what exactly are the dead sea scrolls ?what do they contain ,who found them and how?
- Shay pLv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient Jewish manuscripts, most of them written in Hebrew, some in Aramaic, and a few in Greek. Many of these scrolls and fragments are over 2,000 years old, dating to before the birth of Jesus. Among the first scrolls obtained from the Bedouins were seven lengthy manuscripts in various stages of deterioration. As more caves were searched, other scrolls and thousands of scroll fragments were found. Between the years of 1947 and 1956, a total of 11 caves containing scrolls were discovered near Qumran, by the Dead Sea.
When all the scrolls and fragments are sorted out, they account for about 800 manuscripts. About one quarter, or just over 200 manuscripts, are copies of portions of the Hebrew Bible text. Additional manuscripts represent ancient non-Biblical Jewish writings, both Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.
Some of the scrolls that most excited scholars were previously unknown writings. These include interpretations on matters of Jewish law, specific rules for the community of the sect that lived in Qumran, liturgical poems and prayers, as well as eschatological works that reveal views about the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the last days. There are also unique Bible commentaries, the most ancient antecedents of modern running commentary on Bible texts.
Some not all of the Dead Sea Scrolls were accidentally discovered in 1947 by a Bedouin boy in Israel's Judean Desert.
Early in 1949 G. Lankester Harding, director of the Jordanian Antiquities Department, undertook to excavate Cave I with Père Roland de Vaux, a French Dominican priest who headed the École Biblique in Jerusalem. Exploration of the cave, which lay one kilometer north of Wadi Qumran, yielded at least seventy fragments, including bits of the original seven scrolls. This discovery established the provenance of the purchased scrolls. Also recovered were archeological artifacts that confirmed the scroll dates suggested by paleographic study.
The years between 1951 and 1956 were marked by accelerated activity in both the search for caves and the archeological excavation of sites related to tile manuscripts. An eight-kilometer-long strip of cliffs was thoroughly investigated. Of the eleven caves that yielded manuscripts, five were discovered by the Bedouins and six by archeologists. Some of the caves were particularly rich in material. Cave 3 preserved two oxidized rolls of beaten copper (the Copper Scroll), containing a lengthy roster of real or imaginary hidden treasures-a tantalizing enigma to this day. Cave 4. was particularly rich in material: 15,000 fragments from at least six hundred composite texts were found there. The last manuscript cave discovered, Cave II, was located in 1956, providing extensive documents, including the Psalms Scroll, an Aramaic targum of Job, and the Temple Scroll, the longest (about twenty-nine feet) of the Qumran manuscripts. The Temple Scroll was acquired by Yigael Yadin in 1967 and is now housed alongside the first seven scrolls in the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. All the remaining manuscripts, sizable texts as well as minute fragments, are stored in the Rockefeller Museum building in Jerusalem, the premises of the Israel Antiquities Authority.