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Dead Sea scrolls

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The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (dated from about 250 BC to AD 68) is considered by many to be the most important archaeological find of the last century. Besides confirming the reliability of the Old Testament and its prophecies as untainted by later church leaders, they have also allowed us a glimpse into the era of Jesus' ministry and the society that existed at the beginning of Christianity.

The scrolls were discovered in the upper Dead Sea region known as Qumran, 13 miles east of Jerusalem. The first scrolls were found in 1947 by three local Bedouin shepherds who happened upon seven jars in a cave while tossing rocks to entertain themselves. The scrolls were sold to an antiquities dealer, who in turn sold three to Eleazar L. Sukenik of the Hebrew University and four to the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem. The Archbishop, Arthanasius Yeshue Samuel, took his scrolls to the American School of Oriental Research, making them known to the Western world. Other scrolls were found upon close examination of the caves in the Qumran region between 1947 and 1956.

Caves at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden.

Contents

Textual Criticism

Main Article: Textual criticism

The importance of the scrolls soon became apparent, as they were recognized to be the oldest extant manuscripts of Jewish texts; the Great Isaiah scroll, which contains the entire book of Isaiah, is at least 1,000 years older than any previously known transcript.

This age was especially significant when it was revealed that they were almost identical to the later manuscripts. Once confirmed, through Carbon-14 dating in addition to paleographic and scribal dating, this fact silenced a lot of criticism aimed at discrediting the Biblical texts as adapted or adjusted to fit into Christianity's theology. Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, all known copies of Biblical texts were written long after the time of Christ. Apart from a few scribal errors, however, the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls are identical to later corresponding manuscripts.

In addition to copies of the Jewish scriptures, the numerous scrolls found in the area of the original seven also include commentaries on the text, as well as regulations and rules for things such as daily living and war. Though most of the scrolls are written in Hebrew, a few are in Aramaic or Greek. From studying the text and excavating the nearby ruins of Qumran, scholars have determined that the scrolls most likely belonged to a group of Essenes, a strict Jewish sect who enforced a strict lifestyle and were believed to be Messianic in thinking. This group was described by the Jewish historian Josephus in the first century AD.

For decades, the content of the scrolls was disclosed little by little to the general public, as a team of scholars tackled the tedious work of reconstructing, studying, and translating the scrolls. A new team was eventually formed, as most of the original team members were retiring. Some criticism was expressed at the slow rate at which the scrolls were published, and many tried to gain access to them; it wasn't until 1991, and after the disclosure of unauthorized copies of a number of the scrolls, that a resolution was passed permitting all "qualified scholars" access to transcripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, or any ancient manuscript.

List of Scrolls

Pentateuchal stories and commentaries

  • Reworked Pentateuch-contains parts of Genesis, Exodus, and Deuteronomy.
  • Genesis Apocryphon-deals with the descendants of Adam
  • Enoch-a work that claims to be by a biblical character
  • The Book of Giants-elaborates on the exploits of the giants
  • Enoch and the Watchers-Enoch testified against the Watchers, or fallen angels, who had taken human wives and whose progeny were the Giants
  • Exhortation based on the Flood-explains how God felt that the people of the earth were evil, and therefore flooded the earth
  • Vision of Jacob-continuity of Jacob's first vision described in Genesis

Legal and ritual texts

  • A Phylactery-would include four scriptural passages inscribed on parchment placed in box-like containers made of black leather
  • Various Laws-
  • Ritual Purity Laws-addresses diseases and discharges that cause contamination such as: leprosy, seminal discharge, discharge of blood, the Niddah
  • A Baptismal Liturgy-
  • Songs for the Sabbath Sacrifice-a liturgical work composed of thirteen separate sections, one for each of the first thirteen Sabbaths of the year
  • Some Torah Precepts- the original text has been dated as one of the earliest works of the Qumran sect

Former Prophets stories and commentaries

  • Prayer For King Jonathan-The King Jonathan mentioned in this text can be none other than Alexander Jannaeus, a monarch of the Hasmonean dynasty who ruled Judea from 103 to 76 B.C.E.

