- Discovery (Muhammed edh-Dhib [the Wolf]), Nov 1946-Feb 1947
- Khalil Eskander Shahin, or "Kando" (middle man)
- Hidden since 68 AD
- Other caves with manuscripts have been discovered (outside scope of this podcast).
- Established in late 1st C BC
- Near NW shore of Dead Sea at Qumran
- Living quarters
- Dining hall
- Miqva’oth (immersion pools; singular miqveh)
- Women present? Bedouin graves.
- Abandoned in First Jewish War
- Mainly Hebrew
- Some Aramaic
- A few Greek pieces
- ~100 papyri (round 10% of the scrolls)
- ~800 skins (nearly 90% of the scrolls are on vellum)
- ~1000 manuscripts in all
- 1 on Cu
- Most DSS written outside Qumran
- Biblical manuscripts—about 40% 0f the scrolls (225 out of nearly 1000)
- Apocryphal works—about 30%
- Other religious writings—mainly in Hebrew and Aramaic, with some in Greek and Nabataean
- Even a list of hidden treasure
- How to decipher the scroll designations
- Cave no.
- Q = Qumran
- Manuscript no.
- Pictured: section of Temple Scroll from Cave 11: 11QTa
- Yet there are several conventions (this is one one way of three of labelling the manuscript finds).
- Delays in translation
- Vatican cover-up?
- Fully available in English since the early 1990s — even the scraps that are essentially unidentifiable
- Essene response to “system”
- Viewed themselves as the true Israel (Songs of the Sabbath; War Scroll [1QM])
- Frequent baptisms
- Communal meals
- Dozens of phylacteries found at Qumran
- Donkey and ox – Matt 12:12
- Angels, demons, heaven, hell, end-times, Messiah, apocalyptic battle, and more
- 11QTem64.7-13a = 4Q524 – crucifixion until dead for traitors (novel adaptation)
- Reveals existence of a different Heb text type, from which the LXX was translated, superior to MT.
- Illuminates the nature of apocalyptic literature – Daniel (Revelation); 1 Enoch; etc.
- 4QMMT – works of law justify us – Paul counters
- CD 4.20-5.6; 6Q15; 4Q 226-273 — Essenes disagreed with the Pharisees, who permitted polygamy.
- Josephus tells us that the Essenes taught one another to "hate evildoers and help the just."
- Expectations about the Messiah
- Community leader
- 4Q246 – Messiah is Son of God and Son of the Most High
- 4Q521 – When Messiah comes, heaven & earth obey him: dead raised; sick healed; oppressed rescued.
- 11Q13 – Isa 61: enemies destroyed; explains Luke 4 reaction. (Yet Ps 110 LXX was not interpreted as applying to the Messiah, but to Melchizedek.)
- CD 7:18-8:1 = 4Q266 fr.3, 3.20-30; 4Q269 fr.5 ll.3-4 – Num 24:17 applied to coming royal messiah
- The community may have anticipated two Messiahs, one priestly and one royal (Davidic). See 1QS 9.10-11; CD 7.18-20; 12.23; 1QSa 211-12.
- 1QIsaa— the prize manuscript of the collection, containing all the important Messianic passages, like Isa 52:13-53:12
- Seriousness about careful copying of scripture.
- OT mss record: gap shrinks to a few centuries from over 1000 years!
- DSS had already lasted centuries—even by 70 AD
- Well explains the kind of Messiah expected—or not expected—in the time of Christ.