The Dead Sea Scrolls is History, the Bible is NotThe period 76-67 BCE is the history of Jesus leadership as the Teacher of Righteousness. The Qumran Community was Conservative Judaism and became Christianity under Paul and Rome. Pharisaism became today’s Judaism, under Queen Salome and Shimon ben Shetah. 9 Bible Verses about Dead Sea. Most Relevant Verses. All these came as allies to the valley of Siddim (that is, the. Dead Sea Scrolls - REJECTED SCRIPTURES THE DEMONS OF DEATH (Beatitudes - 4Q525) (Plate 12) This next text has been called ‘ the Beatitudes ’, comparing it to famous recitations of a parallel kind in Ecclesiasticus (Ben Sira) and the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew.
Jason Olson and Dr. Donald Parry, Hebrew Language
I had an incredible ORCA mentoring experience with Dr. Donald Parry. Our research project was focused on the textual variations in the Dead Sea Scrolls that cause theological differences. Our main premise was to compare the Dead Sea Scrolls Hebrew Biblical texts with the traditional Masoretic Biblical Texts.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of ancient Jewish texts, collected and written by the Essene sect of the Second Temple period. The Essenes were a separatist sect during this time period, meaning that they broke away from the more mainstream Sadducee and Pharisee groups. The Essenes often lived in complete seclusion from normal society, in the Judean Desert, which is near the famous Dead Sea. The Essenes rejected the Jerusalem Temple, believing it and its priesthood was corrupt. They had a powerful argument. The original, legitimate priesthood of the Israelites consisted of the descendants of Zadok, a lineage chosen by King David before the construction of the First Temple. When the Greeks (or Hellenes) came to power, they supported a non-Zadokian line to be the priests for the Second Temple. This decision, continued by Herod the Great, ultimately led the Essenes to separate from Jewish society. The Essenes were avid scholars. They preserved an amazing library at Qumran which consisted of at least 900 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the Qumran Wadi near the ruins of the ancient settlement Khirbet Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea.
The texts are of great religious and historical significance, as they include some of the only known surviving copies of Biblical documents written before 100 B.C. and preserve impressive evidence of Second Temple Jewish beliefs. [From Papyrus to Cyberspace, The Guardian, August 27, 2008]. The manuscripts generally date between 150 BCE to 70 CE [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Sea_Scrolls – cite_ref-1Bruce, F. F. “The Last Thirty Years.” Story of the Bible. ed. Frederic G. Kenyon] The “Biblical” manuscripts (copies of texts from the Hebrew Bible), comprise roughly 40% of the identified scrolls. [Abegg, Jr., Martin, Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English, San Francisco: Harper, 2002]
The biblical manuscripts from Qumran, which include at least fragments from every book of the Old Testament, except perhaps for the Book of Esther, provide a much older cross section of scriptural tradition than that available to scholars before. While some of the Qumran biblical manuscripts are nearly identical to the Masoretic, or traditional, Hebrew text of the Old Testament; some manuscripts, especially the books of Exodus and Samuel, found in Cave Four, exhibit dramatic differences in both language and content. In their amazing range of textual variants, the Qumran biblical discoveries have prompted scholars to reconsider the once-accepted theories of the development of the modern biblical text from only three manuscript families: the Masoretic text, the Hebrew original of the Septuagint, and the very fluid until its canonization around 100 CE. [Fagan, Brian M., and Charlotte Beck, The Oxford Companion to Archeology, entry on the “Dead sea scrolls”, Oxford University Press, 1996]
The significance of the scrolls relates largely to the field of textual criticism, the technical study Dr. Parry and I conducted. Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible were the Masoretic texts, dating to the 9th century CE. The biblical manuscripts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls push that date back a whole millennium, to the 2nd century BCE.
About 35% of the DSS biblical manuscripts belong to the Masoretic tradition, 5% to the Septuagint family, and 5% to the Samaritan, with the remainder unaligned. The non-aligned manuscripts fall into two categories, those inconsistent in agreeing with the other known types, and those that diverge significantly from all other known readings. The DSS thus form a significant witness to the mutability of biblical texts at this period. [Emanuel Tov, “Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001 2nd revised edition)] The sectarian texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls, most of which were previously unknown, offer new light on Essene Judaism, practiced during the Second Temple period.
