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The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran between 1947 and 1956 is one of the most significant finds for modern Christianity. In the many fragments found were manuscripts of the Biblical text, bills of sale, the Apocrypha, calendars, Biblical commentaries, historical records, legal texts, poems, songs, letters, and archives.
The Isaiah fragments, in particular, are dated to between 200-120 B.C. Some historians believe the Isaiah scroll could have been a direct copy of the autograph, which was written around 700 B.C. Before the discovery at Qumran, there were some in intelligentsia who wondered if Isaiah really prophesied so accurately concerning Christ or if those words had somehow been added after Christ so that they might reflect Jesus’ life and sacrifice. It wouldn’t have been the first time people added to, changed, or misinterpreted Scripture for the benefit of their own religion. When this copy of Isaiah was found, it was proved that the prophecy concerning Christ did, indeed, predate the incarnation.
Not all of the Dead Sea Scrolls were strictly Biblical material. There have been viable transcriptions. Where the Scrolls reflected Biblical material, it has been shown that there are no significant variations between the Biblical text we have and the earlier content of the Scrolls. Bible’s did not need to be changed because the text was found to have been accurately preserved. Even though this is the case, translators still use the Scrolls as they do the arduous labor of translation. The Dead Sea Scrolls were not added to the Scriptures because the Scriptures already reflected the content of the Dead Sea Scrolls where the Scrolls included Biblical content.
This is evidence that Christian Scriptures have been faithfully and accurately preserved from the autographs. Any tradition or religion that insists the Bible has been retranslated and copied over thousands of years resulting in the corruption of the original text simply has not taken the time to do its research. The Bible we have today is authentic and reliable.
- Christian Apologetics, Groothuis
- Warranted Christian Belief, Plantiga
- Reasonable Faith, Craig
To keep up with the most recent scholarship concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls and to see pictures of the fragments, click here.