The Dead Sea Scrolls are referred to as the greatest archaeological pieces that were found in the 20th century. They were discovered in the late 1940s outside Jerusalem. The ancient collection that dates more than 2,000 years ago includes the oldest identified biblical transcripts. One of Israeli’s paleographer called ada yardeni did commendable study on this subject. The write-up below explores the scrolls and their historical and religious significance;
The first set of the Dead Sea Scrolls were accidentally found by the Bedouin teenagers who were herding their flock near Qumran. This was after one of them rolled a rock on one side of a cliff only to hear some sound. The other teenagers entered the cave only to find a collection of clay jars that were large. Seven of these jars contained papyrus and leather scrolls.
The archaeological pieces were later sold to the antiquities, and this is how they ended up in the confines of the scholars. The texts were estimated to be more than 2,000 years old by the scholars. After the story of the discovery was made known archaeologists did more searches on the same and unearthed additional pieces from the nearby caves. The total numbers of manuscripts found were between 800 and 900.
Some scrolls of the Dead Sea Scrolls were sold in the classified section. A Syrian who was an Orthodox archbishop in Jerusalem bought four of the original manuscript from a cobbler for less than $100. However, when the war between the Palestine and Israel broke up, he traveled to the United States where he tried to sell the scrolls to some universities unsuccessfully. It was not until 1954 that he made a breakthrough by placing an advertisement in the classified section of the Wall Street Journal. The four of the original scrolls were bought by an Israeli archaeologist whose father had obtained other three scrolls from the first collection. He did negotiate for them through the newly established nation of Israel.
Authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls
To this day, nobody exactly knows who authored the Dead Sea Scrolls which are believed to have been written between 150 B.C. and 70 A.D. One of the prevailing theories is that the scrolls were written by the Jewish population that lived in the area that was later destroyed by the Roman troops. This group of the Jew is believed to have belonged to the communal, ascetic, and devout sect that is referred to as the Essenes. It was one of the Jewish communities that lived in Judea before the Roman invasion.