Essay Dead Sea Scrolls

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Dead Sea Scrolls The Dead Sea Scrolls are a group of 800-900 manuscripts found in caves at Qumran east of Jerusalem and north-west of the Dead Sea. The first scrolls were discovered in 1947 by a shepherd-boy who wandered into a cave after a stray goat. The texts are believed to have been hidden in eleven caves for safe-keeping prior to the destruction of Rome in A.D.70. The scrolls are a collection of biblical and non-biblical documents comprising of the Hebrew Bible, (every book except Esther); the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha; rules for community life; biblical commentaries; a Testimonia, (a collection of verses from the Bible about the Messiah); a War Scroll; Temple Scroll; poetic and liturgical pieces; Thanksgiving Hymns; wisdom …show more content…
This discovery shows the extraordinary accuracy between the two sets of manuscripts. The texts are believed to have been written by a strict Jewish sect called the Essenes. This religious community led by one they called the “Teacher of Righteousness” lived a demanding routine of self-discipline. Their interpretation of the law was severe, they held fellowship meals to which admission was closely guarded. “They interpreted prophetic scripture as referring to events of their own day and believed that they had an important part to play in the hope of Israel.”2

HOW MUCH CAN THEY HELP US UNDERSTAND THE NEW TESTAMENT? The dead sea scrolls offer unique information from a time during the second temple period when Jewish religious and political life in Palestine was full of corruption and conflict. There were three main Jewish groups during this time; the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Essenes. It has also been confirmed that there were many other groups and movements in Secondary Temple Judaism. “It is now evident that Judaism in the land of Israel was open to Greek influences from the 3rd century onwards in the areas of language, economics, military strategy, politics, culture and religion”.3 The scrolls shed light on the time when Jesus and John the Baptist lived and the beliefs of the early Christians. We are given information on the way things were at that time; the laws of the day, things that Jesus and the apostles had trouble
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