The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls | Notes

Posted on March 2, 2017


Hershel Shanks. The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Biblical Archaeology Society, 1998. (246 pages)


Between the early 1950s and 1956, archaeologists and bedouin vied with one another to find more scrolls, and eventually a library of over eight hundred different manuscripts were recovered. (xiii)

Beginning in 1953, an international team of young scholars was assembled in Jerusalem under Jordanian auspices to sort out these thousand fragments. Most of the seven-man team, which included no Jews, were Catholic priests. (xiv)

The earliest of the scrolls dates to about 250 B.C.; the latest to 68 A.D. (xvii)

CHAPTER 1 Exploring the Legend

Probably in late 1946 or early 1947, a shepherd boy of the Ta’amireh tribe named Muhammad Ahmad el-Hamed, nicknamed edh-Dhib (Muhammad the Wolf), was searching for a lost sheep. (3)

In April (or thereabouts) 1947 the bedouin brought the scrolls to Bethlehem, the principal market town of the Ta’amireh. (9)

What happened when the scrolls reached Bethlehem is as obscure as the circumstances of the initial discovery. In Bethlehem the bedouin contacted one antiquities dealer, or perhaps two: Faidi Salahi or Faidi al-‘Alami, who may have been the same man under different names, and possibly Khalil Iskander Shahin, better known as Kando. (9)

These seven scrolls were divided into two lots, three in one lot and four in the other. Just why is not clear. … In any event, three of the scrolls were obtained by Salahi and four by Kando. According to one version of the story, Kando paid the bedouin only 5 dinars ($14) for their scrolls, and promised them a third (or some say two-thirds) of what they fetched on the market. (9)

Shortly after the four scrolls came into his hands, Kando consulted a friend and fellow member of the Syrian Orthodox Church, George Isaiah, and together they took the scrolls to the Syrian Orthodox archbishop (metropolitan) of Jerusalem, Mar Athanasius Yeshue Samuel. (10)

Salahi, who had the smaller lot, three scrolls, contacted an Armenian friend named Levon Ohan, the son of Nasri Ohan, a well-known Armenian antiquities dealer in the Old City. Ohan, in turn, contacted a friend who was professor of archaeology at Hebrew University, Eleazer Lupa Sukenik,…the father of Yigael Yadin… (10)

On November 29, 1947, [Sukenik] and Ohan boarded an Arab bus for Bethlehem. Sukenik was the only Jew on the bus.

My hands shook as I started to unwrap one of them. I read a few sentences. It was written in beautiful Biblical Hebrew. The language was like that of the Psalms.

Salahi wrapped the scrolls in paper and handed them to Sukenik. … He was carrying in his hands the two scrolls that would become known as the Scroll of Thanksgiving Psalms, Hodayot (הודיות), in Hebrew, and the War Scroll, Milchamah (מלחמה), in Hebrew, or, more completely, the Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness. (14)

I cannot avoid the feeling that there is something symbolic in the discovery of the scrolls and their acquisition at the moment of the creation of the State of Israel. It is as if these manuscripts had been waiting in caves for two thousand years, ever since the destruction of Israel’s independence [by the Romans in 70 A.D.], until the people of Israel had returned to their home and regained their freedom. This symbolism is heightened by the fact that the first three [two?] scrolls were bought by my father for Israel on 29th November, 1947, the very day on which the United Nations voted for the re-creation of the Jewish state in Israel after two thousand years. – Yigael Yadin

In January 1948 Sukenik received a call from an acquaintance named Anton Kiraz, who belonged to the Syrian Orthodox Christian community, the same community to which Kando belonged, telling him that more scrolls were available. (15)

Mar Samuel [a Metropolitan and Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church] reportedly bought the scrolls for £24, about $100. (16)

In January 1949 Mar Samuel, at the invitation of Professor Burrows, who had returned to Yale, arrived in the United States with the scrolls. The metropolitan needed money for his church and was looking for a buyer. | To generate interest in the scrolls, he arranged, with the assistance of Burrows and Trever, to exhibit them publicly. In October 1949, Mar Samuel’s scrolls were exhibited amid much fanfare at the Library of Congress. From there they traveled to several other museums and art galleries–the Watlers Art Gallery in Baltimore, the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Interest was high, but, strangely, no institution was ready to make an offer to buy the scrolls. (19)

In desperation, on June 1, 1954, he placed his now-famous classified ad offering the scrolls for sale in The Wall Street Journal. (19)

By chance, Yigael Yadin was in the United States on a lecture tour…and arranged for an intermediary to reply to the ad and negotiate for their purchase. …$250,000. … Of course, Yadin and Israel were kept nominally out of the deal for fear that Mar Samuel would not consent to such a purchaser. Lawyers for the two sides drew up a bill of sale, which was signed by Mar Samuel on behalf of the seller and a New York businessman, Sydney Estridge, on behalf of the buyer. (19)

Yadin called his friend Harry Orlinsky of the Johns Hopkins University.