Psalms, Hymns, Poetry

  • Apocryphal Psalms-tell of the great deeds of God and of David, as they praise the works and actions of both
  • The Thanksgiving Psalms-
  • Thanksgiving Hymns #7 & 8-a series of hymns for public worship
  • Plea for Deliverance-a collection of psalms and hymns, comprising parts of forty-one biblical psalms

Wisdom Literature

  • Wisdom Text-reveals the inflexible purposes of God
  • Collection of Proverbs-has the usual vocabulary of 'Judgement', 'Riches' and 'Knowledge'
  • Wiles of the Wicked Woman-
  • The Parable of the Bountiful Tree-

Prophecy and Apocalyptic

  • Hosea Commentary-a commentary, or "pesher," on the prophetic biblical verses from the book of Hosea
  • The Chosen One-refer to a particular person as the "chosen one."
  • The Book of Secrets-
  • The Divine Throne Chariot-depicts the appearance and movement of the Merkabah, the divine Chariot supported and drawn by the cherubim, which is at the same time a throne and a vehicle
  • The Coming of Melchizedek-
  • Redemption and Resurrection-contains three rather striking features that are of particular significance for comparing the apocalyptic beliefs and expectations of the Qumran community with the emerging early Christian movement
  • Words of Michael-In The Words of the Archangel Michael, he is portrayed as talking to other angels

Sectarian literature

  • War Rule-is written in a Herodian script of the first half of the first century C.E. and refers to a Messiah from the Branch of David, to a judgement, and to a killing
  • Community Rule-cites the admonitions and punishments to be imposed on violators of the rules, the method of joining the group, the relations between the members, their way of life, and their beliefs
  • The Damascus Document-a collection of rules and instructions reflecting the practices of a sectarian community
  • Tongues of Fire-

Miscellaneous

  • The New Jerusalem-written in Aramaic and paralleled Ezekiel xl - xliii, as well as Revelation xxi
  • The Copper Scroll-Made of two separate sheets of copper, rolled up and oxidized right through, the contents of The Copper Scroll could only be determined after it had been cut into parallel strips
  • Physiognomic Horoscopes-may represent a variety of divination, known as physiognomy, in which a person's personality or fortune may be read from their physical appearance
  • Calendrical Document-intended to provide the members of the "New Covenant" with a timetable for abstaining from important activities on the days before the dark phases of the moon's waning and eclipse
  • Observances-part of the scrolls known as the calendars
  • Targum of Job-both incomplete and do not overlap, we do not know whether they represent the same targumic tradition or not, although that is likely

The Leviticus Scroll

The Leviticus Scroll
The Leviticus Scroll

The Leviticus scroll is a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It was discovered in 1956, by a group of Ta`amireh Bedouin people near what was then called Cave 11. This scroll was not opened right away. They actually waited 14 years and it was unrolled first at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The scrolls they found were the last chapters of the Biblical book of Leviticus, chapters 22-27. They found eighteen small fragments that also belong to this Leviticus scroll. It is known that the fragments represent manuscripts from the following chapters: Lev. 4, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18-22. These scrolls were written in an ancient form of Hebrew that was often known as paleo-Hebrew. From the uniform strokes and how the writing sloped, they could tell that it was written by someone with great experience. The text was written on the grain side of a sheep skin. The vertical lines were used to align the columns and margins and the horizontal lines were the specific guidelines from which the scribe suspended the letters. The dots on the scroll represented word spaces.

Lev. 23:22-29

1. (22)[...edges of your field, or] gather [the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger; I the LO]RD [am]
2. your God.
3. (23)The LORD spoke to Moses saying: (24)Speak to the Israelite people thus: In the seventh month
4. on the first day of the month, you shall observe complete rest, a sacred occasion commemorated with load blasts.
5. (25)You shall not work at your occupations; and you shall bring an offering by fire to the LORD.
6. (26)The LORD spoke to Moses saying: (27)Mark, the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day 7. of Atonement. It shall be a sacred occasion for you: you shall practice self-denial, and you shall bring an offering
8. by fire to the LORD; (28)you shall do no work throughout that day. For 9. [it is a Day of Atonement on which] expiation is made on your behalf [before the LO]RD your God. (29)Indeed, any person who
Translation from "Tanakh," p. 192. Philadelphia, 1985 [1]

Apocryphal Or Pseudepigraphical

The Enoch Scroll

Those works which are omitted from various canons of the Bible and included in others.

The translation of the Enoch scroll is as follows, relating to the picture shown at left: Ena I ii 12. ...But you have changed your works, 13. and have not done according to his command, and transgressed against him; (and have spoken) haughty and harsh words, with your impure mouths, 14. against his majesty, for your heart is hard. You will have no peace.

