The Dead Sea Scrolls: Discovery, Significance, and Insights

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The Dead Sea Scrolls 1. Introduction and Overview The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been described by numerous scholars and biblical commentators as one of the most important finds in archeological history. (Top 10 Most Important Historical Finds) The find occurred in 1947 when a Bedouin shepherd came across sealed jars in a cave containing leather scrolls. The scrolls which were subsequently brought to an antiques dealer in Bethlehem were purchased by a Syrian Orthodox Archbishop named Mar (Athanasius) Samuel. ( HYPERLINK "http://bible.org/byauthor/2658/Patrick%20Zukeran" Zukeran) He recognized that the scrolls were in Hebrew and were possibly very ancient. These scrolls were then examined by a prominent Middle East archaeologist, Dr. William Albright, and were confirmed as originating between the first and second century B.C. ( HYPERLINK "http://bible.org/byauthor/2658/Patrick%20Zukeran" Zukeran) In effect the Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts consisting of"… HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_manuscripts" o "Biblical manuscripts"biblical manuscripts from what is now known as the HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_Bible" o "Hebrew Bible"Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1946 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Sea" o "Dead Sea"Dead Sea". ( Dead Sea Scrolls) As will be discussed, their importance lies in the fact that they are the earliest known copies

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