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Qumran Jar (Dead Sea Scrolls)
Qumran Jar (Dead Sea Scrolls)
Did the Dead Sea Scrolls actually contain Old Testament scrolls written hundreds of years before the time of Jesus?

This painting is of the Qumran Jar which contained the Scroll of Isaiah, one of the hundreds of scrolls discovered in caves around the area of Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. The most important fact is that there were copies of the Books of the Bible dating back a hundred years before Jesus was born. This means that hundreds of prophecies about Jesus were amazingly accurate. In fact the Old Testament Book that testifies most to the life and death of the Messiah is the Book of Isaiah, which an entire scroll was discovered.

The discovery began in 1948 and became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. What is most significant about these scrolls is that they contain many of the Jewish documents known to Christians as the Old Testament. Before this discovery the oldest copies of Biblical documents of the Old Testament were from the Masoretic time, around the 9th century A.D., because the Jewish scribes took careful measures in copying documents, numbering them, and destroying the originals. The Dead Sea Scrolls date back to at least the 2nd century B.C. making them important in the study of Biblical Archaeology. This is especially important to Christians because it puts hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, at least 2 centuries before the events took place.

Isaiah 53:5-7 "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."

Matthew 21:42 - "Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? "

John 10:35 "the Scripture cannot be broken"

John 10:34 "Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law.."

2 Tim 3:16-17 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Dead Sea Scrolls Discovery Dates

Cave 1 - 1947
Cave 2 - 1952
Cave 3 - 1952
Cave 4 - 1952
Cave 5 - 1952
Cave 6 - 1952
Cave 7 - 1956
Cave 8 - 1956
Cave 9 - 1956
Cave 10 - 1956
Cave 11 - 1956

Dead Sea Scrolls Museum

The Shrine of the Book houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is a section of the Israel Museum in West Jerusalem. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 and more caves were discovered until 1956, totaling 11 caves located around the Wadi Qumran area.

Manuscript Copies of the Old Testament Found

Psalms (39 Manuscripts Found)
Deuteronomy (33 Manuscripts Found)
1 Enoch (25 Manuscripts Found)
Genesis (24 Manuscripts Found)
Isaiah (22 Manuscripts Found)
Jubilees (21 Manuscripts Found)
Exodus (18 Manuscripts Found)
Leviticus (17 Manuscripts Found)
Numbers (11 Manuscripts Found)
Minor Prophets (10 Manuscripts Found)
Daniel (8 Manuscripts Found)
Jeremiah (6 Manuscripts Found)
Ezekiel (6 Manuscripts Found)
Job (6 Manuscripts Found)
1 & 2 Samuel (4 Manuscripts Found)

John 5:39 - Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Jewish Rabbinical Writings Chart


Divisions Halakah and Haggadah

Dates 100 B.C. 300 A.D.

Writers Tannaim

Content The Halakah was the legal commentary on the Torah and the Haggadah were the homiletics (preaching and sermons) about the entire Old Testament text.

Notes The Halakah was the legal portion of the Gemara, derived from the Old Testament. The Haggadah was interested with non-legal issues (history, folklore, parables, scientific knowledge like medicine and astronomy) that was not necessarily apparent in the Mishnah.


Dates 100 A.D. 300 A.D.

Writers Tannaim ("repeaters" or teachers of the Oral Law before the completion of the Mishnah. They date back as far as Ezra and to Hillel, Akiba and Meir to Judah Hansi.

Content The teaching that is not found in the Mishnah. (Tosefta means "supplement").

Palestinian Talmud

Divisions Gemara (literally the "completion" of the Talmud)

Dates 200 A.D.

Writers Amoraim (sages who worked hard in Judaism once Mishnah was complete.

Content Commentary on the Mishnah.

Babylonian Talmud

Divisions Mishnah and the Gemara

Dates 200 A.D. - 500 A.D.

Writers Tannaim and Amoraim

Content Mishnah - Legal commentary on the Mishnah. Gemara Commentary on the Mishnah.

Notes The Mishnah was divided into six sections.