My wife was already seated in the car and I was locking the door when the telephone rang.

Yadin asked Orlinsky, without telling him why, to postpone his vacation and immediately come to New York on a matter of importance to Israel.

I asked for a minute or two to talk it over with my wife. Together we decided that if Israel needed me, we had no choice.

When he arrived in New York, Orlinsky was instructed on his role:

I was to assume the name ‘Mr. Green,’ an expert on behalf of the client. I was to take a taxi to the Lexington Avenue entrance of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where the Chemical Bank and Trust Co. had a branch. I was to make sure that I was not followed. A Mr. Sydney M. Estridge would be waiting there for me; we had been told how to identify one another. He would go with me downstairs to the vault of the bank. There we would find a representative of the Metropolitan [Mar Samuel], with the scrolls ready for examination. I was to say as little as possible, and admit to no identification beyond being Mr. Green.

The vault was stuffy and hot, and inadequately lit. From a large black trunk on the floor emerged four scrolls. The most important and impressive of them was the Isaiah Scroll, all sixty-six chapters of it.

After identifying and authenticating the four scrolls, Orlinsky went to a pay phone, called an unlisted number, and uttered the code word: l’chayim, to life. (20)

The four scrolls were flown to Israel one at a time. There they were joined by the three scrolls obtained seven years earlier by Yadin’s father, E.L. Sukenik. (20)

On February 13, 1955, Israel’s prime minister, Moshe Sharett, called a special press conference to announce that all seven scrolls were now in Israel. (22)

How did Yadin manage to purchase four Dead Sea Scrolls for a paltry quarter of a million dollars? In 1933 the Codex Sinaiticus, a fourth-century Bible in Greek, was purchased by the British Museum £100,000 (then about $335,000). (22)

The Dead Sea Scroll caves are in the West Bank. At the time the scrolls were discovered, Jordan controlled the West Bank and had claimed it as part of Jordan, although only Great Britain and Pakistan had recognized Jordanian sovereignty. As self-proclaimed sovereign, Jordan claimed title to the scrolls. From Jordan’s viewpoint, Mar Samuel had smuggled the scrolls out of east Jerusalem (and the Old City), which was also in Jordanian hands at the time. Since Jordan’s claim to the scrolls had appeared in the press, Mar Samuel surely knew of it. In short, he could not give good title. Any purchaser would have to worry about a suit by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, seeking return of the scrolls–any purchaser, that is, except Israel. Israel and Jordan were technically at war. (22)

In short, Israel may have been the only possible purchaser for these scrolls. Did Mar Samuel know this? Most likely, he did, especially when he was unable to arouse interest in the United States among prospective purchasers. … Since Mar Samuel could not openly sell the scrolls to Israel, the disguise protected Mar Samuel as well as Yadin. The consequences to Mar Samuel, his people, and his Church of a sale to Israel could have been severe. Yadin helped him to avoid all this, and Mar Samuel could not be blamed for accepting the subterfuge. (23)

One final irony: Mar Samuel was selling the scrolls on behalf of his Church … But the papers were badly drawn. The United States Internal Revenue Service contended the proceeds were personal income to Mar Samuel, subject to American income tax. Mar Samuel resisted the claim and the government sued. Mar Samuel lost the case. Most of the proceeds from the sale were paid in taxes to the U.S. government. (23)

CHAPTER 2 Archaeologists vs. Bedouin

In 1951 [G. Lankester Harding (the British director of the Antiquities Department) and Pere Roland de Vaux of the French École Biblique et Archéologique Francaise began to excavate.] Their excavations continued under de Vaux’s direction until 1956. (25)

The earliest level, according to de Vaux, dated to about the eighth century B.C., the period of the Israelite monarchy. (25)

