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The Teacher of Righteousness of the Dead Sea Scrolls

41The Review of Religions – July 2006 Introduction The central figure of the Dead Sea Scrolls, who is talked about or quoted therein time and again, is a person referred to as the ‘Teacher of Righteousness’. It appears that after a serious attempt on his life, his identity was concealed for his security. The secrecy maintained about him also suggests that he must have been living at the time when the scrolls were written, as otherwise such a precaution would not have been necessary. Scholars hold diverse opinions about his identity. J.L. Teicher thinks that he was Jesus(as), while Barbara Theiring thinks he was John the Baptist(as) and Eisenman prefers James the Just (brother of Jesus(as)). The Righteous Teacher The Righteous Teacher depicted in the scrolls belonged to the House of Israel. He was born fatherless at a time just preceding the start of Christianity. His mother dedicated him to God. He believed in the absolute Unity of God. He claimed to have been sent by God as the Messiah for the Jews and was helped by the Holy Spirit. He interpreted the Torah through God’s guidance and was bitterly opposed by Jewish priests, particularly by their chief referred to as the ‘Wicked Priest’. He was severely persecuted and an attempt was made to kill him, but God saved his life. He was forced to migrate to some distant lands where his voice was heard and his claim accepted. Before leaving his country he prophesied that his opponents, the opponents of Truth, would be punished by God for their iniquities and that his followers would always prevail over those who rejected him. The Teacher of Righteousness of the Dead Sea Scrolls By Khalid Saifullah Khan – Australia 42 The Review of Religions – July 2006 Could the Teacher be Jesus(as)? James was a follower of Jesus(as). How could it be that he was given such high status as to be written about and to have his writings included in the collections of the community in preference to the person he himself followed as a Prophet of God? It is surprising that a scholar like Eisenman should have missed such an important point in developing his theory that the Teacher was James the Just. John the Baptist(as) could also not be the Teacher because his message was different to that of the Qumran community as discussed by Dr Will Varner in his Christian Answers Network. My view that the Righteous Teacher was none other than Jesus(as) is based on the striking resemblance between the two. The well-known French scholar Dupont-Sommer, counts some similarities between the two in his book, The Dead Sea Scrolls, a Preliminary Survey. Though he draws a different conclusion, yet there is no disagreement on the facts quoted in the passage. He writes: The Galilean Master, as he is presented to us in the writings of the New Testament, appears in many respects as an astonishing reincarnation of the Teacher of Righteousness. Like the latter, he preached penitence, poverty, humility and love of one’s chastity. Like him, he prescribed the observance of the Law of Moses, the whole Law, but the Law finished and perfected, thanks to His own revelations. Like him, he was the Elect and the Messiah of God, the Messiah redeemer of the world. Like him, he was the object of the hostility of the priests, the party of the Sadducees. Like him, he was condemned and put to death. Like him, he pronounced judgement on Jerusalem, which was taken and destroyed by the Romans for having put Him to death. Like him, at the end of time, he [(The Teacher) Ed.] will be THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS 43The Review of Religions – July 2006 the supreme judge. Like him, he founded a Church whose adherents fervently awaited his glorious return. In the Christian Church, just as in the Essene Church, the essential rite is the sacred meal, which is presided over by the priests. Here and there, at the head of each community, there is the overseer, the ‘bishop’. And the ideal of both Churches is essentially that of unity, communion in love even going so far as the sharing of common property. (Dead Sea Scrolls, a Preliminary Survey, Dupont- Sommer, p.99-100) It may be noted that according to Dupont-Sommer, the Teacher of Righteousness was condemned and put to death by his enemies. But there are clear passages in the scrolls which say that though an attempt was made on the life of the Teacher, he was saved by God. Edmund Wilson mentions in his book Dead Sea Scrolls 1947-1969 that there is no definite evidence in the Scroll literature that the Teacher of Righteousness was killed. Ahmadiyya Point of View Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) of