Ena I iii 13. They (the leaders) and all ... of them took for themselves 14. wives from all that they chose and they began to cohabit with them and to defile themselves with them; 15. and to teach them sorcery and spells and the cutting of roots; and to acquaint them with herbs. 16. And they become pregnant by them and bore (great) giants three thousand cubits high ...[2]

Here are just a few of the numerous other apocryphal works, Old and New Testament:

  • 1 Esdras
  • 2 Esdras
  • Tobit
  • Judith
  • Esther (additions)
  • Wisdom of Solomon
  • Ecclesiasticus
  • Baruch
  • Son of the Three Holy Children
  • Susanna
  • Bel and the Dragon
  • Prayer of Manasseh
  • 1 Maccabees
  • 2 Maccabees
  • The Gospel of Nicodemus
  • The Gospel of Peter
  • The Gospel of Joseph the Carpenter
  • Acts of Thomas
  • Acts of Paul
  • Acts of Andrew
  • Apocalypse of Peter
  • Letters of Paul to Seneca
  • Nativity of Mary
  • Arabic Gospel of the Childhood
  • Letter of Peter to James
  • Protevangelium of James
  • The Gospel of the Ebionites
  • Gospel of the Egyptians

Psalms Scroll

The Psalms Scroll
  • Copied in 30 ~ 50 C.E.
  • Height 18.5 cm (7 1/4 in.)
  • Length 86 cm (33 3/4 in.)

The Psalms scroll is one of Dead Sea Scrolls. It is composed by King David. In 1956, one of the longer Psalms scroll was found at Qumran where the 11th Cave is located.

Column 19: Plea for Deliverance (A Noncanonical Psalm)
1. Surely a maggot cannot praise thee nor a grave worm recount thy loving-kindness.
2. But the living can praise thee, even those who stumble can laud thee. In revealing
3. thy kindness to them and by thy righteousness thou dost enlighten them. For in thy hand is the soul of every
4. living thing; the breath of all flesh hast thou given. Deal with us, O LORD,
5. according to thy goodness, according to thy great mercy, and according to thy many righteous deeds. The LORD
6. has heeded the voice of those who love his name and has not deprived them of his loving-kindness.
7. Blessed be the LORD, who executes righteous deeds, crowning his saints
8. with loving-kindness and mercy. My soul cries out to praise thy name, to sing high praises
9. for thy loving deeds, to proclaim thy faithfulness--of praise of thee there is no end. Near death
10. was I for my sins, and my iniquities have sold me to the grave; but thou didst save me,
11. O LORD, according to thy great mercy, and according to thy many righteous deeds. Indeed have I
12. loved thy name, and in thy protection have I found refuge. When I remember thy might my heart
13. is brave, and upon thy mercies do I lean. Forgive my sin, O LORD,
14. and purify me from my iniquity. Vouchsafe me a spirit of faith and knowledge, and let me not be dishonored
15. in ruin. Let not Satan rule over me, nor an unclean spirit; neither let pain nor the evil
16. inclination take possession of my bones. For thou, O LORD, art my praise, and in thee do I hope
17. all the day. Let my brothers rejoice with me and the house of my father, who are astonished by the graciousness...
18. [ ] For e[ver] I will rejoice in thee.

Transcription and translation by J. A. Sanders[3]

The Calendrical Document Scroll

The Calendrical Document Scroll
  • Copied in 50-25 B.C.E.
  • Height 13.4 cm (5 1/4 in.)
  • Length 21.1 cm (8 1/4 in.)

A significant invention of the Qumran was its calendar. Unlike the common Jewish lunar calendar, which consisted of 354 days, the calendar of Qumran was based on a solar system of 364 days. The difference between calendars made Qumran very special from other Judaism. According to the calendar of Qumran, the New Year always began on a Wednesday, the day when God crated heavenly bodies, since each year consisted of exact fifty-two weeks.