In 31 B.C. a massive earthquake struck the area, heavily damaging the settlement at Qumran. (27)

Then in 68 A.D. the Roman army on its way to Jerusalem destroyed the site. After a brie occupation by a Roman military garrison, the site was left to the timeless wilderness and the desert sun. (27)

In March 1952, the academics examined over two hundred caves. (28)

Cave 4, which the bedouin found in 1952, contained over five hundred different manuscripts, all in tatters. There was not a single intact scroll among them. (31)

Caves 5 through 10 are generally considered minor, because of the scant material found in them. (32)

Cave 7: nineteen fragments found in it are all in Greek. (32)

Cave 3: the Copper Scroll (32)

Cave 11: at least three intact scrolls–a scroll of Leviticus written in the ancient Hebrew script used before the Babylonian exile; a scroll of the Book of Psalms, containing additional psalms not found in the Hebrew psalter; and the famous Temple Scroll. (32)

CHAPTER 3 The Team at Work

Frank Cross. Father J. T. Milik; John Allegro; John Strugnell … (38) … Although the scrolls were Jewish religious documents, the team included no Jews. (39)

[Cross] was holding in is hand a fragment of the version of the Hebrew text used by the Septuagint translators. The fragment “proved that the translator of the Old Greek [the Septuagint] had been faithful to the Hebrew text he was translating. Thus the differences between the traditional Hebrew text and the Old Greek translation, for the most part, rested on different textual traditions of the Hebrew Bible. (43-44)

…scholars of biblical texts could now have much more confidence in the Greek text, known as the Septuagint, because its variations from the received Hebrew text could well be based not on errors of translation but on a different Hebrew text, a fragment of which Cross had just identified. (44)

CHAPTER 4 Freeing the Scrolls

As early as 1976, Columbia University professor Theodor Herzl Gaster “deplore[d]” the fact that only what he called “the charmed circle” had access to the unpublished scrolls. “By the hazards of mortality, he wrote, “[this policy would] prevent a whole generation of older scholars from making their contribution. (51)

In 1977, Geza Vermes of Oxford warned that “unless drastic Measures are taken at once, the greatest and most valuable of all Hebrew and Aramaic manuscript discoveries is likely to become the academic scandal par excellence of the twentieth century. (51)

CHAPTER 5 Undermining Christian Faith–of a Certain Kind

On the Intention of Jesus and His Disciples, Hermann Samuel Reimarus; Life of Jesus, David Freidrich Strauss; The Quest of the Historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer.

In the “third quest” all of this has changed. Jesus’ Jewishness is central. The Havard University theologian Harvey Cox recently referred to “a widely influential article” that painted seven different “plausible” portraits of Jesus. (63)

They all have one very important thing in common. They are all recognizably Jewish. The Jesus they describe is a participant in one of the many Jewish subcultures of first-century Palestine. The God that Jesus talks about and whose will he tries to make known is not the deity of some generalized theism but the God of Abraham, made known through the covenant with the Jewish people as One, who has active compassion for the outsider and who promises justice and healing to all nations. This Jewish parameter, though one may disagree on its exact boundaries, provides the playing field within which new images of Jesus must be worked out, unless they surrender all claims of being connected to the historical figure whose name they bear. – Harvey Cox

What the scrolls show is that in almost every respect the message of early Christianity was presaged in its Jewish roots. And even the life of Jesus, as told in the Gospels, is often prefigured in the scrolls. (64)

Blessed the man who has attained Wisdom and walks in the law of the Most High / … [Blessed is he who speaks truth] with a pure heart and who does not slander with his tongue / … Blessed is he who seeks (Wisdom) with pure hands and who does not go after her with a deceitful heart… – 4Q525

Unlike the texts of Isaiah and Psalms from which the passage is drawn, both the Gospel passages and the Dead Sea Scroll text speak of reviving the dead. (66)

This is the assembly of famous men, [those summoned to] the gathering of the community council, when [God] begets the Messiah with them. – 1Q28a/1QSa (Translated by Florentino García Martínez)

When God will have engendered (the Priest-) Messiah, he shall come [at] the head of the whole congregation of Israel with all [his brethren, the sons] of Aaron the Priests, [those called] to the assembly, the men of reknown. – 1Q28a/1QSa (Translated by Geza Vermes)

