What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?
The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in history, and their contribution to both biblical and historical studies remains unmatched. The Dead Sea Scrolls consist of scrolls and fragments that include all of the Old Testament books except Esther, as well as sectarian and apocryphal texts all dating to the Second Temple Period.
This discovery was vital for biblical scholars and historians alike, creating a new standard for biblical textual analysis. Before this discovery, biblical scholars relied upon the Masoretic text (dating to the 10th century A.D.) as the earliest known Old Testament Hebrew manuscripts. The Dead Sea Scrolls date from 250 B.C. to 70 A.D., providing scholars with a biblical text from almost a thousand years earlier. Almost 70 years after their discovery, the Dead Sea Scrolls are still one of the most highly debated topics within biblical studies, and a complete education on the subject would take a lifetime to learn.