Monday, April 13, 2009

The Qumran Caves

One of the most exciting things about digging in Israel was visiting the dig site at Qumran on the wet side of the Dead Sea. Here a community of Jews set themselves aside to live according to the Law of Moses and prepare for the battle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness.

When that community saw that their place was being threatened they hid their most precious scrolls high up in secreted caves where they remained until 1947 when they were discovered by accident.  Practically no other material in Hebrew and Aramaic has survived from the time of Christ so these manuscripts have been studied carefully by many scholars.

The site is hot and very dry so many of the scrolls were well preserved. Many others were in small pieces that were almost impossible to reconnedt until the age of the computer. Some of it was scripture like a complete Isaiah scroll but others were more like a laundry list for the community.

This is a place that you MUST visit if you travel to Israel.

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