In the desert, not far from the Dead Sea, a shepherd boy threw a stone into a cave and heard something break. Climbing into the cave he found clay jars containing manuscripts.
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the summer of 1947.
A scholar from Johns Hopkins was perhaps the first to correctly identify the importance of these scrolls and immediately wrote a letter to the person who had sent him copies, “My heartiest congratulations on the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times!”
The next time that I am in Israel, I am going to throw stones too. At caves and perhaps you if you go with me.
The Dead Sea Scrolls contained fragments or portions of all the Old Testament books except Esther and an entire copy of the book of Isaiah. Before the discovery of these scrolls, the earliest Hebrew Bible was the Masoretic Text and the oldest manuscript of this text can be dated to the ninth century A.D.
Since Isaiah was written about 750 B.C., that’s quite a gap between the original and the ninth century. Okay, sharpening my math skills: I sum it at sixteen hundred and fifty years!!!
Into this gap, the skeptic scholars and unbelieving historians made bold claims of inaccuracies, of late dating for the authorship of Isaiah, even discussing whether Isaiah and the entire Old Testament could be trusted.
Who can trust something as inspired by God when 16 centuries stand between authorship and existing copies? Makes sense, until you add inspiration and God faithfully preserving His word, and then a shepherd boy throwing a stone.
The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah very closely matched the Masoretic Text. Let me repeat… very closely matched… and the Dead Sea Isaiah scroll is dated 175 B.C.
Wow! The room of skeptical scholars grows quiet
We know that Jesus teaches the end-times signs of His return will come with increasing frequency and intensity. One of the signs is Israel, formed as a nation in 1948. I’m not sure that I have read anywhere of the end-times significance of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 one year before the birth of Israel in 1948.
The nation of Israel restored; also, the Hebrew language; both predicted in the book of Isaiah (The nation in Isaiah 49:8-6, and the restoration of the Hebrew language in Isaiah 19:18).
Now add a little faith to this string of thought:
The Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947; Isaiah recovered intact; little difference between the Dead Sea and Masoretic text of Isaiah. Israel founded in 1948; the Hebrew language immediately adopted as Israel’s national language. Nation and language predicted in the book of Isaiah, with Isaiah being the only complete manuscript of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
God gives reasons for faith if we observe His actions carefully.
He interweaves Bible, archeology, and historical events, all to build our faith. God does this often (In 2021, I will continue to write about other incidents). He is doing this with increasing frequency right now in our lifetime.
Have you considered the great event of 1947 and the even greater event of 1948?
I am going to find a skeptic and throw a stone at him or her or both.