolaters. He shall take away the dominion which Satan has over men. He shall bring with him the mercy of God for salvation of those who shall believe in his words'"

The Gospel of Barnabas, 96

"Then the disciples wept after this discourse, and Jesus was also weeping, and when they saw many who came to find him, for the chief of priests took council among themselves to catch him in his talk. They sent the Levites and some of the scribes to question him, saying, 'Who are you?' Jesus confessed and said the truth, 'I am not the Messiah.' They said, 'Are you Elijah or Jeremiah, or any of the other ancient prophets?' Jesus answered 'No' Then they said, 'Who are you? Say, in order that we may give testimony to those who sent us.' Then said Jesus, 'I am a voice that cries through all Judea, and cries, "Prepare you the way for the messenger of the Lord," even as it is written in Esaias.' They said, 'If you are not the Messiah or Elijah, or any prophet, why do you preach new doctrine, and make yourself more important than the Messiah?' Jesus answered, 'The miracles which God works by my hands show that I speak that which God wills; nor do I make myself to be accounted as him of whom you speak. For I am not worthy to loosen the shoe straps of the messenger of God whom you call "Messiah," who was made before me, and shall come after me. And shall bring the words of truth, so that his faith shall have no end.' The Levites and the scribes departed in confusion, and recounted to the chiefs of the priests, who said, 'He has the devil on his back who recounted all to him'"

The Gospel of Barnabas, 42

Mr. Yusseff says:

"In sir Godfrey Higgins' notable work Anacalypsis, we are told that in the book of Haggi, the name of the Messiah who was to come after Jesus appears in chapter two, verse seven: 'And the desire of all nations shall come' Here the Hebrew word HMD* [translated as 'desire'], from the Hebrew text appears in Sir Higgins' work with the following explanation of the root word HMD. 'From this root,' (says Parkhurst,) 'The pretended prophet Mohammed, or Mahomet, had his name.' Sir Higgins says, 'Here Mohammed' is expressly foretold by Haggi, and by name; there is no interpolation here. There is no evading this clear text and it's meaning, as it appeared to the mind of the most unwilling of witnesses, Parkhurst, and a competent judge too when he happened to not be warped by prejudice. He does not suppress his opinion here, as he did in the Wisdom of the Jerusalem Targum, because he had no object to serve; he did not see to what this truth would lead."

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gospel of Barnabas, and the New Testament, M. A. Yusseff, pp. 110-111

Other Ancient Religions and Scriptures:

There is much more that could be said about the Dead Sea Scrolls and their confirmation of the Qur'an and the mission of Muhammad (pbuh), however, that will have to be left to a future book where, God willing, many more examples of this sort shall be analyzed in detail. However, before closing this topic, I would like to pose the following question: Are the Gospel of Barnabas and the Dead Sea Scrolls the only two ancient scriptures that prophesy the coming of a final messenger of God from Arabia? This was a question that I wrestled with for some time. Muslims are told that Allah Almighty had been sending messengers since the beginning of time to all of the nations of earth. They are also told that each one of these messengers had prophesied to their followers a number of matters, among them the coming of the "last messenger" and also the coming of the "false Christ" (whom Muhammad too warned his people of). A brief study of other ancient scriptures available today has lead me to the conclusion that it is indeed the case that many of these religions, no matter their current state, appear to have at one point in time began their life with a true messenger of God and that this messenger of God prophesied the coming of Muhammad (pbuh). Although I have not yet had sufficient opportunity to research this matter appropriately, still, the initial indications appear to support this assertion. Two very brief examples follow:

Example one: The Farsi (Parsi) religion is one of the oldest known religions of mankind. It was practiced in Persia for many centuries and consisted mainly of two scriptures: the Dasatir and the Zand Avasta. In Dasatir 14 (Sasan11) we can find a very clear prophesy of Muhammad (pbuh):

"When the Persians should sink so low in morality, a man will be born in Arabia whose followers will upset their throne, religion and everything. The mighty stiff-necked ones of Persia will be overpowered. The house which was built (The Kaaba in Makkah built by prophet Abraham) and in which many idols have been placed will be purged of idols, and people will say their prayers facing towards it. His followers will capture the towns of Parsis and Taus and Balkh and other big places round about. People will embroil with one another. The wise men of Persia and others will join his followers."

This prophesy requires no interpretation. It is an exact description of matters that we now recognize as historical fact (see end of chapter 10).

Example two: In the Hindu scriptures too there is what appears to be a clear prophesy of Muhammad (pbuh). In Bhavishya Purana he is actually mentioned by name:

"Just an illiterate man with the epithet Teacher, Muhammad by name, came along with his companions. Raja (Bhoja in a vision) to that Great Diva, that denizen of Arabia, purifying with the Ganges water and with the five things of cow offered sandal wood and pay worship to him. O denizen of Arabia and Lord of the holies, to thee is my adoration. O thou who hast found many ways and means to destroy the devils of the world. O pure one from among the illiterates, O sinless one, the spirit of the truth and absolute master, to thee is my adoration. Accept me at thy feet"

Bhavishya Purna Parv 3, Khand 3, Adhya 3, Shalok 5-8

For those who wish to see more, you are encouraged to obtain a copy of the book "The Bible's Last Prophet," by Faisal Siddiqui, Al-Saadawi Publications.

Lawrence Schiffman says regarding Pesher Habakkuk:


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