Dead Sea Scroll Segment
The Dead Sea Scrolls
First discovered in a cave west of the Dead Sea by a young Bedouin, The Dead Sea Scrolls have been a rich source of information about Jewish and early Christian beliefs and practices. Scrolls and many fragments were discovered over a nine year period, from 1947 to 1956 in many caves. They include the oldest copies of almost all the books in the Hebrew Scriptures, Some scrolls contain the beliefs and rules of living of a group of Jewish devout believers called the Essenes, who lived in and about a settlement called Qumran. It is believed that these particular Jews left Jerusalem around 150B.C. and exiled themselves to Qumran for over 200 years. Their leader was a person called the Teacher of Righteousness. They held apocalyptic beliefs as did the early Christians. Jesus may have know of them as did John the Baptist.. Some scholars suggest that John the Baptist had been an Essene. It is clear that the Scrolls show that Christianity is rooted in Judaism .
The Scrolls will be studied and preserved for years to come as they are a treasure trove of information about the biblical and nonbiblical nature of certain Jewish groups, especially the Essenes. As one website notes," the Dead Sea Scrolls enhance our knowledge of both Judaism and Christianity."