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February 24, 2022

Dead Sea Scrolls

Dead Sea Scrolls: Great Isaiah Scroll

Ardon Bar Hama  Public Domain
Great Isaiah Scroll

The Dead Sea Scrolls

While nearly every location surrounding the Dead Sea has some remarkable historical significance, most pale in comparison with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls between 1947-1956 in caves within what is now Qumran National Park.

What are the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Comprised of the world’s oldest copy of the Hebrew Bible text, the collection now numbers over 800 separate scrolls containing both Biblical and non-Biblical writings written in both Hebrew and Aramaic.  The scrolls include fragments from every book of the Hebrew Bible except the Book of Esther; one book, Isaiah, was found in its entirety.  Texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls found in caves 1 and 11 are on display in the Shrine of the Book wing of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.  In 2011, the Israel Museum and Google partnerered to make five of the Dead Sea scrolls available in high resolution on the Internet.

Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran National Park

For tourists wishing to visit the spot where the Qumran scrolls were discovered, the Qumran National Park is only a short drive from Jerusalem, making it a perfect day trip. Besides the caves where the scrolls were found, Qumran also contains an ancient fortress dating back to the 8th century BC, as well as a newer monastic settlement from the 2nd century BC. The caves where the ancient Dead Sea scrolls lay hidden for nearly 2,000 years are just a short walk from the ruins.

Dead Sea Scrolls: Did You Know?

The longest Dead Sea Scroll was discovered in Cave 11 and is referred to as The Temple Scroll. It is comprised of 18 parchment sheets,  is over 26 feet long, and yet is not a complete artifact!

Category: Historical, Dead Sea