LDS Perspectives of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Geographic context:

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Most discovered manuscripts are in fragments.   Only a few manuscripts are complete.  Scholars take pieces to create the complete picture or puzzle from the 2nd Temple period:  end of the exile in 530s BCE till the destruction of Herod’s Temple in 70 AD.

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The Great Isaiah Scroll in cave #1 was 99% intact.  This Isaiah scroll is the oldest extant copy of the book of Isaiah.  However, even this Great Isaiah Scroll  itself was copied 400-500 years after Isaiah.  So, even this copy was a copy of copies of copies.

1/3 of the text are from the Old Testament.  2/3 of the Dead Sea Scrolls are legal or other extra-biblical texts.  We can read these texts like we read the Apocrypha or Pseudepigrapha.

Most of the scrolls were found in cave #4.

 

A great place to start:

Episode 75: The Dead Sea Scrolls – Joshua Matson

Lots of wonderful perspectives:

Hugh Nibley: