The Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls Essay

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The Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which was initially made in 1947, represents one of the most important archeological discoveries made in the twentieth century. In the caves of the cliffs overhanging the northwestern end of the Dead Sea, in an area now known as Khirbet Qumran, a number of large clay jars containing more than six hundred ancient Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts were discovered by some travelling Bedouins. These manuscripts were attributed to the members of a previously unknown Jewish brotherhood, and were written approximately between the years of 100BCE and 68CE. While these scrolls provide scientists and historians with a window into a previously undiscovered community,
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The finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls greatly aids the biblical scholar in his understanding of the formative period in Christian history.
One of the most exciting discoveries made in the Qumran manuscripts was of a priest character that, at least seemingly, resembles Jesus Christ. The Dead Sea Scrolls revealed the existence of a great religious figure known as the Teacher of Righteousness. This figure bears many striking resemblances to Jesus of Nazareth, though the dates of each figure eliminate any possibility of them being the same person. It has been established that the Teacher of Righteousness lived at least half a century before Jesus, and like Jesus and his disciples, led his followers into a new Mosaic covenant, a return to a strict obedience of the laws of Moses. The facts surrounding the case of the Teacher of Righteousness are few; saysYigael Yadin in his book, The Message of the Scrolls, "[w]e must…be satisfied with the facts about him in the Habakkuk Commentary and the Damascus Covenant. We know he was a priest endowed with the ability to interpret prophecies and to foretell the future events of his people. [He] was persecuted by his foes from inside and outside, and was compelled to flee and live in 'the house of exile.'" However, from what we do know, the Teacher of Righteousness seems to fulfill a role as pre-cursor to Jesus. Other interpretations of the scrolls see this Teacher
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