One impressive example of a textual variation that Dr. Parry and I found was Deuteronomy 32:8-9. I will present the divergent texts and offer an explanation below. The King James (Masoretic) Version of Deuteronomy 32:8-9 reads: 8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
The Dead Sea Scrolls version reads: 8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the sons of God. 9 For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. [J.A. Duncan, in Qumran Cave 4. IX: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Kings, ed. E. Ulrich and F.M. Cross, DJD XIV (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995), 90.]
The incredible significance of this variation is that God can have sons in pre-Christian era Jewish theology! Jewish tradition maintained that there were 70 nations of the world, so therefore post-Second Temple Judaism was able to make the connection that the Most High divided the nations according to the 70 sons of Israel. An even earlier Jewish theology, however, maintained that the 70 nations of the world were divided according to the 70 divine sons of the Most High God. This concept is fascinatingly preserved even in ancient Canaanite religion! A convincing conclusion to this argument is that Jewish scribes changed the scripture, after the advent of Christianity, to prevent the spread of the idea that God can have sons from public and/or Jewish knowledge. [John Wesley Etheridge, The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel On the Pentateuch; With the Fragments Of the Jerusalem Targum; from the Chaldee (London: Longman, Green, and Roberts, 1865), 662; and Manfried Dietrich, Oswald Loretz, and Joaquín Sanmartín, eds., The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts: From Ugarit, Ras Ibn Hani and Other Places (KTU) (Verlag: Ugarit, 1995)]
Have you ever been to the Dead Sea? If not, put it on your wish list – it is well worth the travel. The Dead Sea, lying 1,300 feet below sea level, is the lowest and most mineral-rich body of water in the world. Its 34.2% salinity makes it one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water. The Dead Sea depth is 304 meters (997 feet), which makes it the deepest hyper-saline lake in the world. A significant landmark, too salty to sustain any marine life, the Dead Sea is famous for the water’s mysteriously buoyant qualities which allow people to float across the top of the water, without needing to swim. The special features of the Dead Sea don’t end there: the lake’s waters are a light turquoise-blue color and it is surrounded by golden brown hills; here and there, bright white salt crystals jut out of the water. The mineral-rich water and mud of the Dead Sea are believed to have numerous benefits for the body, especially for skin, respiratory and arthritic conditions. For this reason, many people visit the Dead Sea every year to get special treatments at the spas surrounding it; they are joined by tourists who visit the area for its beauty, uniqueness, and luxurious spa resorts.
Dead Sea Scrolls Bible Accuracy
The Dead Sea in Biblical times
As well as being famous for its numerous health benefits and year-round warm climate, the Dead Sea also contains a profound heritage and has played an important role throughout the history of the peoples of the area. The sea is mentioned numerous times in the bible and has long been associated with mysticism, wonderment, and religious significance in the Biblical era.
It is most commonly referenced when describing the borders to the land of Israel. However, it is also very notable in its own right. Various names are used to refer to the Dead Sea in the Bible, including ‘Salt Sea’, ‘Sea of Arabah’, and ‘Eastern Sea’.
