BIBLE Dead Sea Scrolls

 

- Info:

- The Dead Sea Scrolls are considered the greatest archaeological discovery of our time.

They could undermine the foundations of Judaism and Christianity.

- This info is based on http://www.centuryone.com/25dssfacts.html.

 

- Implications To New Testament:

- The most important find about The Dead Sea Scrolls was what was not found.

- Qumran community, which created scrolls, existed during the time of the ministry of Jesus.

- But none of the Scrolls refer to Jesus, his disciples or Christianity as hole.

- Some suggest that this is proof that Jesus never existed since the only other document that mentions Jesus "War

between Jews and Romans" was shown to be created by the same author of New Testament and therefore couldn't be

taken as an independent source of Jesus existence.

- This is by no means crucial evidence that Jesus was invented but rather one of many arguments for such thesis.

 

- Implications To Old Testament:

- The Scrolls have revolutionized textual criticism of the Old Testament.

- Interestingly, now with manuscripts predating the medieval period, we find these texts in substantial agreement with the

Masoretic text as well as widely variant forms.

 

- Discovery:

- The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956.

- They were discovered in 11 caves along the northwest shore of the Dead Sea.

The area is 13 miles east of Jerusalem, near the ancient ruins of Qumran, and is 1300 feet below sea level.

- The scrolls are most commonly made of animal skins, but also papyrus and one of copper.

They are written with a carbon-based ink, from right to left, using no punctuation except for an occasional paragraph

indentation. In fact, in some cases, there are not even spaces between the words.

 

- Content:

- The Scrolls can be divided into two categories: biblical and non-biblical.

Some of the scrolls present multiple copies of the same stories.

- Scrolls are the oldest group of Old Testament manuscripts ever found.

Prophecies by Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Daniel not found in the Bible are written in the Scrolls.

Scrolls contain never before seen psalms attributed to King David and Joshua.

The scrolls contain previously unknown stories about biblical figures such as Enoch, Abraham, and Noah.

The story of Abraham includes an explanation why God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac.

- The Scrolls are mostly written in Hebrew, many were written in Aramaic and few were written in Greek.

Aramaic was the common language of the Jews of Palestine for the last two centuries B.C. and first two centuries A.D.

- 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) against Roman.

 

- Origin:

- 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.

They were led by a priest they called the "Teacher of Righteousness," who was opposed and possibly killed by the

establishment priesthood in Jerusalem.

- 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.