So a new theory, gaining credence, is that the scrolls represent a collection of materials from Jerusalem hidden during the revolt that culminated with the sack of Jerusalem in AD 70. But there is a way to combine the Essene story with the connections to the Jerusalem Temple:
On Jerusalem's Mount Zion, archaeologists recently discovered and deciphered a two-thousand-year-old cup with the phrase "Lord, I have returned" inscribed on its sides in a cryptic code similar to one used in some of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
To some experts, the code suggests that religious leaders from Jerusalem authored at least some of the scrolls.
"Priests may have used cryptic texts to encode certain texts from nonpriestly readers," [archaeologist Robert] Cargill told National Geographic News.
According to an emerging theory, the Essenes may have actually been Jerusalem Temple priests who went into self-imposed exile in the second century B.C., after kings unlawfully assumed the role of high priest.
This group of rebel priests may have escaped to Qumran to worship God in their own way. While there, they may have written some of the texts that would come to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.