1. [on the first {day} in {the week of} Jedaiah {which falls} on the tw]elfth in it {the seventh month}. On the second {day} in {the week of} Abiah {which falls} on the twenty- f[ifth in the eighth {month}; and duqah {is} on the third] {day}

2. [in {the week of} Miyamin {which falls} on the twelfth] in it {the eighth month}. On the third {day} in {the week of} Jaqim {which falls} on the twen[ty-fourth in the ninth {month}; and duqah {is} on the fourth] {day}
3. [in {the week of} Shekania {which falls} on the eleven]th in it {the ninth month}. On the fifth {day} in {the week of} Immer {which falls} on the twe[n]ty-third in the te[nth {month}; and duqah {is} on the sixth {day} in {the week of} Je]shbeab {which falls}
4. [on the tenth in] it {the tenth month}. On the [si]xth {day} in {the week of} Jehezkel {which falls} on the twenty-second in the eleventh month [and duqah {is on the} Sabbath in] {the week of} Petahah {which falls}
5. [on the ninth in it {the eleventh month}]. On the first {day} in {the week of} Joiarib {which falls} on the t[w]enty-second in the twelfth month; and [duqah {is} on the seco]nd {day} in {the week of} Delaiah {which falls}
6. [on the ninth in it {the twelfth month}. vacat The] se[cond] {year}: The first {month}. On the sec[on]d {day} in {the week of} Malakiah {which falls} on the tw[entieth in it {the first month}; and] duqah {is}
7. [on the third {day} in {the week of} Harim {which falls} on the seventh] in it {the first month}. On the fou[r]th {day} in {the week of} Jeshua {which falls} [on] the twentieth in the second {month}; and [duqah {is} on the fifth {day} in {the week of]} Haqqos {which falls} on the seventh
8. [in it {the second month}. On the fifth {day} in {the week of} Huppah {which falls} on the nine]teenth in the third {month}; and duqa[h] {is} on the six[th {day} in {the week of} Happisses {which falls}

Translation and transcription by S. Talmon and I. Knohl [4]

The Hosea Commentary Scroll

The Hosea Commentary Scroll
  • Copied late first century B.C.E.
  • Height 17.5 cm (6 7/8 in.), length 16.8 cm (6 5/8 in.)
  • Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority (6)

This particular scroll is a commentary, or also called a "pesher". This commentary is based on the bible verses from the book of Hosea (2:8-14). The verses that it contains are referring to the relation of God, the husband, to Israel, the unfaithful wife. In this commentary, "the man of the lie" leads the ones that are unfaithful astray. It also states that the affliction that comes upon those who were led astray is famine. Even though the famine could just be a metaphor, it could also be referring to an actual drought that was cited in historical sources of that time. The picture of the scroll is the larger of the two unrelated fragments that were found in Cave 4. The scroll, which happens to be identical to the Psalms commentary, belongs to the semiformal type of the Herodian era.

Hos. 2:10-14
1. (10)[SHE DID NOT KNOW THAT] I MYSELF HAD GIVEN HER THE GRAIN [AND THE WINE]
2. [AND THE OIL, AND] (THAT) I HAD SUPPLIED [SILVER] AND GOLD ... (WHICH) THEY MADE [INTO BAAL. The interpretation of it is]
3. that [they] ate [and] were satisfied, and they forgot God who [had fed them, and all]
4. his commandments they cast behind them, which he had sent to them [by]
5. his servants the prophets. But to those who led them astray they listened, and they honored them [ ]
6. and as if they were gods, they fear them in their blindness.
7. vacat
8. (11)THEREFORE, I SHALL TAKE BACK MY GRAIN AGAIN IN ITS TIME AND MY WINE [IN ITS SEASON,]
9. AND I SHALL WITHDRAW MY WOOL AND MY FLAX FROM COVERING [HER NAKEDNESS.]
10. (12)I SHALL NOW UNCOVER HER PRIVATE PARTS IN THE SIGHT OF [HER] LO[VERS AND]
11. NO [ONE] WILL WITHDRAW HER FROM MY HAND.
12. The interpretation of it is that he smote them with famine and with nakedness so that they became a disgra[ce]
13. and a reproach in the sight of the nations on whom they had leaned for support, but they
14. will not save them from their afflictions. (13)AND I SHALL PUT AN END TO ALL HER JOY,
15. [HER] PIL[GRIMAGE,] HER [NEW] MOON, AND HER SABBATH, AND ALL HER FEASTS. The interpretation of it is that
16. they make [the fe]asts go according to the appointed times of the nation. And [all]
17. [joy] has been turned for them into mourning. (14)AND I SHALL MAKE DESOLATE [HER VINE]
18. [AND HER FIG TREE,] OF WHICH SHE SAID, "THEY ARE THE HIRE [THAT MY LOVERS HAVE GIVEN] ME."
19. AND I SHALL MAKE THEM A FOREST, AND THE W[ILD BEAST OF THE FIELD] WILL DEVOUR THEM.

