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Religious Findings: The Dead Sea Scrolls

Updated on October 25, 2016

Scroll Jars

These jars or containers held the original scrolls found in Cave 1.
These jars or containers held the original scrolls found in Cave 1. | Source

Summary of "The Dead Sea Scrolls"

The Dead Sea Scrolls were nine hundred seventy two (972) texts written on papyrus, bronze and parchment. They were discovered over a ten year period from 1946-1956 in several caves in Qumran, Israel near the West Bank. They are the earliest known surviving manuscripts to have been later included in the Holy Bible. It would be exciting to be the one who found The Dead Sea Scrolls. They are dated 408 BCE to 318 CE. Bedouin People found the first scrolls and upon further excavation by The archaeologists had to be in the certain location to find The Dead Sea Scrolls over a ten year period.

This discovery has been a fascinating topic among Biblical scholars for decades and Scrolls have been studied by Religious universities across the globe. What they mean and such is up for another story and debate but, one thing is sure and that is that they are tied to The Bible.

The Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls have been studied for decades and they are still being studied till this day.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been studied for decades and they are still being studied till this day. | Source

The Origin of The Scrolls?

The scrolls were discovered across twelve different caves. There is great debate who wrote the scrolls and who they originally belonged to. There are several thoughts on this subject. Below are the possible origins of the Scrolls.

1. Essenes (Jewish Sect) The Essenes was a Jewish Sect in the time of the Sadducees and Pharisees who were said to congregate in large numbers in an area near Qumran and they excised from the Second Century BCE to the first century CE.

2. Priests in Jerusalem: Many Scholars believe that Priests from that area may have copied the scrolls and preached the teachings to the people during that time.

3. Zadokites: The Zadokites were descendants of Eleazar the son of the High Priest Aaron.

Location of Dead Sea Scrolls (Qumran, Israel)

Dead Sea Scrolls Revealed

Contents of The Dead Sea Scrolls

The Scrolls can be divided into three separate sections. All together they contain 972 texts that can be read. Nearly 40% of the texts can be traced to the Hebrew Bible. Around 30% of the texts are non canonized Bible Books (Book of Tobit, Book of Enoch, Sirach, Jubilees, and parts of Psalms). The 30% remaining texts have nothing to do with the Bible. It seems to describe laws, rules and rituals for a certain point in time for their culture.

Some of The Texts From The Original Scrolls

Many of the scrolls were found in fragments or damaged in some form. They have been carefully preserved since being found.
Many of the scrolls were found in fragments or damaged in some form. They have been carefully preserved since being found. | Source

Dead Sea Scrolls Facts and Information

1. The four texts that The Dead Sea Scrolls are written in are: Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, and Nabataean.

2. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain at least sections of every Book of the Old Testament in the Holy Bible except for The Book of Esther.

3. NASA used a machine to photograph digital infrared imaging and show things that the naked eye cannot see. It discovered previously unseen words that said, " He wrote the words of Noah".

4. DNA Scroll Assembly: Scientists took DNA from the parchment where the texts is written and combined it with a technology called Infrared digital photography. Scientists do this to try to see if what the texts was written on is associated with the importance of the texts.

5. Their are 972 total texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls. 225 of the texts are Biblical texts.

6. 90% of the Scrolls are owned by the Government of The State of Israel.

The Scrolls Being Studied

Countless hours have been used studying The Dead Sea Scrolls by religious scholars.
Countless hours have been used studying The Dead Sea Scrolls by religious scholars. | Source

Have You Read Them?

Have you ever read The Dead Sea Scrolls?

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How Old Are The Scrolls?

These texts and fragments of Scrolls have been tested by scientists and the like for decades. Radio Carbon Dating, Paleographic Dating and Cyclotron testing have been performed on The Dead Sea Scrolls in laboratories to determine their age.

Radio Carbon Dating: Carbon dating placed the majority of the Scrolls at the last two centuries BCE and the first century CE.

Paleographic Dating: Handwriting experts analyzed the texts by studying the size, style and variations associated with the texts. This testing has a 65% accuracy rate and it places the Scrolls at 385 BCE to 82 CE.

Cyclotron Testing: This testing revealed that the writers of these Scrolls used Reed pens and that two black inks were used. The carbon soot black ink came from Olive oil lamps and the other black ink was from Gall nuts located in Oak trees. The red ink was created using mercury sulfide.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the opinion box located at the bottom of the page. All opinions on this topic are greatly appreciated.

Cave Discovery!

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in several caves located near the Jordan River. These scrolls have been found in fragments and they have been pondered and studied for decades.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in several caves located near the Jordan River. These scrolls have been found in fragments and they have been pondered and studied for decades. | Source

Can I Read Them?

Their are English translation versions of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as The Dead Sea Scrolls in its entirety on DVD, CD, and on CD-ROM. Copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls texts can be ordered online, bought at certain book stores and their is also many books on this subject available as well. Copies can be obtained almost anywhere and they are translated well. In some cases, The Scrolls can be purchased with study guides that help you to understand them better.

The original scrolls have been sold and transported to many locations over the years before finally settling down in their current locations most of which are in Israel.

The Truth Behind The Dead Sea Scrolls

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Very interesting, you covered this so well. My interested is piqued on the subject of the Dead Sea scrolls.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      You've presented some good facts on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I'm sorry that time constraints don't allow me to watch the videos, but I've seen several documentaries on the History Channel. It really took years for the content of these scrolls to be released to the public. Some say that it was because it took time to put pieces together and translate them, and some say that it was because the Church was trying to block their release. I find it interesting that some of the words on these scrolls have been mistranslated in the Bible. Regardless, I think if properly utilized, these scrolls can be an enlightenment to the world about the origins of Western religion.