Johanan ben Zechariah (ben Zakkai) aka Jon the Baptist


Jon the Baptist is the son of Elizabeth bat Yehoshua III (Miriam’s aunt), and Zechariah.   


Jon is the leader of the New Covenant community whose headquarters became the settlement of Qumran, the home of the Essenes.  He is mentioned as the “Unique Teacher” in the Damascus document (CD) of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Jon formed the New Covenant by uniting the various outcast, or disillusioned anti-establishment members of the other Jewish sects at the time, including the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes, as well as the Zealots and Sicarri sects.  Jon’s movement at Qumran started around 3 BCE (although for purposes of my book I have moved this back to 12 – 10 BCE). 


Jon was an eclectic, who was an extreme vegetarian to the point of not wearing anything from dead animals.  He is noted as wearing animal hair itself for his clothing.  He was a very learned man who believed strongly in prophecy and was constantly quoting scripture.  He firmly believed that the ‘End Times’ were upon the Israelites and throughout his ministry preached there was not much time left for people to ‘save themselves’.  Many people followed Jon, for his message hit home.  The persecution of the people by Herod, the Romans, as well as the corrupt priests, were well prophesized.  Israel was going downhill because of the sins of the Israelites.


1QS1 to 5 and 1QSa of the DSSs were written to describe the aims, organization, rules and penal code for the New Covenant group.  1QSb was written as a collection of blessings for the sect and its leaders.