Qadian, the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, wrote in 1899: ‘Let it be noted that though Christians believe that Jesus (on whom be peace) after his arrest through the betrayal by Judas Iscariot, and crucifixion – went to heaven, yet from the Holy Bible it appears that this belief of theirs is altogether wrong. Matthew 12:40 says that just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so the Son of Man shall be three days and three nights in the bowels of the earth. Now it is clear that Jonah did not die in the belly of the fish, the utmost that happened was that he was in swoon or a fit of fainting. The holy books of God bear witness that Jonah, by the grace of God, remained alive in the belly of the fish, and came out alive, and his people THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS 44 The Review of Religions – July 2006 ultimately accepted him. If then Jesus (on whom be peace) had died in the belly of the earth, what resemblance could there be between a dead man and the one who was alive, and how could a living one be compared with one dead? The truth rather is, that as Jesus(as) was a true prophet and as he knew that God, Whose beloved he was, would save him from an accursed death, he made a prophecy in the form of a parable, revealed to him by God, in which he hinted that he would not die on the Cross, nor would he give up the ghost on the accursed wood; on the contrary, like the prophet Jonah(as), he would only pass through a state of swoon. In the parable he had also hinted that he would come out of the bowels of the earth and would then join the people and, like Jonah, would be honoured by them. So this prophecy was fulfilled; for Jesus(as), coming out of the bowels of the earth, went to his tribes who lived in the eastern countries, Kashmir and Tibet etc. viz. the ten tribes of the Israelites who 721 years before Jesus, had been taken prisoner from Samaria by Shalmaneser, King of Assur, and had been taken away by him. Ultimately, these tribes came to India and settled in various parts of that country. Jesus(as) at all events must have made this journey; for the divine object underlying his advent was that he should meet the lost Jews who had settled in different parts of India; the reason being that these in fact were the lost sheep of Israel who had given up even their ancestral faith in these countries, and most of whom had adopted Buddhism, relapsing gradually into idolatry. Dr. Bernier, on the authority of a number of learned people, states in his ‘Travels’ that the Kashmiris in reality are Jews who in the time of the dispersal in the days of the King of Assur had migrated to this country.’ (Jesus in India, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Qadian, India 1899, pp. 22-23) THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS 45The Review of Religions – July 2006 The Promised Messiah(as) went on to make the following observation: ‘We have no alternative, therefore, than to acknowledge in this connection that God had willed – it had been destined by Him – that this bright weapon and this truth- revealing proof which destroys the belief about the Cross, should be explained to the world by the Promised Messiah; for the Holy Prophet(saw) had prophesied that the faith of the Cross shall not decline nor shall its progress be arrested until the Promised Messiah appears in the world. It was the Promised Messiah at whose hands was to be brought about the ‘Breaking of the Cross’. The hint in the prophecy was that in the time of the Promised Messiah, God would bring about circumstances which would lay bare the truth about the Crucifixion.’ (Jesus in India, pp.60-61) Before proceeding to quote passages from the Scrolls which support the above-mentioned description of the Teacher of Righteousness, let us begin with some background to the Scrolls. Who wrote the Scrolls Dr Will Varner, Professor of the Old Testament at Master’s College, Israel says: ‘After six seasons of intensive excavation, the scholars were sure beyond any reasonable doubt that the scrolls found their origin in the community which flourished between 125 BC and AD 68. The scrolls had been stored in haste in the caves as the community fled the encroaching Roman army, which was in Judea to put down the Jewish Revolt of AD 66-70… The contents of the Dead Sea Scrolls indicate that their authors were a group of priests and laymen pursuing a communal life of strict dedication to God. Their leader was called the ‘Righteous Teacher’. They THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS 46 The Review of Religions – July 2006 viewed themselves as the only true Elect of Israel; they alone were faithful to the Law. They opposed the ‘Wicked Priest’, the Jewish High Priest in Jerusalem who represented the establishment and who had persecuted them in some way. … Most scholars have identified the Qumran brotherhood with the Essenes, a Jewish sect of Jesus’ day described by Josephus and Philo.’ (Christian Answers Network) The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in caves near the excavations at Qumran, and there are strong links to the Essenes there, so it is natural to assume that they authored the Scrolls, especially when their views correspond so closely. Dr Barbara Thiering of Sydney University writes in Jesus of the Apocalypse that Jesus’ father Joseph was an Essene and lived by their marriage rules and that the Essenes were the immediate predecessors of Christians. She claims that just like the mainstream Jews, the Essenes were also divided into two parties who despised each other. Dr. Thiering also believes that Jesus(as) did not die on the Cross, but survived it. Similarities between the Scrolls and the New Testament Highlighting a few notable similarities between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament, Prof. Geza Vermes says: ‘…We note (a) fundamental similarities of language, (both in the Scrolls and in the New Testament the faithful are called ‘Sons of Light’’); (b) ideology (both communities considered themselves as the true Israel, governed by twelve leaders, and expected the imminent arrival of the Kingdom of God); (c) attitude to the Bible (both considered their own history as a fulfilment of words of the Prophets).’ (Vermes, p.22) THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS 47The Review of Religions – July 2006 The Teacher of Righteousness founded a new religious community and was persecuted. Prof. Vermes continues: ‘The Teacher and his followers were compelled to withdraw into the desert, where they awaited the impending manifestation of God’s triumph over evil and darkness in the end of days, which had already begun.’ (Vermes, p.3) Some fundamental differences exist between the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls leading to potential modifications to the Bible at the Vatican as reported by Richard Owen of The Times: ‘The Vatican is to abandon decades of secrecy and obstruction to allow changes in the Bible based on revelations in the Dead Sea Scrolls more than half a century after they were discovered. The extent of the changes is expected to be revealed this month but the revised version of the New Jerusalem Bible will take five years to complete … Father Gianluigi Boschi, a Dominican theologian at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and a leading expert on the scrolls, said the recent growth in scroll scholarship, and the publication of previously inaccessible scrolls, meant that some of the changes would be radical…Father Boschi said that the project would link “the whole picture of the origins of Christianity” to the findings at Qumran. He declined to say which of the passages would be modified but he predicted that the changes would be “surprising and innovative…”’ Minor adjustments already have been made to the Jerusalem Bible in the light of the two scroll versions of the Book of Isaiah.’ (The Times reproduced by ‘The Australian’, Sept 12, 2001) HADHRAT MUHAMMAD(SAW) AS ‘ABD SHAKUR’ 48 The Review of Religions – July 2006 The Teacher in the Scrolls The Teacher of Righteousness described himself as fatherless, poor, dedicated (abandoned) to God by his mother, God’s elect (prophet), mortal, (creature of clay) and metaphorically a son of God. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain poems or hymns, which were most likely written by the Teacher of Righteousness himself. Prof. Geza Vermes introduces the poems : ‘Two fundamental themes running through the whole collection are those of salvation and knowledge. The sectary [a member of a sect – Ed] thanks God continually for having been saved from the ‘lot’ of the wicked, and for his gift of insight into the divine mysteries. He, ‘a creature of clay’ has been singled out by his Maker to receive favours of which he feels himself unworthy, and alludes again and again to his frailty and total dependence on God. Whereas some of the Hymns give expression to thoughts and sentiments common to all members of the sect, others particularly nos. 1,2,7-11, appear to refer to the experiences of a Teacher abandoned by his friends and persecuted by his enemies.’ (Vermes, pp.243-244) In the following Hymn (taken from the Thanksgiving Hymn found in Cave 1), the Teacher calls himself fatherless, poor and devoted to the service of God by his mother: ‘I thank Thee (corrected: Blessed art Thou) O lord, for Thou hast not abandoned the fatherless or despised the poor.’ (1QH 9, Vermes, p.268) ‘Until I am old Thou will care for me; for my father knew me not and my mother abandoned me to Thee; for Thou art the father to all the sons of Thy Truth; and as a woman who tenderly loves her babe, so dost Thou rejoice THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS 49The Review of Religions – July 2006 in them, and as a foster father bearing a child in his lap, so carest Thou for all Thy creatures.’ (1QH 14, Vermes, p.284) The Holy Qur’an (Ch.3: Vs.46- 64 and Ch.19: Vs.17-37) also says that Jesus(as) was born without the agency of a father and that from his early childhood his Godliness was obvious. The Teacher believed in the absolute Unity of God as he shows in one of his poems while beseeching God: ‘For Thou art an eternal God; all Thy ways are determined for ever and ever and there is none other beside Thee.’ (1QH 12, Vermes, p.277) ‘Announce and say: Blessed be God, Creator of the heavens by His power, Designer of all their devices by His strength, of the earth by His might.’ (Vermes, p.300) The Qur’an tells about Jesus(as) and describes his advice to his followers, …Surely, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him alone, this is the right path. (Ch.19: V.37) So in all of these passages, it is clear that Jesus(as) worshipped the One True God and was grateful to Him for his salvation and mission. The coming of the ‘Messiah’ The Israelites were expecting a Messiah when Jesus(as) came. Prof. Vermes says: ‘The third figure, “the Prophet”, is mentioned directly, though briefly only once; we are told that his arrival was expected together with that of the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel (1QS ix,11). The whole messianic phrase is absent, however, from all the extant 4Q manuscripts of the Community Rule. Viewed in the context of inter- Testamental Jewish ideas, “the Prophet” was to be either THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS 50 The Review of Religions – July 2006 THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS an Elijah returned as a precursor of the Messiah (Mal. iv, 5; 1 Enoch xc, 31,37; Matth., xi, 13; xvii, 12), or as a divine guide sent to Israel in the final days (1 Mac., iv, 46; xiv, 41; Jn. i, 21), no doubt identical with “the Prophet” promised by God to Moses (“I will raise up for them a Prophet like you… He shall convey all my commands to them”, Deut. xviii,15-18, cf. Acts iii, 22-3; vii, 37).’ (Vermes, pp.86-87) The title given to one of the scrolls is, ‘A Messianic Apocalypse’ i.e. the Messiah’s Revelation, because it contains a prophecy concerning ‘The Messiah’ identified with the arrival of the ‘Kingdom of God’. Introducing the Scroll ‘A Messianic Apocalypse’ (4Q521), Prof. Vermes says: ‘As in the Gospels, healing and resurrection are linked to the idea of the Kingdom of God. Line 12 furnishes the most explicit evidence con- cerning the rising of the dead. Fragment 7, line 6, repeats the same idea, referring to God as ‘He who revives the dead of His people.’ (Vermes, p.391) Prophesying the advent of ‘The Messiah’ (the ‘’New Moses’’ or the ‘Like of Moses’ who was linked with the ‘Kingdom of God’’), the Teacher said: ‘The Heavens will listen to His Messiah and none therein will stray away from commandments of the holy ones…. Over the poor His spirit will hover and will renew the faithful with His power. And He will glorify the pious on the throne of the eternal Kingdom. He who liberates the captives, restores sight to the blind, straightens the bent (Ps. cxlvi, 7-8). And forever I will cleave to the hopeful and in His mercy… And the fruit will not be delayed for anyone. And the Lord will accomplish glorious things which have never been as He. For He will 51The Review of Religions – July 2006 THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS heal the wounded, and revive the dead and bring good news to the poor (Isa. lxi, 1)’…He will lead the uprooted and knowledge… and smoke (?)’ (Vermes, pp.391-392) This prophecy of Jesus(as) is mentioned in the Qur’an as follows: And (call to mind) when Jesus, son of Mary, said, ‘O Children of Israel, surely, I am Allah’s Messenger unto you, fulfilling that which is before me (of the prophecies) of the Torah, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger who will come after me, his name will be Ahmad.’ And when he came to them with clear proofs, they said, ‘This is a manifest sorcery’. (Ch.61: V.7) Reference to the fulfilment of Prophet Moses(as) prophecy is found in the following verse of the Holy Qur’an; Verily, We have sent to you a Messenger, who is a witness over you, even as We sent a Messenger to Pharoah. (Ch.73: V.16) Therefore, the prophecy of Moses (Deut..18:18-19) as well as of Jesus(as) (quoted above), concerning the advent of a ‘Prophet like Moses’ were fulfilled in the person of Prophet Muhammad(sa). Helped by the Holy Spirit In Hymn 15 (formerly 11), the Teacher thanked God for strengthening him with the Holy Spirit. He said: ‘I thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me by Thy strength. Thou hast shed Thy Holy Spirit upon me that I may not stumble.’ (Vermes, p.275). Similarly in Hymn 18 (formerly 14), the Teacher addressing God says: ‘Thou hast upheld me with certain truth, Thou hast delighted me with Thy Holy Spirit and hast opened my 52 The Review of Religions – July 2006 THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS heart till this day.’ (Vermes p.284) The Qur’an also says about Jesus(as): …And to Jesus, son of Mary, We gave manifest Signs, and strengthened him with the Spirit of holiness.’ (Ch.2: V.88) Interpretation of the Law aroused severe opposition The Teacher faced opposition from his people, because he interpreted the Torah through God’s guidance, opposing the views of the common priesthood. He said: ‘These things I know by the wisdom which comes from Thee, for Thou hast unstopped my ears to marvellous mysteries.’ (Vermes, p.254) ‘But to the elect of righteousness Thou hast made me a banner, and a discerning interpreter of wonderful mysteries to try those who practice truth and to test those who love correction. To the interpreters of error I have been an opponent, {but a man of peace} to all those who see true things.’ (Vermes, p.257) God saved him from an attempt on his life In Hymn 13, the Teacher thanks God in the following words: ‘I thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast not abandoned me whilst I sojourned among a people burdened with sin’ … ‘For Thou O God, hast sheltered me from the children of men, and hast hidden Thy Law within me against the time when Thou shouldst reveal Thy salvation to me. For Thou hast not forsaken me in my soul’s distress, and Thou hast heard my cry in the bitterness of my soul; and when I groaned, Thou didst consider my sorrowful complaint. Thou hast preserved the soul of the poor one in the den of lions 53The Review of Religions – July 2006 THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS which sharpened their tongue like a sword. Thou hast closed up their teeth, O God, lest they rend the soul of the poor and needy…. The wicked and fierce have stormed against me with their afflictions; they have pounded my soul all day. But Thou O my God, hast changed the tempest to a breeze; Thou hast delivered the soul of the poor one like [a bird from the net and like] prey from the mouth of lions.’ (Vermes, p.267-268) In Hymn 6, the Teacher thanks God saying: ‘They have cast towards the Pit the life of the man whose mouth Thou hast confirmed, and into whose heart Thou hast put teaching and understanding, that he might open a fountain of knowledge to all men of understanding.’ (Vermes, p.257) In his Hymn 7, the Teacher says: ‘I thank Thee O Lord, for Thou hast placed my soul in the bundle of the living, and hast hedged me about against all the snares of the Pit. Violent men have sought after my life because I have clung to Thy Covenant. For they, an assembly of deceit, and a horde of Belial, know not that my stand is maintained by Thee, and that in Thy mercy Thou wilt save my soul since my steps proceed from Thee…They have themselves fallen in the snares which they laid for my life. But my foot remains upon level ground; apart from their assembly I will bless Thy Name.’ (Vermes, pp.257-258) In Hymn 8, the Teacher thanks God for keeping him under His care and saving his life, by foiling their plan: ‘I thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast fastened Thine eye upon me. Thou hast saved me from the zeal of lying interpreters, and from the congregation of those who seek smooth things. Thou hast redeemed the soul of the poor one whom they planned to destroy by spilling his blood because he served Thee.’ (Vermes, pp.258-259) God had made a New Covenant with the Teacher, in the land of Damascus to which he clung: ‘For they have spoken wrongly against the precepts of righteousness, and have despised the Covenant and the Pact – the New Covenant – which they made in the land of Damascus’ (The Damasus Document, Vermes, p.135) The Qur’an also mentions a Covenant made with Jesus(as) as with other prophets (Ch.33:V.8). The Teacher’s enemies planned that he should die an accursed death on the Cross, but God’s plan was that he (Jesus(as)) should be saved from that death (Ch.3:V.55). The hell of Abadon (eternal hell), from which the Teacher was saved, is the lot of those who die an accursed death, but the Teacher was saved from it and was