What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?

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What are the Dead Sea Scrolls? In this Seven Minute Seminary, Dr. Brent A. Strawn answers, providing the archaeological background and historical details that make this what some have called the discovery of the century.

This collection of scrolls was found near the Dead Sea beginning in 1947. About 25% of the scrolls are biblical scrolls, including a full copy of the book of Isaiah, dating to around 250 BC. The rest of them are scrolls offering insight into this community at Qumran that was especially concerned with ritual purity. One thing we learn from the scrolls is that Judaism during Jesus’ day was diverse. For example, the scrolls testify to a belief in two messiahs.

Read more articles on archaeology and the Bible.

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Dr. Brent A. Strawn is Professor of Old Testament at Candler School of Theology. He has a special interest in ancient Near Eastern iconography, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Israelite religion, comparative Semitic philology, legal traditions of the Old Testament, and Old Testament theology.

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