Potter argues similarly. He states that he applied the logic which he learned in college to the facts concerning The Secrets of Enochand decided that there was “no convincing reason against Jesus’ authorship.”^27 With this logic he surely should have noticed that his argument was also from silence. An absence of reasons against Jesus’ authorship provides no evidence that he did, in fact, write the book. Potter additionally argues that The Secrets of Enochwas written by one author, from AD 1–50.^28 That is also an argument from the absence of evidence. There were surely an enormous number of intelligent people who lived between these years who would, given accurate dates, also be candidates for authorship. But this is not evidence that Jesus was the author. In concession, Potter even admits that his thesis is somewhat “imaginative.”^29
2.Major differences with Qumran
The second major reason for rejecting this thesis is that, while there are similarities between Jesus and Qumran,^30 there are also many differences that oppose any close connection. As asserted by Brownlee, “The Qumran literature tells us much about the background of primitive Christianity, but it can tell us nothing
25 Ewing, Essene Christ, p. 51.
26 Ibid., p. 78.
27 Potter,Did Jesus Write This Book?p. 14.
28 Ibid., pp. 134–135.
29 Ibid., p. 136.
30 For an extensive list of similarities, see especially James H. Charlesworth, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Historical Jesus,” in Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. by James H. Charlesworth (New York: Doubleday, 1992), pp. 9–22; Jean Daniélou, “What the Dead Sea Scrolls Tell Us About Jesus,” in Daniel-Rops, Sources, pp. 23–28; John M. Allegro, The Dead Sea Scrolls(Baltimore: Penguin, 1956), pp. 148–151; William Brownlee, “Jesus and Qumran,” in Jesus and the Historian, ed. by F. Thomas Trotter (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968), p. 75.
directly about Jesus.”^31 A number of scholars have noted numerous differences between Jesus and Qumran beliefs.^32