Dead Sea Scrolls

Dead Sea Scrolls : were discovered from 1947 to 1956, in caves along the western shore of the Dead Sea.  The bulk of the scrolls were found in caves near Qumran,  which was once home to a community of scholars identified as Essenes.  This group was a Jewish sect known to have existed elsewhere in Israel during the Second Temple period, which includes the time of Jesus. The scrolls comprise mostly of around 800 fragmentary documents, with only some of them remaining nearly or completely intact. It is estimated that around 100,000 fragments have been found in total.  Their find has been hailed as one of the single most important discoveries of the twentieth century.

"The scrolls comprise, among other things, the oldest copies of the Bible in existence. The Qumran scrolls date from approximately 250 B.C. to about 65 A.D., and at some other locations to about 135 A.D. This means that the Dead Sea Scrolls give us texts of the Bible which were copied more than 1000 years earlier than any others now in existence."

At present most of the scrolls reside in Jerusalem. However they are being prepared for publication by scholars.  Eventually a thirty-five volume series is planned for publication by the Oxford University Press, entitled: Discoveries in the Judean Desert.  It is anticipated that the Oxford series will be the basis for all future translations and studies of the scrolls.

Source: Information for this topic comes from: The Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation - POB 24434 Jerusalem, Israel  - Tel.: 972-2-5819-337  - Fax: 972-2-5829-704


Useful Links
The Orion Center for the Study of The Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature 

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