A History of Hebrew: The Dead Sea Scrolls

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A History of Hebrew: The Dead Sea Scrolls

Between 1947 and 1956, ancient scrolls and fragments of the Hebrew Bible were discovered in caves near the Dead Sea dating to the 1st C. BCE and the 1st C. CE.

The manuscripts discovered in the Dead Sea Caves include: All of the Canonical Books of the Hebrew Bible with the exception of the book of Esther. Canonical Books such as Enoch, Jubilees, Tobit and Sirach as well as Psalms that are not part of the 150 Psalms in the Canonical Bible. And Sectarian Books such as , the Community Rule, the War Scroll, the Damascus Document and Peshers, which are commentaries on books of the Bible. 

There are several different theories on the origin of these texts.

The predominating theory is that the scrolls were the work of a Jewish sect called the Essenes who, it is believed, resided in nearby Qumran and that the scrolls were hidden away in the caves to protect them from the advancing Roman army. 

Other theories for the writers of the scrolls include Early Zadokite Priests.

A newer theory, is that the scrolls were from various libraries and synagogues, in Jerusalem, about 15 miles from the caves. 

One possible reason for the scrolls existence within the caves is that they were placed there for safekeeping when the Jews were fleeing Jerusalem from the advancing Romans. 

Another possible reason is that according to Jewish Law, any written work that includes the four letter name YHWH (YAHUAH), must be buried, it may not be destroyed or discarded. Supporting evidence for this theory is that every book of the Hebrew Bible has been found in the caves with the exception of the book of Esther, the only book in the Hebrew Bible that does not contain the four letter name YHWH/YHUH (YAHUAH).

The most famous of the scrolls and fragments found within the Dead Sea Caves is the Isaiah Scroll.

While most of the scrolls are fragmented, deteriorating or incomplete, the Isaiah scroll is the only complete scroll found. 

The life of a scroll depends on its handling and storage, but can be in use by a community for several hundred years. Some Torah Scrolls still in use in synagogues today are over 500 years old.

The Isaiah scroll from the Dead Sea Caves has been dated to around 200 BCE. Isaiah wrote his original scroll around 700 BCE and may have been in use up until around 200 BCE. This means that is possible for the Isaiah Scroll from the Dead Sea Caves to be a copy made directly from Isaiah’s original scroll.

The Isaiah scroll, as well as many other scrolls and fragments from the Dead Sea, are currently on stored and on display in Jerusalem at the Shrine of the Book.

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A History of Hebrew: The Dead Sea Scrolls

Narration: Jeff A. Benner

Graphics: Jeff A. Benner

Images: Peter Koutoupis, Berthold Werner, Wilson44691, Teqoah, Kwz, Albeiro Rodas, Avishai Teicher, Effib, David Roberts, Grauesel, Reuvenk, Liam Quin, Library of Congress, Cory, Sagie Maoz

Music: Kevin MacLeod

Learn More: Watch Video: Click on Link:

https://youtu.be/-huY9lx37v0?list=FLd5BA-suh323QC5bSFY8zjQ 

About the author

Gera'el Toma

A highly esteemed elder in the faith of the Natsarim, the first century believers in Messiah Yahusha, and a treasured member of the Remnant House Team.

Gera'el Toma (Gerald Thomas) is an internationally recognized and respected teacher of the Holy Scriptures as originally written in the Hebrew language.

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Gera'el Toma

A highly esteemed elder in the faith of the Natsarim, the first century believers in Messiah Yahusha, and a treasured member of the Remnant House Team.

Gera'el Toma (Gerald Thomas) is an internationally recognized and respected teacher of the Holy Scriptures as originally written in the Hebrew language.

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