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Worship at the sacred Jerusalem Temple had become corrupt, with seemingly little hope for reform.A group of devoted Jews removed themselves from the mainstream and began a monastic life in the Judean desert.It supports the words of Jesus in Luke referring to the Old Testament as “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms.” This text fits with the claim of the first century Jewish historian Josephus that no new books were added to Scripture after the time of Ezra around 425 BC.2 Thus 4QMMT is remarkable evidence further illustrating that the Old Testament content was likely fixed in Ezra’s day and not by some Jewish council at Jamnia around AD 90 as is often claimed.Does our Bible today preserve what was originally written?
Excavations at Naḥal Ẓeʾelim, in the “Cave of Scrolls,” uncovered clear evidence of the Bar Kokhba era and, in the “Cave of Letters,” 15 papyri of Bar Kokhba with a psalms fragment.
They include some of the first copies of biblical texts and many other documents from that period.
As Smithsonian magazine explained, these documents have revealed much of what we know about two major world religions and shed light on what life was like at that time: "The Dead Sea Scrolls — comprising more than 800 documents made of animal skin, papyrus, and even forged copper — deepened our understanding of the Bible and shed light on the histories of Judaism and Christianity." Fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls are thought to have appeared on the "antiquity black market" over the years, according to CNN, which has driven researchers to scour the desert for other caves.
"Although at the end of the day no scroll was found, and instead we 'only' found a piece of parchment rolled up in a jug that was being processed for writing, the findings indicate beyond any doubt that the cave contained scrolls that were stolen," Gutfeld said.
"The findings include the jars in which the scrolls and their covering were hidden, a leather strap for binding the scroll, a cloth that wrapped the scrolls, tendons, and pieces of skin connecting fragments, and more." And in a way, this changes what we know about the scrolls, which date back to the Second Temple period, or about 530 BC to 70 AD.