Vengeance may have been his

NEW YORK - The dead Messiah-like figure found in a Dead Sea Scrolls text was actually a murderous Messiah who an ancient Jewish sect believed would kill and judge the enemies of Israel, English scholars say. The findings reject an interpretation by two US scholars. Their proposal that the fragment referred to the execution of a messianic leader called into question the uniqueness of the Christian belief in a crucified Messiah.

'It seems clear that it is the Messiah figure who does the killing,' said Geza Vermes, who organised a seminar on the topic. But a US scholar said it is too early to draw such conclusions.

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