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Dead Sea Scrolls - LIFE STORIES
9/22/1991     Un/Covering the Dead Sea Scrolls
On this day in 1991 the Dead Sea Scrolls were made available to the public for the first time by the Huntington Library in California. The first Scrolls were discovered in the caves of Qumran by Bedouin shepherds in 1947, but decades of delay in deciphering them prompted this controversial release of a microfilm version of "the greatest archeological find in history."
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The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English
by Geza Vermes
The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls
by Philip R. Davies, George J. Brooke, Phillip R. Callaway
The Scrolls from the Dead Sea
by Edmund Wilson
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Great Isaiah Scroll Directory
Online presentation of a near-complete scroll from 100 B.C., with comments about the physical characterstics of each page, and notes on issues concerning translation. With translated text, in English:

"In the following translation I am only changing word order within some lines but not between lines.... In English, adjectives usually precede nouns and in Hebrew they follow after the noun they modify. If one is able to make sense out of the word order even though it is clumsy in English I am leaving it as it is in a word for word order where possible. I am making as nearly as possible a word for word translation and using the person and number of verbs and number and gender of nouns and pronouns that are in the Q text. ... Words that are implied but not in the actual text I have placed in italics. ... Relative to the time of a verb: as to it being past or present time: Hebrew verbs are not time defined. Only the context can determine the time (past, present, or future) Thus in the translation it is legitimate for you to change the tense of the verb to suit what you believe to be the case."
Library of Congress: Scrolls from the Dead Sea
Find information about the world of the scrolls, a map of the Dead Sea region, selected artifacts from the Qumran site, the Qumran community, and the link between Judaism and Christianity.

"The Dead Sea Scrolls, which date back to the events described in the New Testament, have added to our understanding of the Jewish background of Christianity. Scholars have pointed to similarities between beliefs and practices outlined in the Qumran literature and those of early Christians. These parallels include comparable rituals of baptism, communal meals, and property. Most interesting is the parallel organizational structures: the sectarians divided themselves into twelve tribes led by twelve chiefs, similar to the structure of the early Church, with twelve apostles who, according to Jesus, would to sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Many scholars believe that both the literature of Qumran and the early Christian teachings stem from a common stream within Judaism and do not reflect a direct link between the Qumran community and the early Christians."
The Gnostic Society Library
Find the story of the scrolls, a consideration of why the scrolls are important, a review of the Essene-Qumran hypothesis, recommended books, and links to online resources. Includes excerpts and translated texts in English and modern Hebrew including "The Book of Secrets," "The Thanksgiving Psalms," "The Parable of the Bountiful Tree," "A Baptismal Liturgy," "The Coming of Melchizedek," "Tongues of Fire," and "The Book of Giants."

"Some scholars now argue that the scrolls possibly came from one or more ancient Jewish collections, including the Temple library in Jerusalem. They were copied by many different hands and represent several types of Jewish literature produced in the intertestamental period, including some apocalyptic and sectarian writings authored by communities that might be called 'Essenes'. During the Jewish uprising and before destruction of Temple in 70 CE. – so goes this tentative argument – they were transported to the caves around Qumran for safety."
The Qumran Library
An extensive website offers detailed information about the scrolls -- their ancient and recent histories, where they were discovered, who wrote them, why they were written, and their meaning. Provides photgraphs, translations of selected texts, and historical context. Also offers images, commentary, and translated texts of related artifacts.

"The Book of Enoch is a pseudoepigraphal work (a work that claims to be by a biblical character). The Book of Enoch was not included in either the Hebrew or most Christian biblical canons, but could have been considered a sacred text by the sectarians. The original Aramaic version was lost until the Dead Sea fragments were discovered."
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February 19, 2018
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