HaDerech: Evidence of THE WAY in Acts

Khirbet QumranKhirbet (=ruins of) Qumran

Yesterday, the topic of who penned the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) was explored. Today, a deeper dive will be taken into where the “sect” called The Way (Heb. HaDerech/Gr. tēn Hodon) is mentioned explicitly in Acts. For starters, the following describes the way of life of the Congregation of men and women:

  • Acts 9:1-31
  • Acts 19:8-10, 23-27
  • Acts 22:1-16
  • Acts 24:1-16

A summary of these passages may be found here.

The following bears repeating from the words of Paul the Apostle:

Acts 24:14 But this I admit to you, that according to [T]he Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; 15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. (NASB)

Recall that (Titus Flavius) Josephus (né Yosef ben Matityahu) — a Jewish historian, Roman citizen, and self-described Pharisee (cf. Section 2) — applied the term “Essenes” (=pious ones) to this “sect.” He even had a spurious claim of living among those in Qumran before deciding to practice pharisaism; however, his timeline does not mesh up (i.e., he lied on his résumé). The Dead Sea Scrolls mention “the way” repeatedly in significant, sectarian manuscripts.

The Damascus Document describes how the Congregation of men and women lived. They sold all their earthly possessions and donated the proceeds to the collective — living a communal lifestyle. This is confirmed in Acts including some of the problems they encountered:

  • Acts 2:44-47
  • Acts 4:32-37
  • Acts 5:1-11
  • Acts 6:1-6

A summary of these passages may be found here.

John (Heb. Yochanan) was instructed in the desert wilderness of Qumran based on Luke 1:80:

Luke 1:80 And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel. (NASB)

Do you think that John’s parents — whose father was a Levitical priest — would allow their only son to roam aimlessly in the desert? How would he become “strong in spirit?” The Holy Spirit had not been sent yet!

Like it or not, THIS was the early church… And, for the Catholic folks, Peterthe apostle to the JEWSNEVER visited Rome, but as a Roman citizen, Paul — the apostle to the GENTILES — definitely did! It is difficult at best to claim that Peter was the “first pope” (Matthew 23:9) of a church that he never visited. Those facts are documented in Acts et al. Again, has anyone heard of The Way mentioned in their church or synagogue?

Enoch and Elijah, the two witnesses of Revelation, will set this straight when they prophesy in Jerusalem for forty-two (42) months, or twelve hundred and sixty (1,260) days. The world at large will reject their testimony and will rejoice at their deaths — even to the point of exchanging gifts! See Revelation 11:1-13.


Be sure to read the companion articles in the HaDerech series:

Shema Yisrael! (Hear, Israel!)

Copyright (C) 1995-2018, L. Alan Schuetz. All rights reserved.

HaDerech Scroll - Paleo-Hebrew

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