The Jewish Chronicle - - Judaism -

THE first three Dead Sea Scrolls were found ac­ci­den­tally by Be­douin shep­herds in a clay pot in a cave at Qum­ran by the Dead Sea in 1947.

Since then, around 900 doc­u­ments have been un­earthed, com­pris­ing bib­li­cal books such as Isa­iah and Deuteron­omy, works from the Apocrypha and re­li­gious writ­ings at­trib­uted to the as­cetic Essene sect.

The scrolls are in­valu­able in shed­ding light on the de­vel­op­ment of Ju­daism 2,000 years ago and of early Chris­tian­ity.

While some of the manuscripts are well­p­re­served, oth­ers are a jig­saw of tiny pieces. New X-ray tech­niques are en­abling schol­ars to de­ci­pher pre­vi­ously il­leg­i­ble frag­ments.

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