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The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Historic Discovery
What are the Dead Sea Scrolls? When were they Discovered? Who Wrote them? Why are they so Important?
<ul><li>The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of fragments of almost 900 documents </li></ul><ul><li>Scrolls were gathered...
How, Where & When were the Scrolls Discovered?
The Discovery  <ul><li>In 1947 Bedouin Arabs discovered an untouched cave near the Dead Sea containing ancient scrolls </l...
The Key Players Yigal Yadin  Eleazar Sukenik
What kinds of Writings are contained in    the Dead Sea Scrolls? Biblical, Apocryphal  and Sectarian
Contents  <ul><li>Subject Matter: Biblical, Apocryphal (non- biblical)  & sectarian writings </li></ul><ul><li>Condition: ...
More Contents <ul><li>Scope: Fragments of every book of the  Tanach  except  Megillat Esther </li></ul><ul><li>Language:He...
The Isaiah Scroll <ul><li>Dated at 100 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Oldest copy of Isaiah </li></ul><ul><li>21 Isaiah texts were f...
Rule of the Community <ul><li>Lists members obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Basic theological beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Init...
The War Scroll <ul><li>Describes the eschatological last battle between the Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness  </li></ul>...
The Copper Scroll <ul><li>Discovered by archaeologists it  describes vast amounts of buried treasure  </li></ul><ul><li>So...
MMT:  Miqsat Ma’aseh ha-Torah <ul><li>“  Some Rulings Pertaining to the Torah”  </li></ul><ul><li>Author asserts sect brok...
Artifacts at  Qumran
Religious Artifacts Found  at Qumran What kinds of objects   are these?
More Qumran Findings
Who Wrote the Scrolls? <ul><li>Excavations done at Qumran near the caves at the Dead Sea indicate occupation  dating 130 B...
Identity of the Sect : Who were they?  <ul><li>A Scholars Debate:  - Some Christian Scholars say : Essenes pre-cursors to ...
Dating the Scrolls: How do we Date the Scrolls? <ul><li>Carbon 14 dating </li></ul><ul><li>Paleography – the study of shap...
Qumran Findings <ul><li>Mikvaot(Ritual baths) </li></ul><ul><li>Pottery </li></ul>Question: Why were many of the vessels m...
The Scrolls & Christianity <ul><li>Christian scholars believed them to   be documents of an early Christian  sect and refl...
Importance of the Scrolls for Judaism <ul><li>Authenticate the accuracy of the Hebrew Tanach </li></ul><ul><li>Slight vari...
Importance of the Scrolls <ul><li>Validates the oral law  (rabbinic tradition) as seen in the Mishna(200 CE): it was alrea...
Validates Earlier Rabbinic Tradition <ul><li>Teachings of rabbis post Temple destruction can be traced much earlier  </li>...
Importance of the Scrolls <ul><li>Oral Tradition seen artifacts  found at  Qumran: Tefilin </li></ul><ul><li>Written Law g...
Importance of the Scrolls  <ul><li>Window to 2 nd  Temple Judaism </li></ul><ul><li>Sectarianism : Variety of approaches t...
The Scrolls Today <ul><li>The Scrolls are housed in the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem </li></ul><ul...
Questions & Discussion Points <ul><li>What were the basic beliefs of the Essenes? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did they leave Jer...
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Dead Sea Scrolls Sound And Video Youtube

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The history and importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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  1. 1. The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Historic Discovery
  2. 2. What are the Dead Sea Scrolls? When were they Discovered? Who Wrote them? Why are they so Important?
  3. 3. <ul><li>The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of fragments of almost 900 documents </li></ul><ul><li>Scrolls were gathered by a sect at Qumran </li></ul><ul><li>The sect lived there from 150 BCE – 68 CE when the Romans destroyed the Temple </li></ul><ul><li>Qumran was also destroyed at that time </li></ul>
  4. 4. How, Where & When were the Scrolls Discovered?
  5. 5. The Discovery <ul><li>In 1947 Bedouin Arabs discovered an untouched cave near the Dead Sea containing ancient scrolls </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Key Players Yigal Yadin Eleazar Sukenik
  7. 7. What kinds of Writings are contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls? Biblical, Apocryphal and Sectarian
  8. 8. Contents <ul><li>Subject Matter: Biblical, Apocryphal (non- biblical) & sectarian writings </li></ul><ul><li>Condition: Thousands of Fragments; Remains of almost 900 manuscripts </li></ul><ul><li>Only 2 caves produce intact manuscripts; the rest are fragments </li></ul>
  9. 9. More Contents <ul><li>Scope: Fragments of every book of the Tanach except Megillat Esther </li></ul><ul><li>Language:Hebrew and Aramaic </li></ul><ul><li>Date: Hasmonean (152-63 BCE) – Early Roman(63 BCE – 68 CE) </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Isaiah Scroll <ul><li>Dated at 100 BC </li></ul><ul><li>Oldest copy of Isaiah </li></ul><ul><li>21 Isaiah texts were found, only 1 complete </li></ul><ul><li>The Great Isaiah Scroll is 24 ft. long </li></ul>
  11. 11. Rule of the Community <ul><li>Lists members obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Basic theological beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Initiation rites </li></ul><ul><li>One of the original scrolls found in 1947 </li></ul>
  12. 12. The War Scroll <ul><li>Describes the eschatological last battle between the Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness </li></ul><ul><li>Describes scenarios for the end of days </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Copper Scroll <ul><li>Discovered by archaeologists it describes vast amounts of buried treasure </li></ul><ul><li>Some scholars say it refers to Temple treasures hidden before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. </li></ul>Mystery of the Copper Scroll
  14. 14. MMT: Miqsat Ma’aseh ha-Torah <ul><li>“ Some Rulings Pertaining to the Torah” </li></ul><ul><li>Author asserts sect broke away due to differences in religious laws </li></ul><ul><li>Unwilling to accept legal rulings of Hasmonean high priests </li></ul>
  15. 15. Artifacts at Qumran
  16. 16. Religious Artifacts Found at Qumran What kinds of objects are these?