The Torah Precepts Scroll

The Torah Precepts Scroll

Miqsat Ma`ase ha-Torah 4Q396(MMT[superscript]c) Parchment

  • Copied late first century B.C.E.-early first century C.E.
  • Fragment A: height 8 cm (3 1/8 in.), length 12.9 cm (5 in.)
  • Fragment B: height 4.3 cm (1 11/16 in.), length 7 cm (2 3/4 in.)
  • Fragment C: height 9.1 cm (3 9/16 in.), length 17.4 cm (6 7/8 in.)
  • Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority (8) [5]

References:

  • Strugnell, J., and E. Qimron. Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, X. Oxford, forthcoming.
  • Sussman, Y. "The History of `Halakha' and the Dead Sea Scrolls -- Preliminary Observations on Miqsat Ma`ase Ha-Torah (4QMMT)" (in Hebrew), Tarbiz 59 (1990):11-76.

The Torah Precepts Scrolls was founded from a cave, which was located nearby Qumran. People could not find all The Torah Precepts Scrolls, but they found just portion of it. This scroll is very unique one, with style of scroll and language, which was written on the scroll. People figured out that The Torah Precepts Scrolls are an original scroll from Qumran with linguistic and theological analysis. Also, people found out that the scroll was written by people from Qumran. People concluded that The Torah Precepts Scrolls were work of people from Qumran. Six uncompleted manuscripts were discovered, and they were referring as MMT, which is sectarian work. (MMT is abbreviation for Miqsat Ma’ase ha-Torah in Hebrew.) When all the six manuscripts are combined, they have about 130 lines. In other words, six manuscripts can cover about two third of the original manuscript. [6]

The Torah Precepts Scrolls have four sections: the opening formula, a calendar of 364 days, a list of more than twenty rulings in religious law, and an epilogue that deals with the separation of the sect from the multitude of the people and attempts to persuade the address to adopt the sect’s legal views. [7] Unluckily, we do not have first section of the scrolls, because we lost it. The second section talked about the religious law. The religious law was called with another name that was Halakhot.

1. until sunset on the eighth day. And concerning [the impurity] of
2. the [dead] person we are of the opinion that every bone, whether it
3. has its flesh on it or not--should be (treated) according to the law of the dead or the slain.
4. And concerning the mixed marriages that are being performed among the people, and they are sons of holy [seed],
5. as is written, Israel is holy. And concerning his (Israel's) [clean] animal
6. it is written that one must not let it mate with another species, and concerning his clothes [it is written that they should not]
7. be of mixed stuff; and one must not sow his field and vineyard with mixed species.
8. Because they (Israel) are holy, and the sons of Aaron are [most holy.]
9. But you know that some of the priests and [the laity intermingle]
10. [And they] adhere to each other and pollute the holy seed
11. as well as their (i.e. the priests') own [seed] with corrupt women. Since [the sons of Aaron should...] [8]

Transcription and translation by J. Strugnell and E. Qimron

The War Rule Scroll

The War Rule Scroll

The War Rule Scroll is commonly referred to as the "Pierced Messiah" scroll, because it talks about a "Messiah" from the line of David, a judgment, and a killing. The scroll is written in Hebrew, and is supposed to have been written in the first half of the first century C.E. There are two interpretations referring to a "Messiah"; the first saying that "the Prince of the Congregation, the Branch of David, will kill him", and the second saying that "and they killed the Prince", which thus accounts for a "killing Messiah", and a "killed Messiah". [9]

Translation:1. ]Isaiah the prophet: [The thickets of the forest] will be cut [down
2. with an axe and Lebanon by a majestic one will f]all. And there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse
3. the Branch of David and they will enter into judgement with
4. and the Prince of the Congregation, the Bran[ch of David] will kill him [
5. by stroke]s and by wounds. And a Priest [of renown (?)] will command [
6. the s]lai[n] of the Kitti[m]

The Prayer For King Jonathan Scroll

The Prayer For King Jonathan Scroll

This scribe is said to be written about Alexander Jannaeus, a monarch of the Hasmonean people, who ruled the land of Judea 103 to 76 BC. It is still a mystery why a prayer about a Hasmonean King would be with scrolls written by people from Qumran. It is said that the people of Qumran did not like the Hasmoneans. It is a thought that maybe the Qumran city is in the desert to avoid any contact with the Hasmoneans from Judea. Historians seem to think that King Jonathan had a special connection with the people of the Dead Sea. This would then explain the prayer written to him. [10]

References: Eshel, E., H. Eshel, and A. Yardeni. "A Qumran Scroll Containing Part of Psalm 154 and a Prayer for the Welfare of King Jonathan and His Kingdom," Israel Exploration Journal, forthcoming.

