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Dead Sea Scrolls

sons texts

Dead Sea Scrolls, group of Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts discovered in caves near the northwestern coast of the Dead Sea in 1947 and later. The scrolls, preserved in clay jars, were written between the 1st century B.C. and about A.D. 50. Many of the scrolls are books of the Old Testament, the most important of these being 2 complete texts of the Book of Isaiah, at least a thousand years older than any known copy. Among the non-biblical texts is one describing the “war of the sons of light against the sons of darkness,” believed to be an allegory on political events of the time. Another important work is the Manual of Discipline, of a group of Jewish ascetics usually identified with the Essenes. Because many of their beliefs were similar to those of the early Christians, it has been suggested that they had some connection with or influence on early Christianity.

See also: Bible.

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