The Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls are documents of great
historical and scholarly value, found in 1947 and later in caves above
the North West Dead Sea. Archaeologists have shown that the scrolls stored
in jars in the first cave at QUMRAN were written or copied between the

1st century B.C. and the first half of the 1st century A.D. Chief among
the scrolls are two copies of the Book of Isaiah, almost 1,000 years older
than any Hebrew biblical manuscript previously known. Another important
scroll was the so-called Manual of Discipline for an ascetic community,
which has been identified with both the ruins at nearby QUMRAN and the

Essenes, a Jewish religious sect living an ascetic communal agricultural
life in that region between the 2nd century B.C. and 2nd century A.D. Parallels
between the Qumran scrolls and the New Testament have led some scholars
to suggest a tie between the Essenes and the early Christians, including
the much-disputed suggestion that Jesus and John the Baptist may have The

Dead been Essenes. More recent work by other archaeologists and biblical
scholars has questioned the association of the scrolls with the Qumran
ruins and the Essenes.

Here are some facts about the the Dea Sea

Scrolls:The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in eleven caves along the
northwest shore of the Dead Sea between the years 1947 and 1956. The area
is 13 miles east of Jerusalem and is 1300 feet below sea level. The mostly
fragmented texts are numbered according to the cave that they came out
of. They have been called the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times.

Only Caves 1 and 11 have produced relatively intact manuscripts. Discovered
in 1952, Cave 4 produced the largest find. About 15,000 fragments from
more than 500 manuscripts were found. In all, scholars have identified
the remains of about 825 to 870 separate scrolls.The Scrolls can be divided
into two categories - biblical and non-biblical. Fragments of every book
of the Hebrew canon (Old Testament) have been discovered except for the
book of Esther.

There are now identified among the scrolls,

19 copies of the Book of Isaiah, 25 copies of Deuteronomy and 30 copies
of the Psalms . Prophecies by Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Daniel not found in
the Bible are written in the Scrolls.The Isaiah Scroll, found relatively
intact, is 1000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah. In
fact, the scrolls are the oldest group of Old Testament manuscripts ever
found. In the Scrolls are found never before seen psalms attributed to

King David and Joshua.There are no biblical writings along the order of
commentaries on the OT, paraphrases that expand on the Law, rulebooks of
the community, war conduct, thanksgiving psalms, hymnic compositions, benedictions,
liturgical texts, and septennial (wisdom) writings.

The Scrolls are for the most part, written
in Hebrew, but there are many written in Aramaic. Aramaic was the common
language of the Jews of Palestine for the last two centuries B.C. and of
the first two centuries A.D. The discovery of the Scrolls has greatly enhanced
our knowledge of these two languages. In addition, there are a few texts
written in Greek. The Scrolls appear to be the library of a Jewish sect.

The library was hidden away in caves around the outbreak of the First Jewish

Revolt (A.D. 66-70) as the Roman army advanced against the rebel Jews.

Near the caves are the ancient ruins of Qumran. They were excavated in
the early 1950\'s and appear to be connected with the scrolls. The Dead

Sea Scrolls were most likely written by the Essenes during the period from
about 200 B.C. to 68 C.E./A.D. The Essenes are mentioned by Josephus and
in a few other sources, but not in the New Testament. The Essenes were
a strict Torah observant, Messianic, apocalyptic, Baptist, wilderness,
new covenant Jewish sect. A priest they called the "Teacher of Righteousness,"
who was opposed and possibly killed by the establishment priesthood in

Jerusalem, led them.

The enemies of the Qumran community were
called the "Sons of Darkness"; they called themselves the "Sons of Light,""the poor," and members of "the Way." They thought of themselves as "the
holy ones," who lived in "the house of holiness," because "the Holy Spirit"
dwelt with them. The last words of Joseph, Judah, Levi, Naphtali,
and Amram (the father of Moses) are written down in the Scrolls. One of
the most curious scrolls is the Copper Scroll. Discovered in Cave 3, this
scroll records a list of 64 underground hiding places throughout the land
of Israel. The deposits are