See The Tractates of the Mishnah

The Jewish High Priests from 200 B.C to the Reign of Herod the Great

1. Simon II the Just, 220-190 B.C. 
2. Onias III, 190-174 B.C.
3. Jason/Jeshua,175-172 B.C.
4. Menelaus, 172-162 B.C.
5. Alcimus, 162-156 B.C.
6. Jonathan, 153-142 B.C.
7. Simon, 142-135 B.C.
8. John Hyrcanus I, 134-104 B.C.
9. Aristobulus I, 104-103 B.C.
10. Alexander Jannaeus, 103-76 B.C.
11. Hyrcanus II, 76-67 B.C.
12. Aristobulus II, 67-63 B.C.
13. Hyrcanus II, 63-40 B.C.
14. Antigonus, 40-37 B.C.

The Jewish High Priests from Herod the Great to the Destruction of Jerusalem

15. Ananel, 37-36 B.C. (Appointed by Herod the Great)
16. Aristobulus III, 35 B.C.
17. Jesus, son of Phiabi, ? -22 B.C.
18. Simon, son of Boethus, 22-5 B.C.
19. Matthias, son of Theophilus, 5-4 B.C.
20. Joseph, son of Elam, 5 B.C.
21. Joezer, son of Boethus, 4 B.C.
22. Eleazar, son of Boethus, 4-1 B.C. - (Appointed by Herod Archelaus)
23. Jesus, son of Sie, 1 - 6 A.D.
24. Annas, 6-15 A.D. (Appointed by Quirinius)
25. Ishmael, son of Phiabi I, 15-16 A.D. (Appointed by Valerius Gratus)
26. Eleazar, son of Annas, 16-17 A.D.
27. Simon, son of Kamithos, 17-18 A.D.
28. Joseph
Caiaphas, 18-37 AD.
29. Jonathan, son of Annas, 37 A.D. (Appointed by Vitellius)
30. Theophilus, son of Annas, 37-41 A.D.
31. Simon Kantheras, son of Boethus, 41-43 A.D. (Appointed by Herod Agrippa I)
32. Matthias, son of Annas, 43-44 A.D.
33. Elionaius, son of Kantheras, 44-45 A.D.
34. Joseph, son of Kami, 45-47 A.D. (Appointed by Herod of Chalcis)
35. Ananias, son of Nebedaius, 47-55 A.D.
36. Ishmael, son of Phiabi III, 55-61 A.D. (Appointed by Herod Agrippa II)
37. Joseph Qabi, son of Simon, 61-62 A.D.
38. Ananus, son of Ananus, 62 A.D.
39. Jesus, son of Damnaius, 62-65 A.D.
40. Joshua, son of Gamal iel, 63-65 A.D.
41. Matthias, son of Theophilus, 65-67 A.D.
42. Phinnias, son of Samuel, 67-70 A.D. (Appointed by The People)

Some dates cannot be known for certain.


Related Pages:

Dead Sea Scrolls

How Many Isaiah's According To The Dead Sea Scrolls?

Qumran - Map of Ancient Israel

Dead Sea Scroll Fragment

The Dead Sea Scrolls (Links)

Heart Message - The Paradox of the Priesthood

Caiaphas - Free Bible

Caiaphas - Life of Jesus

Caiaphas in Unger's Bible Dictionary

Palace of Caiaphas

Caiaphas in Easton's Bible Dictionary

Beersheba in the ISBE Bible Encyclopedia

Biblical Definition of Beersheba

Altar - Background Bible Study

Altar in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Altar in the ISBE Bible Encyclopedia

Israel - The Center of the Ancient World

Israel - Archaeology Links and Resources

The Destruction of Israel in the Old Testament

Archaeological Resources - Israel

Map of Old Testament Israel

Map of New Testament Israel

Free Bible - Fallen Empires (Biblical Archaeology)

Bible History Links - Ancient Near East : Art & Images

Free Bible - Ancient Art

The Destruction of Israel - Kings of Israel, Judah and Assyria

Timeline 800 - 700 BC

The Assyrians

The Captivity of Israel

Hebrew History

Ancient Jerusalem

First Century Jerusalem

The Impregnable Strength of Jerusalem

Map of Jerusalem

Jerusalem - Heart Message

Ancient Sketches