It is certainly becoming  increasingly recognized in historical scholarship on the New Testament documents that one of the few approaches still left to us to the complex issues of Christian beginnings is to seek to 'wring truth relevant to the history of Jesus from the increasing stock of remains of the Judaism of His time' (D. E. Ninham, JTS, October, 1960, p. 260). That stock has been enormously enriched by the Qumran discoveries.

It was not possible to deal with the central problems without at the same time attempting some reassessment, in the light of the scrolls, of the Greek and patristic evidence for ancient Judaism, and, in addition to so doing, I have included in the book an appendix with a new English translation of the main reports of Josephus and Philo on the Essenes.

 

from page vi, The Scrolls and Christian Origins