The procedure for the [mee]ting of the men of reputation [when they are called] to the banquet held by the society of the Yahad, when [God] has fa[th]ered the Messiah (or, when the Messiah has been revealed) among them. – 1Q28a/1QSa (Translated by Florentino García Martínez)

There is no question, however, that early Christians regarded Jesus as the kind of messiah referred to in 4Q521, a messiah who, as 4Q521 says, controlled “[the hea]vens and the earth.” (67)

The evidence is lacking, however, to show a direct relationship between the theology of the Dead Sea Scroll community and early Christians, and there are enough disssimilarities to make a direct connection doubtful. The similarities may simply show that both grew out of the same Jewish traditions. (67)

Affliction will come on earth … [ ] and great carnage among countries … [ ] the kings of Assyria [and Eg]ypt … [he] will be great on earth … all will serve … he will be called great … and by his name he will be designated … “Son of God” will he be called and “Son of the Most High” they will call him … His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom and all his ways will be truth. He will jud[ge] the earth in truth and all will make peace. The sword will cease from the earth and all provinces will worship him. The great God will be his patron … His sovereignty is everlasting sovereignty. – 4Q246 [compare to Luke 1:3-35]

In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (the only two that contain birth narratives), on the other hand, Jesus is the Son of God from the moment of conception. According to some scholars, this is a late development in Christian theology, as can be seen through a careful examination of New Testament texts. The earliest New Testament texts suggest that only at the resurrection was Jesus considered the begotten son of God, a relationship that was eventually moved back to his baptism and finally to his conception. (71-72)

The Gospels themselves thus suggest an evolution in the meaning of “Son of God,” and the Dead Sea Scroll text 4Q246 is part of this development. (73)

The New Testament and the Qumran texts employ the same principles of biblical interpretation. For example, both quote the Hebrew Bible as if it applied specifically to their own time. Both also quote biblical texts as if they referred to the end of days, which is now upon us. (74)

(Acts 2:44-45; 4:32) (Manual of Discipline 6:22)

(Manual of Discipline 6:4-6; Community Rule 2:11-12) (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20)

Love all the Sons of Light … Hate all the Sons of Darkness … Love all that He has chosen and hate all that He has rejected. – Manual of Discipline

He will deliver my soul from the Pit and will direct my steps to the Way. – Manual of Discipline

What was a temporary substitute for the Essenes, Christianity adopted as a permanent theology, part of their fixed and final canon. In short, what was for the Essenes an ad hoc adaptation to their rejection of the Jerusalem priesthood and Temple, applicable only until the end of days when the Temple would be rebuilt by God according to their own beliefs, became for Christianity a permanent solution. – Yigael Yadin

(Mark 1:2-3) (Manual of Discipline 8:14-15)

CHAPTER 6 An Essene Library?

Josephus identifies four different Jewish movements of his day. The major ones are the Pharisees and Sadducees. The third group is the Essenes. The fourth movement Josephus identifies simply as the “Fourth Philosophy.” (84)

…are the Dead Sea Scrolls in general an Essene library? A clear majority of scroll scholars answer yes. (104)

CHAPTER 7 The Archaeology of Qumran

ere Roland de Vaux. Jodi Magness. Dame Kathleen Kenyon. Norman Golb.

Is the proximity of the site and the scrolls simply happenstance? (113)

In Byzantine paintings, the evangelists are shown seated, writing on their laps. They are never shown writing on tables. (116)

In 31 B.C. an earthquake devastated the area. … According to de Vaux, Qumran was abandoned as a result of the earthquake, to be reoccupied only in 4 B.C. (Period 2). Many scholars now believe, however, that there was little, if any, break in occupation. The site was destroyed in 68 A.D. by the Roman army on its advance toward Jerusalem. (120)

There is no question that Qumran was a Jewish site. (124)

The cemeteries adjoining the Qumran site also raise questions. As noted earlier, of the approximately fifty graves that were excavated, only three or four were those of women and children. Does this indicate the celibacy of the community? The presence of some women and children, it could be argued, shows just the opposite. | The number of individual graves raises another puzzling question: How does it happen that so many people — over twelve hundred individual graves are carefully laid out in closely ordered rows–are buried here? (125)

Over 1,200 coins were found in the Qumran excavations. (130)

All in all, considering only the archaeological evidence, if it weren’t for the proximity of the scrolls to Qumran we would never think of Qumran as the site of an isolated religious community–and certainly not as the home of the Essenes. (131)

CHAPTER 8 An Uncertain Conclusion

Whether Qumran was an Essene settlement and whether the Dead Sea Scrolls are an Essene library remain vexed questions.

