Today we saw the place where a small, first-century community scribbled away copies of the Scriptures and other texts. They sealed their scrolls in clay jars and hid them in caves near the shores of the nearby Dead Sea—the place from which these now famous scrolls received their name.
Prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars despaired of ever finding Hebrew manuscripts that predated our oldest copies from the tenth century AD. The manuscripts found at Qumran, however, dated from the third century BC to AD 70. In other words, this discovery moved back our oldest text of the Hebrew Bible by about one thousand years! Comparing the biblical scrolls to the standard Hebrew Masoretic text has proven the remarkable precision in the copying of Scripture.
In other words, the Hebrew Bible we read today is the same one Jesus read in the first century. I also think it’s cool that the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden the same century that Israel’s Second Temple was destroyed . . . only to be discovered again within a year of the resurrection of Israel’s statehood in 1948.
Bible Teacher for Emerald Bus 2
Read a devotional about today’s sites.