Robert Feather. The Secret Initiation of Jesus at Qumram: The Essene Mysteries of John the Baptist. Rochester, Vt.: Bear & Co., 2005. Paperback, xx + 457 pp.
Feather, who is a metallurgist and scholar of world religions, also authored The Mystery of the Copper Scroll of Quram, in which he pondered the mysterious Essenes living around the time of Jesus of Nazareth. In this new book, he explores in more depth the evidence connecting the Essences with early Christianity, arguing that both Jesus and John the Baptist belonged to that somewhat elusive community.
His argument goes further still and makes a connection between the Essenes’ photic monotheism with the unique solar religion of the pharaoh Akhenaten. To be sure, Christianity, far from being a revolutionary new religion (as some of its followers maintain), is largely derivative, and not all its sources have been adequately understood or even investigated.
Feather’s historical reconstruction is not as eccentric as it may seem at first. He cites a great deal of evidence suggestive of the accuracy of his theory, which, if his conclusions were to turn out incorrect, would stand in need of explanation with recourse to traditions other than Judaism.
It seems, he managed to find the decapitated corpse of John the Baptist, and the story surrounding this surprising discovery represents an adventure all its own. Feather’s book appeals because of its startling thesis, its systematic presentation of the evidence, and the author’s excellent story telling, Obviously, the last word about the origins of Christianity has not been spoken as yet. Perhaps, with The Secret Initiation of Jesus at Quamram, we are getting a little closer to the truth.
Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
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