  17. 17. More Qumran Findings
  18. 18. Who Wrote the Scrolls? <ul><li>Excavations done at Qumran near the caves at the Dead Sea indicate occupation dating 130 BCE to 68 CE </li></ul><ul><li>Qumran believed to be the Wilderness retreat of the Dead Sea Sect - a separatist Jewish sect of the Second Temple Period </li></ul>
  19. 19. Identity of the Sect : Who were they? <ul><li>A Scholars Debate: - Some Christian Scholars say : Essenes pre-cursors to early Christianity - Other scholars say Sadducee opponents of the Pharisees </li></ul><ul><li>separatists </li></ul><ul><li>Sectarians </li></ul><ul><li>Apocalyptics – Focus on the End of Days </li></ul><ul><li>Messianic </li></ul><ul><li>Ascetics </li></ul>
  20. 20. Dating the Scrolls: How do we Date the Scrolls? <ul><li>Carbon 14 dating </li></ul><ul><li>Paleography – the study of shapes, letters and writing </li></ul><ul><li>Archeology of the Qumran ruins </li></ul><ul><li>Numismatics </li></ul>
  21. 21. Qumran Findings <ul><li>Mikvaot(Ritual baths) </li></ul><ul><li>Pottery </li></ul>Question: Why were many of the vessels made of stone?
  22. 22. The Scrolls & Christianity <ul><li>Christian scholars believed them to be documents of an early Christian sect and reflect Christian beliefs. These claims, in fact, are without basis. </li></ul><ul><li>There were no New Testament documents found. Nor is Jesus or John the Baptist mentioned . </li></ul><ul><li>Most likely, early Christianity evolved from sect like the Eseenes who may have been celibate, used ritual baths </li></ul><ul><li>(baptism), etc. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Importance of the Scrolls for Judaism <ul><li>Authenticate the accuracy of the Hebrew Tanach </li></ul><ul><li>Slight variations in the Texts </li></ul><ul><li>More than 1000 years older than previous oldest copy of Tanach – the Aleppo Codex </li></ul>
  24. 24. Importance of the Scrolls <ul><li>Validates the oral law (rabbinic tradition) as seen in the Mishna(200 CE): it was already the norm among the Pharisees </li></ul><ul><li>Oral Tradition of the Pharisees seen as dominant as early as Hasmonean period </li></ul><ul><li>Fills in gap between written Torah: Daniel:150 BCE) and Oral Law (Mishna: 200 CE) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Validates Earlier Rabbinic Tradition <ul><li>Teachings of rabbis post Temple destruction can be traced much earlier </li></ul><ul><li>Pharisaic teachings seen from Sect’s Polemics against them </li></ul><ul><li>Ex. Oppose halachic principle of Tevul Yom(MMT) </li></ul><ul><li>Sect refers to Pharisee leaders as “Builders of the Wall” </li></ul>
  26. 26. Importance of the Scrolls <ul><li>Oral Tradition seen artifacts found at Qumran: Tefilin </li></ul><ul><li>Written Law gives no details </li></ul>
  27. 27. Importance of the Scrolls <ul><li>Window to 2 nd Temple Judaism </li></ul><ul><li>Sectarianism : Variety of approaches to Judaism during 2 nd Temple Period </li></ul><ul><li>Messianism & Apocalyptic Ideas seen in War Scroll “Sons of Light..to attack..the Sons of Darkness” </li></ul>
  28. 28. The Scrolls Today <ul><li>The Scrolls are housed in the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem </li></ul><ul><li>Conferences all over the world </li></ul>Pacific Science Center: Seattle 2007 Newscasts
  29. 29. Questions & Discussion Points <ul><li>What were the basic beliefs of the Essenes? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did they leave Jerusalem? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did it take so long (from 1947) for the scrolls to be published? </li></ul><ul><li>Did the Vatican seek to suppress the Scrolls? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the role of Yigal Yadin? </li></ul><ul><li>What do textual differences in Biblical texts signify? </li></ul>Lets Hear it !
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