The Dead Sea is mentioned in the Bible – it was famous even during that period. Several different sects of Jews used to lives in the caves near the Dead Sea. The most famous of these were the Essenes, who have left us the original Bible scrolls – but more on them later. The area of Ein Gedi near the Dead Sea, which is a nature reserve today, is believed to be the area where the Biblical David, king to be, hid from King Saul when the latter came after him with the purpose of killing him. Another very well-known Biblical story that took place in the vicinity of the Dead Sea is the story of Lot’s wife. But the salty lake at the lowest elevation on Earth is probably best known for the story of Masada that has become a symbol of resistance against oppression, and Masada has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lot’s wife – a pillar of salt
Perhaps the most famous time that the Dead Sea is mentioned in the bible is during the Biblical story that references the Dead Sea is that of Lot’s wife. In the Bible, Lot, the nephew of Abraham, chose to settle in a stretch of land near the kingdom of Sodom, just north of the Dead Sea. Sodom and neighboring kingdom Gomorrah were notorious for being places of wickedness and vice. Over the years, Lot became a respectable member of Sodom, married a Sodomite, and was appointed mayor of the city; his daughters, too, married men of Sodom. However, God was angry with the people of Sodom, and, wishing to destroy this place of sin, sent Lot two angels to warn him of his plan. Lot, who inherited the traits of hospitality from his uncle Abraham decides to welcome two travelers into his home. Unbeknownst to him, these travelers are actually angels sent by God to destroy Sodom and the surrounding region. When they hear that Lot was hosting guests, the residents of Sodom surrounded his house, angrily demanding that they are released from his protection. The angels then revealed their true nature to Lot, urging him and his family to flee the city before the incoming apocalypse. However, they caution Lot and his wife not to turn back and watch the city’s destruction. According to the biblical narrative, Lot’s wife decided not to heed the angel’s warning, and when she turned back to survey the city’s destruction, God turned her into a pillar of salt. To this day, a tall pillar standing near the Mount of Sodom is known as “Lot’s Wife”.
Mount Sodom, a salt rock plug, is located in the South-East corner of the Dead Sea. Its slopes are covered with formations of salt that appear to look like pillars. The pillars are often referred to and pointed out as “Lot’s wife” in reference to the biblical tale.
Dead Sea Bible Prophecy
The Dead Sea is mentioned in the prophecy of the Seer Ezekiel. The Book of Ezekiel recalls how he foresaw a time when the Dead Sea would be transformed from saline waters that cannot host life into freshwaters teeming with sea life. He prophesized that ‘’Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish because this water flows there and makes the saltwater fresh… Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail.”
The prophet Zechariah also echoed this same prophecy centuries later. He predicted that “living” water would soon flow where today the water is salty.
These prophecies are often interpreted as follows. According to the biblical narrative, the Dead Sea region was once vibrant, filled with life, and watered. It was only after God rained down fire and brimstone on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah did the area become a wasteland, and the sea became a hyper-saline salt lake. However, in the messianic era, once mankind repents, the region will return to its original status.
Dead Sea Scrolls
One of the most significant biblical archaeological discoveries of the modern era and a finding that cemented our understanding of the Dead Sea’s biblical history was the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These scrolls are believed to had been written by the Essenes (although some researchers argue other Jewish groups, or even ancient priests, might have created them). The scrolls are a collection of 981 manuscripts, written between 150 BC and 70 AD, some of which were later included in the Hebrew Bible canon as well as in extra-biblical and deuterocanonical manuscripts.
Where were the Dead Sea Scrolls found?
The scrolls were discovered in the Qumran Caves, which are located near the northern bank of the Dead Sea, by Bedouin shepherds in 1946-47. In the 1950s the caves were excavated by a team of researchers, and the scrolls have been studied ever since. Today the scrolls are housed in the Shrine of the Book, an impressive edifice at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Although not a biblical story, the fortress of Masada which is just a few KMs from the Dead Sea is one of the region’s most prominent historical sites. Masada was a fortress King Herod built on a hill overlooking the Dead Sea, the remains of which can still be seen today.
In 70 AD, a group of Jewish zealots fled to Masada following the destruction of the Second Temple. In 73 AD, the Roman X Legion came after them; the Jewish zealots rebelled against the Roman occupation of Judea. After Jerusalem was captured, the rebels besieged themselves in the fortress of Masada which was formerly used by King Herod. After a two-year siege, the rebels were eventually defeated – rather than surrender, they collectively decided to commit suicide.
Dead Sea Scrolls Verses
Today the fortress is a famous heritage site in the Dead Sea region. Tens of thousands of tourists visit the fortress which sits on top of a mountainous plateau, to pay homage to the gallantry of the Jewish rebels and experience how they defiantly lived in the fortress, surrounded by Roman garrisons.