The scholar who would “exercise caution” in identifying the sect of Qumran with the Essenes places himself in an astonishing position: He must suggest seriously that two major parties formed communalistic religious communities in the same district of the desert of the Dead Sea and lived together in effect for two centuries, holding similar bizarre views, performing similar or rather identical lustrations, ritual meals, and ceremonies. He must suppose that one [the Essenes], carefully described by classical authors [like Josephus and Philo], disappeared without leaving building remains or even potsherds behind; the other [the inhabitants of Qumran], systematically ignored by classical sources, left extensive ruins, and indeed a great library. I prefer to be reckless and flatly identify the men of Qumran with their perennial houseguests, the Essenes. – Frank Cross

Here are my conclusions:

  1. Given the caves’ propinquity to the site, the scrolls are almost surely associated with Qumran, but they did not necessarily belong to the inhabitants of the site. With the cooperation of the people who lived at Qumran, the scrolls may have been brought to the area from elsewhere for safekeeping. (134)
  2. The ruins of Qumran are probably those of an isolated religious community. (136)
  3. Some of the scrolls were written a century before the earliest post-Iron Age settlement at Qumran was established and must have been brought from elsewhere. Others, such as the biblical scrolls, are obviously not Essene documents. (138)
  4. If the library was brought to Qumran, as seems likely, given the variety of scribal hands and the number of documents, there is little doubt that it came from Jerusalem. (141)

CHAPTER 9 Undermining the Jewish Bible

The Dead Sea Scrolls include the oldest copies of biblical books ever discovered. Some two hundred different biblical manuscripts have been identified among the scrolls, the earliest from the mid-third century B.C., the latest from the mid-first century A.D. A Qumran fragment from the book of Daniel, the latest of the Hebrew scriptures, dates to the late second century B.C., barely fifty years after it was composed, closer to the date of the original autograph than any other text of the Hebrew Bible ever discovered. (142)

Although the biblical texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls are a thousand years older than the oldest extant Hebrew Bible, they indicate that, all in all, modern copies are amazingly accurate. There are relatively few discrepancies between the Qumran biblical texts and later ones. Nevertheless, numerous relatively minor changes–and some not so minor–have been incorporated into new Bible translations as a result of comparisons with Dead Sea Scroll biblical texts. (143)

[e.g., 1 Samuel 11]

“homeoteleuton”–a lapse in which the scribe’s eye jumps from one appearance of a word to a later appearance of the same word, omitting everything in between. (144)

The three most famous copies of the LXX, dating to the fourth and fifth centuries, are the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus, both now in the British Library, and the Codex Vaticanus, in the Vatican library. (148)

Greek translations also include entire books that were not included in the Hebrew Bible, apocryphal books such as Judith, Tobit, the Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus. (148)

Based on the Hebrew biblical fragments among the Dead Sea Scrolls, it appears that the differences between LXX and MT are often attributable not the fact that the LXX is a translation, but rather to the fact that the LXX translators were working from a somewhat different Hebrew base text. (150)

[e.g. Deuteronomy 32:8. … LXX: “sons of God” huioi tou theou, rather than “sons of Israel.”]

If Yahweh had a consort, why not children? (152)

Yahweh had a very hard time at first [establishing his exclusivity] – Amnon Ben-Tor

So there was a Hebrew text of Deuteronomy from about the turn of the era that, in the critical passage, referred not to the “sons of Israel” but to the “sons of God”–evidently, the original text which was later altered in MT. (154)
Given the greater reliability of the Qumran texts have given to the Septuagint, textual critics can now be confident that the Septuagint version is, at this point int he text, the better one. (156)

[Emanuel Tov] has identified biblical texts he believes were written at Qumran that tend to modernize biblical spelling and language. This, says Tov, reflects “a free approach to the biblical text.” Surprisingly, especially given the Qumranites’ stringent religious rules, these manuscripts contain many careless mistakes, sloppy handwriting, and untidy corrections. Apparently, the transcribers were not yet imbued with the holiness of the exact transmission of the text. Whoever was responsible for the biblical texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls was apparently unconcerned that the text was not standardized. We are at a time before the biblical text had become the biblical text. (157)

