Caves at Qumran, Israel
Caves at Qumran, Israel

On the eastern side of the Judean Hills and alongside the Dead sea is an area known as Qumran. This area is dry, hot and barren – it is un-inviting and not a place that would inspire people to go to. That is until 1947.

For thousands of years the Judean Desert held secrets buried in its sands, only to be revealed by a young Bedouin shepherd in 1947. The discovery of these ancient treasures initiated a modern-day adventure into the past, revolutionizing our understanding of history and religion. They are know as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Scrolls which were found in caves similar to those shown in the photo above and are divided into two type:-

  • Biblical manuscripts – those found in the Hebrew Bible
  • Non Biblical manuscripts – Religious writings from around the year of the Second Temple. That covers a period of around 300BC to 70 AD

In all 230 manuscripts are referred to as Biblical Scrolls – Among the Scrolls are partial or complete copies of every book in the Hebrew Bible (except the book of Esther).

The Non Biblical manuscripts preserve a large range of Jewish religious writings from the Second Temple period, including parabiblical texts, exegetical texts, hymns and prayers, wisdom texts, apocalyptic texts, calendrical texts, and others. Some of the works discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls were known previously, but many were previously unknown.

But around the area of Qumran is more than just the place that the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered – it is also a place where there was a township – and many of the things associated with living and religious practices have been restored to be seen.

For more information about Qumran

A good Website about the Dead Sea Scrolls that I recommend

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