The code of the Dead Sea Scrolls has finally been cracked!

The Dead Sea Scrolls are arguably the most important discovery in modern times. They are thousands of written fragments that have been discovered in the Dead Sea area. They represent the remnants of larger manuscripts damaged by natural causes or through human interference, with the vast majority only holding small scraps of text. However, a small number of well-preserved, almost intact manuscripts have survived — fewer than a dozen among those from the Qumran Caves.

The scrolls were hidden in jars and placed in caves near the Dead Sea, and include Jewish texts from a wide range of Jewish history, the earliest being from around the 8th century BCE and the latest from the 11th century CE.

Researchers have assembled a collection of some 981 different manuscripts – discovered in 1946/47 and in 1956 – from 11 caves. The 11 Qumran Caves lie in the immediate vicinity of the Hellenistic-period Jewish settlement at Khirbet Qumran in the eastern Judaean Desert, aka the West Bank of the Jordan river.

The Dead Sea scrolls can be seen at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, or on the online archive

Just recently Dr. Eshbal Ratson and Prof. Jonathan Ben-Dov, of the Department of Bible Studies at the University of Haifa, succeeded in deciphering and restoring one of the last two Qumran (Dead Sea) Scrolls that remain unpublished, out of some 900 scrolls uncovered at the site in the 1940s and 1950s.

These scrolls validate the Torah that we have today and include manuscripts of documents of ancient times. Yet many mysteries remain about Dead Sea Scrolls, and one of them has just been partially solved. Who were the people with the calendar year lasting only 364 days? And why was their calendar like that? How did they celebrate Jewish holy days? What benefit is there to a 364-day year?

The amazing answers are right here.

Published: January 30, 2018
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