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Published on Oct 12, 2007
Importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Randall Niles explains what this discovery really means to the integrity of the ancient scriptures.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been called the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times. They were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves near the Dead Sea in present-day Israel. The discovery is comprised of 825 to 870 separate scrolls, represented by tens of thousands of fragments. Most of the texts are written in Hebrew and Aramaic, with a few in Greek.
Fragments of every book of the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) have been discovered, except for the book of Esther. Now identified among the scrolls are 19 fragments of Isaiah, 25 fragments of Deuteronomy and 30 fragments of the Psalms. The Great Isaiah Scroll is fully intact, and contains some of the most dramatic prophecies of a coming Messiah (Savior of the world).
Based on various dating methods, including paleographic, scribal, and carbon-14, the Great Isaiah Scroll dates to between 100 and 335 BC. As such, this find has revolutionized textual criticism of the Old Testament and prophecy. Phenomenally, the Great Isaiah Scroll dating from a couple centuries before Christ is in substantial agreement with the next oldest Isaiah manuscript dating to the 10th century AD. This reality verifies the amazing accuracy of the texts as they have been passed down from generation to generation.
We now have dramatic evidence that the key prophecies contained in todays Old Testament are the same prophecies that existed prior to the time Jesus walked this earth. There was no contrivance after-the-fact There was no conspiracy of religious zealots Simply, Jesus Christ fulfilled the requirements of the Jewish Messiah!
The Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is displaying the Great Isaiah Scroll as its central artifact. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Israel, please go to the Shrine of the Book.