The Unabridged Bible:  exploring the complete set of ancient holy writings

The Dead Sea Scrolls
Highlights
Some 2,000 years ago, a community that urged its members to "seek God" with "all their heart and all their soul" flourished in the desert outside of Jerusalem. Unlike most groups of the day, this particular one left a detailed record of its prayers, texts, and beliefs, in the form of scrolls magnificently preserved in desert caves.

Then in the middle of last century these writings were re-discovered, giving us an unparalleled look into the culture that created Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, and the Bible.

The Text Speaks
A community ... to do what is good ... and keep away from all evil ... to love all the children of light ... and detest all the children of darkness.
Discussion
As a novel or summer movie, the story behind the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls would be so patently ridiculous and so obviously full of contrivances that no one would take it seriously. It has unlikely coincidences, like the scrolls from Qumran being translated by a Mr. Qimron. It has enigmatic sensationalistic elements, like a treasure map that otherwise has no place in the main proceedings. It has unbelievable plot twists, like animals that lead people to hidden wonders. And it has cliche villains, like the researcher who told the world that Judaism was a horrible religion; and cliche heroes, like the archaeologist who took time off to literally save his nation. In fact, the only thing saving the otherwise absurd tale is the bizarre fact that it happens to be true and well documented.

Yet for all of that, the background story pales in comparison to the content of the scrolls themselves. Hidden in caves for some 2,000 years, they offer an unusually clear and expansive view into the world that created the Bible, Christianity, and Rabbinic Judaism. The texts themselves range from copies of biblical books to unique writings in the style of the Bible, from new psalms to original blessings, from calendars to rule manuals, from biblical commentary to political allegory. More coming soon...



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