Canonization of the text is different from standardization. Canonization refers to the adoption of particular books as authoritative or holy. The processes of standardization and canonization proceeded independently, although often at much the same time. (159)

That the Rabbinic canonization [Council of Yavneh] was not the only one, however, is indicated by the Septuagint, which contains a number of books–such as Tobit, Judith, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, and the first two books of the Maccabees–which were not included in the Rabbinic canon. Judaism and Protestant Christianity now assign them to the Apocrypha. In the Roman Catholic tradition, they are called deuterocanonical. (160)

Allusions to Enoch occur at least fourteen times in the New Testament; the New Testament Letter of Jude quotes from Enoch as having the authority of inspired Scripture (Jude 14-15). (160)

The most popular “biblical” book at Qumran was Psalms–fragments from thirty-nine copies have been found. The books of the Torah follow: Deuteronomy (thirty-six copies), Exodus (seventeen copies), Genesis (fifteen copies), Leviticus (thirteen copies), and Numbers (eight copies). Among the prophets, Isaiah clearly was the most popular (twenty-two copies). (The most popular books at Qumran–Psalms, Deuteronomy, and Isaiah–were also popular among early Christians; these three books are the most frequently quoted books of the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament.) The Qumranites were apparently little interested in history, at least as far as we can tell from the number of copies of the historical books. Only one copy of Chronicles and one of Ezra/Nehemiah were found; two copies of Joshua; three of Judges and Kings; and four of Samuel. (161)

In short, the biblical texts from Qumran were still fluid; reflecting neither a fixed text nor a fixed canon. (161)

Despite the fact that the Qumran manuscripts come from a time when neither text nor authority was fixed, however, they are nevertheless remarkably close to the texts that were finally included in the canonized Bible. (163)

CHAPTER 10 Illuminating Judaism

[This was] an era characterized by several competing approaches to Judaism, each claiming a monopoly on the true interpretation of the Torah. – Lawrence Schiffman

Purity broke out in Israel [at this time]. – T. Shabbat 13

Stone-manufacturing industries flourished at the turn of the era around Jerusalem, and one reason was surely that stone vessels, unlike glass and pottery vessels, were not subject to ritual impurity. (172)

In short, stone vessels have been found in over sixty sites known to have been inhabited by Jews, but almost never in non-Jewish areas. (172) […because stone is natural.]

The Qumranites did not practice secondary burial–all the burials at Qumran are primary burials. (173)

These laws were not metaphors for leading the good life but were necessary applications of divinely ordained Jewish law. Unless you understand that, you will not understand the world of Qumran. (176)

In any case, MMT makes clear that what divided the Qumran sectarians from other Jews was not ethics or politics, whether external or internal, or even theological doctrine, but the laws of ritual observance, mainly the laws of purity. (176)

With the help of MMT and similar texts, scholars may now begin to trace the roots of Rabbinic Judaism in pre-destruction Israel. According to Schiffman, much of post-destruction Rabbinic halakhah can already be found in pre-destruction Pharisaic Judaism, as revealed in polemical texts like MMT. (177)

That the Qumran community probably recognized as Scripture a book that was not included by Temple Jews [The Temple Scroll] once again emphasizes the varieties of Judaism that competed for favor at the end of the Second Temple period. All this changes, however, after the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., when only two forms of Judaism survive the cataclysm. One, Christianity, eventually dominates Western civilization after separating itself from its forebears. The other, Rabbinic Judaism, is the ancestor of all branches of modern Judaism. (179)

CHAPTER 11 Treasure Search–the Copper Scroll

We can no longer consign the Copper Scroll to the category of fantasy literature on the grounds that the figures it contains are too large to believe. (188)

CHAPTER 11 Looking Toward the Future

This creates a problem for many New Testament scholars, schooled and expert in the Greek of the New Testament but not the Hebrew and Aramaic of the scrolls. Senior New Testament scholars must now learn new languages and absorb a whole new body of evidence. This may explain why many recent books on Jesus and early Christianity hardly mention the scrolls. (198)

There is not a single question about the period from the third century B.C. to the second century A.D. that can be explored without asking whether the scrolls shed some light on the matter. (199)

I think I can say there are still scrolls, mostly in collapsed caves. One day these will come to light. It will be very exciting. – Frank Cross