New discoveries and interprestations of the Dead Sea Scrolls add important dimensions to both Jewish and Christian understandings of their respective religions.
In a dynamic online class with the residents of Copeland Oaks, a Methodist senior community in Sebring, Ohio, tour guide and educator Eiran Gordon shared the background of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the personalities — both Jewish and Christan — who have been, and continue to be, involved in deciphering the scrolls, and the implications of the Dead Sea Scrolls for the Jewish and Christian religions.
The Dead Sea Scrolls bring a vast store of wisdom about ancient Israel to modern researchers. They contain ancient religious writings found in the Qumran caves that offer information about the Jewish world of the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.E and the first century C.E. These include texts that are found in the Hebrew Bible and other sacred writings.
For Christian scholars, the Dead Sea Scrolls are important because they affirm and enhance the Hebrew Bible as a source for modern understanding of the historical context of the origins of Christianity and its aspiration for the expected messianic era. Researchers use the Dead Sea Scrolls to draw closer to the original Old Testament texts and to establish the historical and cultural context for the New Testament era.