Column A 1. Praise the Lord, a Psalm [of 2. You loved as a fa[ther(?) 3. you ruled over [ 4. vacat [ 5. and your foes were afraid (or: will fear) [ 6. ...the heaven [ 7. and to the depths of the sea [ 8. and upon those who glorify him [ 9. the humble from the hand of adversaries [ 10. Zion for his habitation, ch[ooses Column C Column B 1. because you love Isr[ael 1. holy city 2. in the day and until evening [ 2. for king Jonathan 3. to approach, to be [ 3. and all the congregation of your people 4. Remember them for blessing [ 4. Israel 5. on your name, which is called [ 5. who are in the four 6. kingdom to be blessed [ 6. winds of heaven 7. ]for the day of war [ 7. peace be (for) all 8. to King Jonathan [ 8. and upon your kingdom 9. 9. your name be blessed [11]

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls so important to us, as Christians?

The Dead Sea Scrolls are important to us, as Christians, because they offer evidence which has been dated, not only by biased Christian scientists, but biased evolutionist scientists as well, and every type alike, and no one questions their validity, except the ignorant. They are important because they give us evidence for our argument, saying that the Bible was transmitted accurately from over 2,000 years ago, and relatively unchanged in its translation. It gives us a window into a world that we previously had limited artifacts and things to study when it came to that time period.

When were they discovered, where, who discovered them, and what are they?

They were discovered initially in 1947, and are still being sought after, not quite as meticulously, but nevertheless, still being sought after. They were discovered in a series of caves, 13 miles east of Jerusalem, by the Dead Sea, in an area locally called Qumran. The first scrolls were found by Bedouin shepherds, throwing rocks into the caves, when they heard the sound of a smashing jar or pot, and the made the discovery, hence beginning the excavations of the caves. The Dead Sea Scrolls are texts written and scribed by a society speculated to be wholly devoted to that sole task-- scribing and copying down the entire Biblical texts from cover to cover, so to speak.

What material have the Dead Sea Scrolls been written on?

Most of the scrolls are written on parchment paper, but there are also some written on papyrus as well.

Which scroll is the longest one?

The longest scroll is the Temple Scroll. Its total length is 8.148 m. The vast majority of the scrolls existed as fragments, which scholars reassembled. Eight hundred and fifty different manuscripts of various lengths were found.

In what languages have the Dead Sea Scrolls been written?

Most of the scrolls are written in Hebrew. Also there are also texts in Greek and Aramaic.

Who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?

The Dead Sea Scrolls are made up of 900 pieces of writing, and were composed by a few different people or groups. We know of the Jewish sectarians, and that they wrote some. The Essene sect is also thought to have written some. The Essene sect was a group of Jews who left Judaism and moved to the desert. We also know that some of the Scrolls came from unknown sources as well.

How old are the Dead Sea Scrolls?

The Dead Sea Scrolls are dated as far back as 3rd century before the common era all the way to the 1st century of the common era. The scrolls are what contain some of the oldest biblical books we know of.

How many scrolls were found?

Whole Scrolls were not found. What was found was over 100,000 fragments and pieces of text. Scholars then pieced those together into about 900 separate documents.

Where are the Dead Sea Scrolls now?

Some scrolls are in Jordan and a few are also in Europe. A large portion of the scrolls are in Israel being watched by the Israel Antiquities Authority. They are also regularly on disply at various scientific museums and centers around the world such as the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington during 2006. [12]

How many of the Bible's books are represented?

The scrolls contain 38 of the Protestant Old Testament, all except Esther. They have not yet found any of the New Testament. Although they have found small traces of what could be the book of Mark.

What kind of texts are the Dead Sea Scrolls?

They are categorized into three major sections. Biblical which is composed of 200 copies of biblical books and information. Apocryphal ones are the more non descriptive scrolls. They are just translated. The Sectarian are a variety of religious writings prayers and commentary.

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