Qumran was Jewish
"Phylactery"? A revealing label. They are Jewish - :
And it shall be for a sign for you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand did the LORD bring you out of Egypt.—Exodus 13:9
The religion is all-important, because these artefacts help define Qumran as a pious, Jewish community. I've recently written about this: The Poor. This is a term used by the community, in its sacred texts, to describe itself. In their own language, they used the term Ebionim, from which comes Ebionite.And it shall be for a sign upon your hand, and as totafot between your eyes; for with a mighty hand did the LORD bring us forth out of Egypt.—Exodus 13:16
Most of the world (I'd guess) who know of the Dead Sea Scrolls must by now have seen the amazing parallels between The Poor and those using that term to describe themselves in the New Testament. The obvious - though wrong - conclusion many make is that these biblical Poor are Christian.
However! That jump is based on false assumptions.
- The first error is to imagine that Christians lived at Qumran. For a start, this community is a lot older than the modern era. It is devout Jewish, not a bunch of converts to something else. It is led by the Righteous Teacher, not the Spouter of Lies.
- The second error is to imagine that there is a Christ or Christianity ca 25-30 CE. There is not a shred of evidence for these until very much later.
Price - "Eisenman shows how "Jewish Christianity" was part and parcel of the sectarian milieu which included Essenes, Zealots, Nazoreans, Nazirites, Ebionites, Elchasites, Sabeans, Mandaeans, etc..." - that's the error made when even the skeptical scholars fall for the Christian, textual tradition.
Qumran was rebuilt and in operation until the end of the 3rd Jewish-Roman war - a view taken from the archaeology there, coins and structures. The community ended for the final time when the Roman army crushed Judea, Jerusalem and Messianic Judaism.
All my history has done is say the obvious: the New Testament is parodying these Messianic Jews - Qumran, the authors of their texts buried there, James and his Ebionim/Nazirite followers including the Zealots/Sicarii.
If anyone disagrees, please explain how these people are Christian, following a Jesus Christ. Oh yes, and wearing tefillin on their arms and foreheads.