20 Jul 2016 208 views
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Dead Sea scrolls|

Dead Sea scrolls


At Wadi Qumran, about 8 kms south of Jerusalem and 2 kms from the north-west shores of the Dead Sea, a Bedouin shepherd discovered some caves with clay jars, containing leather scrolls with Hebrew writing, in them. He recovered some scrolls and tried to sell them to a cobbler (leather is good for making shoes), who referred the shepherd to an antiques dealer. Eventually the scrolls were recognised by a scholarly person, for what they are in 1947, which lead to excavations and many more scrolls. In total, 825 scrolls and many more fragments were found in 11 caves around the wadi. The scrolls contain various copies of the different books of what we refer to, as the Old Testament. Only the book of Esther was not found to date. Many of the scrolls are nonbiblical writings along the order of commentaries on the OT, paraphrases that expand on the Law, rule books of the community, war conduct, thanksgiving psalms, hymnic compositions, benedictions, liturgical texts, and sapiential (wisdom) writings.


Excavations pointed to a Jewish sect, the Essenes, living their ascetic lives in this area. They did not include rabbinical writing (the Talmud, etc) in their religious experience, but stuck to the Hebrew Canon of Bible books, known as the Old Testament. One could say, they were purists. Apart from studying religion, they also copied the books of their Bible. They occupied this area for the last 300 years BC until 70 AD, when they Romans lost their cool with the Jews.


The significance of the discovery, is that it provided a totally independent source, confirming the Masoretic text that was used over the ages by Christians and Jews alike, with reference to the Old Testament. This is the oldest and most complete copy of the Old Testament on record, to this date.


For a more complete coverage of the Dead Sea scrolls, you can read Wiki.


The picture shows an exhibition of what the jars containing scrolls, looked like. This is in a museum, on site, at Wadi Qumran.



comments (16)

  • Ray
  • Not United States
  • 20 Jul 2016, 03:40
Loved the lesson...thank you, Guide Louis.
Louis: Be patient, auld one smile Next week, we will do some mountaineering in the Negev desert
  • Chris
  • England
  • 20 Jul 2016, 06:42
Thank you for this Louis, I will read further
Louis: If you find history as interesting as I do - you will enjoy, Chris.
I was 2 years old when those scrolls were discovered, Louis! In my early adult years, I remember well how significant they would become to Biblical historians.
Louis: No comment about age - could land me in trouble grin The Dead Sea scrolls not only had Biblical significance, but also historical. Around 70AD a prominent Judaic/Israeli historian, Josephus, wrote some volumes about the Jewish history. The non-Biblical scrolls also corroborates some of the work of Josephus - where they addressed the same subject.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 20 Jul 2016, 07:06
Oh, the Qumran jars - what a wonderful story of discovering the scrolls - I told this story often to my pupils/students.
Louis: It is quite a story, I agree, Philine.
  • Lisl
  • Bath, England
  • 20 Jul 2016, 07:19
Such an exciting find/finds
Louis: Fortunately, someone in the know got involved, Lisl.
This whole series has been really fascinating Louis, today's in particular. I am currently on week 22 of a 23 week Bible timeline study course, presented on DVD b the American Jeff Cavins. So looking at the historical context of the Bible, you can imagine how convenient/interesting/formidable your series has been for me.
Louis: I had to look up Jeff Cavins. I find him quite an interesting man. Not your everyday Catholic. I am glad that you could get some value from my postings. They were also a way of getting my mind clear on what I have seen in Israel, as I am preparing a coffee table book about the visit, in between all the other stuff I am busy with.
I remember studying this and their significance.
Louis: Ah, that would have been quite something, Mary.
This must be one of the most important archaeological finds man has ever made, thanks for reminding us of the full story of their discovery.
Louis: I tend to agree with your observation, Brian.
  • Martine
  • France
  • 20 Jul 2016, 13:23
Jolies couleurs pour ces poteries
Louis: Je vous remercie, Martine. Je pensais que l'exposition valait une photo.
Just imagine they could have ended up as several pairs of sandals
Louis: It is even possible that some may have ended up that way, Bill. It took a couple of years for the find to come to light.
That's what kept them well-preserved, I guess.
Louis: And the dry desert air will also have helped, methinks, Tom.
  • Beth
  • United States
  • 21 Jul 2016, 00:26
Wonderful capture. Israel has so many treasures.
Louis: True, many treasures. Thanks Beth.
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 Jul 2016, 09:24
Enjoyed the read as much as the photo, a truly significant find.
Louis: Thank you blackdog
that was some fascinating bit of history to go with the shot, Louis.
Louis: Not many countries, with known history that goes that far back, I think, Ayush.
It's amazing they lasted so long...
Louis: Truly, Larry. The canisters and dry air, I believe.
Amazing story isn't it, Louis? You captured a wonderful photograph of these jars!
Louis: Amazing, yes Elizabeth. Thank you.

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