What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Can you please explain the Dead Sea scrolls and why they are significant (or not)? Do they support the Bible? How did they come to be? Are they a prophesy? How do we respond to them as Christians?

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Hi @Jennifer_May the Dead Sea Scrolls contain partial or full copies of all the books in the old testament excluding Esther, as well as other literature. Here is a link to a website with more information about them:

https://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/learn-about-the-scrolls/introduction?locale=en_US

They are a very significant find as they are early copies of the bible, thus greatly increasing the reliability of the texts. The main scribes of the scrolls are believed to be the Essenes. This was a Jewish sect that was around before during and after the time if Christ. This group was also known as the Qumran if I am not mistaken and the caves they were found in are the Qumran caves.

I would need to understand more about the meaning of your question, “Are they a prophesy?” before I could reply correctly. They contain prophetic literature as the bible does.

We as Christians celebrate the find and are delighted to have this source of evidence that further verifies the authenticity of the old testament. Did that answer your question or can I get you any further information?

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@Jennifer_May The Dead Sea Scrolls allow us to verify that the Old Testament has been accurately copied down through the ages because they are copies of segments of the OT from before the life of Christ. They are not prophesies in addition to the Bible, but they do allow us to confirm the historical reliability of the prophecies we see in the OT. I thought this video provided a good summary.

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Thank you! I was confused - I didn’t realize they were OT copies, but I thought they were another document in addition to the OT. This is cool!!!

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Thank you so much! I would agree with your last paragraph! It is a delight as a Christian to have these. I didn’t realize what the scrolls were. Thank you for clarifying. Now that I understand the “prophesy” part of the question is not really relevant in that I now understand that the Bible is full of Prophecies and that the dead sea scrolls are copies of the word of God!

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@Jennifer_May I am delighted that our answers have answered your question. Have a great day.

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@Jennifer_May @brianlalor answered you very well, with one small correction: the Essenes were not also called the Qumran, but the Qumran community, which he may have meant.

I highly recommend The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible. It is a superb resource because it is a translation of the scriptures that have been found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. It was published in 2002 so there may be more recent scholarship; but for the layman it will suffice.

The Dead Sea Scrolls include, among other things, the Great Isaiah Scroll. This is a nearly complete manuscript of Isaiah. No intellectually honest person can say that Isaiah’s Messianic prophecies were made up late or after the fact because of it. That is just one example of the apologetic value of this find to which @brianlalor alluded.

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Here is a book recommendation that will help you answer this question. The book is written by John Collins and Craig Evans two highly respected men in their fields. I am ashamed to admit that I have only skimmed it but I do plan to read it one day.

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Been looking through some of this guy’s other videos, too, and they are interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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@Cindi1 Sure thing - glad you are enjoying :slight_smile:

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