rather raised to everlasting (spiritual) height by God. The Qur’an attests this by saying: And their saying, “We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”, whereas they slew him not, nor did they crucify him, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified; and those who differ therein are certainly in a state of doubt about it; they have no definitive knowledge thereof, but only follow a conjecture; and they did not convert this conjecture into a certainty. On the contrary, Allah exalted him to Himself. And Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Ch.4: Vs.158-159) The Teacher was banished from his land to a far off land, close to a spring of waters. In Hymn 12 in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Teacher seeks God’s help to accomplish His design, as his enemies have despised and banished him from his land, causing all his friends 54 THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS The Review of Religions – July 2006 and brethren to be driven far from him: ‘I thank Thee O Lord, for Thou hast illumined my face by Thy Covenant… I seek Thee and sure as the dawn Thou appearest as perfect Light to me. Teachers of lies have smoothed Thy people with words, and false prophets have led them astray; they perish without understanding for their works are in folly. For I am despised by them and they have no esteem for me, that Thou mayest manifest Thy might through me. They have banished me from my land like a bird from its nest; all my friends and brethren are driven far from me and hold me for a broken vessel….But Thou O God, dost despise all Belial’s designs; it is Thy purpose that shall be done and the design of Thy heart that shall be established for ever.’ (Vermes, p.263) In another poem (Hymn 18), the Teacher thanks God for providing him shelter in a land of fountains: ‘I thank Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast placed me beside a fountain of streams in an arid land, and close to a spring of waters in a dry land, and besides a watered garden [in a wilderness.]’ (Vermes, p.278) It appears from this poem that the Teacher was forced by his enemy to migrate to some far off arid and dry wilderness, and took shelter near a place of running waters, fountains and gardens. Many historic records suggest that Jesus(as) travelled far and wide, presumably to convey his message to the Lost tribes of Israel. People of Israeli stock had dispersed in various lands and to find them he probably travelled from Jerusalem to Mosul, Tehran, Herat, Kabul, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Maree before finally settling in Kashmir. (Jesus in India, p.65) Taken in this larger context, Kashmir is a place of fountains, running springs and gardens surrounded by a mostly arid, dry and rocky part of the world. 55 THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS The Review of Religions – July 2006 The Qur’an corroborates the description of the final home of Jesus(as): And We made the son of Mary and his mother a Sign, and We rescued them and helped reach an elevated land, a restful place with springs of gushing waters. (Ch.23: V.51) Hadhrat Ahmad, peace be upon him says: ‘I, however, do not approve of the way European investi- gators wish to prove that the principles of Buddhism reached Palestine in the days of Jesus(as). It is, indeed, unfortunate that when the name and mention of Jesus(as) are contained in the ancient books of Buddhism, these investigators should adopt the awkward course of trying to find traces of Buddha’s faith in Palestine. Why should they not search for the blessed footprints of Jesus on the rocky soil of Nepal, Tibet and Kashmir?’ (Jesus in India, p.78) Is there any wonder, therefore, if the Teacher referred to the place of his refuge as an area of fountains, running waters and gardens amidst vast tracts of arid, dry and rocky lands, where he might have travelled and stayed en-route? When the Teacher was living at this place, all his friends and brethren were far from him – as expressed by him in his poem. The Teacher prophesied that the wicked will continue to be punished till eternity. The Teacher prophesied in his poem (Hymn 5), that the wicked people who planned to kill him would remain under the wrath of God, till Doom’s Day (Day of Judgement). He said: ‘But the wicked Thou didst create for the time of Thy wrath, Thou didst vow from the womb to the Day of Massacre, for they walk in the way which is not good. They have despised Thy Covenant and their souls have loathed Thy truth; they have taken no delight in all Thy commandments and have 56 THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS The Review of Religions – July 2006 chosen that which Thou hatest. For according to the mysteries of Thy wisdom Thou hast ordained them for great chastisements before the eyes of all Thy creatures, that for all eternity they may serve as a Sign and a wonder, and that all men may know Thy glory and Thy tremendous power.’ (Vermes, p.250-251) The Qur’an also mentions that Jesus(as) cursed the Jews and they incurred the wrath of God: Those amongst the children of Israel who disbelieved, were cursed by the tongue of David and of Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and used to transgress. (Ch.5: V.79) The Teacher made certain exhortations to his followers, which included a prophecy that they would always prevail over the worldly people (sons of the earth) who rejected him. Among other admonitions he said: ‘And God observed their deeds, that they sought Him with a whole heart, and he raised for them a Teacher of Righteousness to guide them in the way of His heart.’’ (Vermes, p.127) The Teacher made the following prophecy in “The Exhortation”: ‘But all those who hold fast to these precepts, going and coming in accordance with the Law, who heed the voice of the Teacher and confess before God, saying, Truly we have sinned, we and our fathers, by walking counter to the precepts of the Covenant. Thy judgements upon us are justice and truth; who do not lift their hand against His holy precepts of His righteous statutes or His true testimonies; who have learned from the former judgements by which the members of the Community were judged; who have listened to the voice of the Teacher of Righteousness and have not despised the pre- 57 THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS The Review of Religions – July 2006 cepts of righteousness when they heard them; they shall rejoice and their hearts shall be strong, and they shall prevail over all the sons of the earth. God will forgive them and they shall see His salvation because they took refuge in His holy Name’. (Vermes, p.135-136) The Qur’an also mentions this prophecy of Jesus(as): When Allah said, ‘O Jesus, I will cause thee to die a natural death and will exalt thee to Myself, and will clear thee of the charges of those who disbelieve, and will place those who follow thee above those who disbelieve, until the Day of Resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, and I will judge between you concerning that wherein you differ. (Ch.3: V.56) Message of the Dead Sea Scrolls Who was the Teacher of Righteousness and what is the spiritual significance and message of the Scrolls to the world of religion? The Jews, Christians and mainstream Muslims might feel it difficult to recognise Jesus(as) in the guise of the Teacher, because none of them believe that he survived the Crucifixion and travelled to the lost Israelite tribes. It may interest them to know that in 1891, the holy founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community received the following Arabic revelation: ‘Jesus, son of Mary, Messenger of Allah, has died and you have come, as promised, in his spirit. (Arabic): Allah’s promise is always fulfilled’. (Izala Auham, p.561) And subsequently in 1899, he wrote a book: Jesus in India, in which he proved from the Holy Qur’an, the Bible, ancient Buddhist and Hindu records and old medical and historical books that Jesus(as) was taken down from the Cross, in a state of coma, his wounds were treated 58 THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS The Review of Religions – July 2006 and when sufficiently healed, he secretly travelled to the East in search of the Lost Tribes of Israel. He conveyed God’s message to them and died at an old age in Kashmir – land of springs, water and gardens – after completing his mission as a Messenger of God. It is surprising how the story of the Teacher of the Scrolls, discovered 40 years after the death of the Promised Messiah(as), coincides so closely with what was told about Jesus(as) by him under Divine inspiration and guidance. References 1. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Geza Vermes, Penguin Books, London, 1998. 2. Dead Sea Scrolls, a Preliminary Survey, A. Dupont-Sommer, Basil Blackwell Publishers, 1952, p.99-100. 3. Dead Sea Scrolls 1947-1969, Edmund Wilson, Fontana Books, 1971. 4. Jesus in India, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Islam International Publications, Tilford, UK, 1989 (first published 1899). 5. Jesus of the Apocalypse: The Life of Jesus after the Crucifixion, Barbara Thiering, Corgi Books, Australia, 1997. 6. James the brother of Jesus, Robert Eisenman, Penguin Books, Victoria, Australia, 1998. 59 THE TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS The Review of Religions – July 2006

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