Essay On Dead Sea Scrolls

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The Dead Sea Scrolls are a well-known archaeological finding of manuscripts that recorded biblical documents and religious history, copied in the second century. The scrolls were discovered in the years 1947-1956, at Khirbet Qumran, a large area of the Dead Sea’s northwestern shore. These scrolls were retrieved from eleven different caves and are classified in three categories: Jewish literature (400 manuscripts), biblical books (200, manuscripts) and Sectarian compositions (200 manuscripts). The Dead Sea Scrolls had been kept hidden for over two thousand years, so this discovery was viewed as incredibly valuable for early Christianity and the history of Judaism. These findings ignited public interest and invoked excitement and controversy …show more content…
Norman Golb, author of “Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls”, describes the Qumran area prior to the cave discoveries. In 1940, an archaeologist, Michael Avi-Yonah, viewed the area as a stronghold for several military sites in the Judean Wilderness, whose goal during biblical times was the protection of Jerusalem against invasions from areas beyond the Dead Sea and Jordan River. Later after Avi-Yonah published his map of the area, in 1947, Bedouin tribesman discovered the first scrolls, in a cave a kilometer north of Khirbet Qumran (Golb). Caves are numerous in this region. A. Powell Davies, examines in his research the caves prior to use for concealing scrolls, in his book stating, at one time, the Jordan Valley here was a continuous lake and the caves that later developed had been part of the shoreline. When the level of the lake lowered, some channels of water eroded in the soft rock dried out, forming caves. The caves were either small or covered over, so an entrance had to be dug out. This factor made the caves desired hiding places for treasures people wanted to keep hidden. In the caves, tightly sealed jars were found containing tightly rolled manuscripts. Out of forty jars only two were found intact (A. Powell

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