The Dead Sea Scrolls Essay Research Paper

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The Dead Sea Scrolls Essay, Research Paper The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Complete Story On the western shore of the Dead Sea, about 8 miles south from Jericho, lies a complex of mines known as Khirbet Qumran. It occupies one of the lowest parts of the earth, on the fringe of the hot dried waste wilderness of the Judaea. Members of an ancient Jewish community, the Essenes, hurried out one day and in secrecy climbed the nearby cliffs in order to hide away their precious scrolls in 11 caves, now called The Dead Sea Scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of over 800 manuscripts that date back to the time of Christ. Found by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947 in caves along the Dead Sea, near an archeological find known as Khirbet Qumran. These manuscripts are from a library that

consists of only three types of literature: Biblical, Sectarian, and Extra-Biblical. The Biblical manuscripts found at Qumran and are the oldest known copies of the Old Testament. The Sectarian literature found at Qumran is a collection of manuscripts that describes the foundation of teachings and rules of a specific group of Jews, who many believe, lived at the Qumran. The Extra-Biblical literature found at Qumran reflects the general literature of the period. Many scholars agree that the Dead Sea Scrolls are the lasts of a library that belonged to an ancient Jewish sect, the Essenes. The of discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and of the half a century of extreme research that followed, is in itself a fascinating as well as an exasperating story. (Vermes 1) Eastridge 2 Their

discovery began in 1947. A boy by the name of Muhamad Adh-Dhib lost his goat, and climbed the hilly type rocks to retrieve him. Growing tired, he rested under an over hanging for some shade. As he rested he started looking around and saw a hole that looked as though it didn t belong. It appeared to be a cave entrance. So he grabbed a rock and threw it in to see what would happen. What he heard surprised him. He heard the sound of pottery breaking. Thinking it could not be true, he threw another, and again he heard pottery break. He lifted himself up to the hole opening and looked inside. He saw several wide-necked jars with broken pieces scattered all around them. Muhammad ran home thinking the cave must be a place for spirits because no man could fit into the entrance of the

cave. But that night Muhammad told a friend what he saw. The boy thought that Muhammad was superstitious, and had to take him to the cave so he could see for himself. The next day the boys went to the cave. Once there, the boys were able to find a way into the cave. They saw jars lined up in rows, on all sides of the cave, and in the middle were broken pieces of the pottery. When they picked up the pots they found the first and second ones to be empty. It wasn t until they looked into the third jar that they discovered the rags that contained the scrolls. The boys were disappointed that the jars did not contain gold and wonderful treasures. However, they took the scrolls with them thinking that they could sell them at the market. The next day the boys took the scrolls to the

market and showed them to a local merchant, he was not interested, and sent them to another merchant. The Eastridge 3 merchant known as Kando, was a member of the Syrian Jacobite Church. Kando at the time didn t know what they were, but thought there might be more scrolls to be found. So he along with another church member, Isaiah, went to the caves at Qumran. They found additional scrolls and fragments. Isaiah showed what he d found to the Syrian Metropolitan Athanasius Yeshua Samuel, head of the Syrian Jacobite Church in Jerusalem. Metropolitan Samuel wasn t real sure what the scrolls were either, but having a collection of ancient documents in his monastery, St. Mark, he knew that the scrolls were indeed important. In July 1947, Metropolitan Samuel asked Kando Isaiah to set up