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Thursday, February 9, 2017
Why an incredible new discovery proves that the Dead Sea Scrolls belong to Israel
In 1948, famed archaeologist and leading biblical scholar William Albright made the extraordinary claim that the Dead Sea Scrolls were “the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century.”
The Dead Sea Scrolls are priceless today (a scroll facsimile will cost more than $65,000), which makes it even more mind-boggling to consider the scrolls were once advertised for sale in the Wall Street Journal in June of 1954 and eventually purchased for a mere $250,000.
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Bedouin shepherds in a cave near Khirbet Qumran made this amazing discovery in 1947, about one mile inland from the western shore of the Dead Sea.
By 1956, a total of eleven caves had been found at Qumran; however, no caves have been discovered since, until now.
For 60 years archaeologists and looters have been searching for additional caves. Would another one ever be found? Most didn’t think so. And that’s why it is hard to overestimate the significance of the astounding discovery announced by Hebrew University Wednesday: A twelfth cave has been discovered!
Our friend and colleague, Cary Summers, president of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. which will open later this year, was volunteering at the dig site for this historic discovery in January of 2017, where no less than six Scroll jars were discovered in what is now being called “the twelfth Qumran cave.” The discovery and publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls historically is part of a continuing saga, full of drama fit for the big screen (the scrolls were once sold on the black market and the Judean desert continues to attract treasure hunters). This latest discovery will likely be no different. Why?
This “most important” discovery will also ignite controversy: who owns the Dead Sea Scrolls? Do they belong to Israel (when first found, Qumran was part of Jordan), or do they belong to the Palestinians? More scrolls were discovered at other locations in the region of the Dead Sea, especially Wadi Murabba‘ât (1951-52), Nahal Hever (1951-61), and Masada (1963-65) READ MORE