Dead Sea Scrolls – Isaiah Scroll

 
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” -YHWH (Isaiah 46:10)

(For enlarged pictures and transcript click here)

“It has often been labeled the ‘Gospel according to Isaiah’ due to the constant Messianic theme” – The Prophecy of the Gospel… before the Gospel took place.

The Great Isaiah Scroll – Info

“In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd stumbled upon a cave by the ancient Qumran settlement on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, while looking for his goat that wandered off. He threw a rock into the cave, hoping to lure his goat out. Instead he heard the shattering of pottery. When he went down to investigate, he found clay jars full of leather scrolls carefully wrapped in linen cloths. Among these were manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures, called the Tanakh by the Jews (written part of the Torah, of which our Old Testament Bible books were derived), mostly written in Hebrew and some in Greek (called the Septuagint, written before 200 B.C.). These scrolls were written from 250 B.C. to about A.D. 68 according to archaeological experts, Bible scholars/experts, scientific dating, etc.

The Essenes, a Jewish sect that practiced strict adherence to the Jewish religion separate from the religious mainstream (such as the Pharisees and Sadducees), devoted their lives to strict copying of the Holy Scriptures and lived in this Qumran settlement. Essene documents were also found here in addition to the Holy Scriptures. After this discovery, more caves were found within the same vicinity, revealing huge libraries of manuscripts/scrolls and fragments, of which up to now are still being pored over by a limited number of experts and scholars. These findings are called the Dead Sea Scrolls, due to the location of the discovery. It looks like that the Essenes were faithfully copying from the old manuscripts that dated back to 250 B.C. to make fresh and newer copies (hence the A.D. 68 dating of some of these discovered manuscripts) and were carefully stored in these jars for safekeeping.

The Qumran caves were abandoned in about A.D. 70, just as the Roman soldiers were advancing to annihilate the Jewish people, destroying the 2nd Jewish Holy Temple and during the burning of the city of Jerusalem around A.D. 68 – 70. The copy of the Isaiah scroll, written in 150 B.C., was found in nearly perfect condition. A total of twenty-two copies of the complete Isaiah scrolls were found so far in this Qumran cave libraries. A comparison made to a Masoretic Hebrew text dated 916 A.D. was found to be consistent with the ones found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, over a 1000 year span! All of the Old Testament books in our Bible were all found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, except the Book of Esther, so far.”

by: V’ky Young
 

Isaiah Scroll borrowed from Biola University

(^ The photo above was taken at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa who was borrowing it from Biola University 2011.)

The importance of this Dead Sea discovery is that:

1) Old Testament Prophecies are Prior to Events

The Old Testament prophecies (written hundreds and even thousand of years ago by various prophets) about Jesus Christ and other events, were not written “after the fact”, but were written “before” Jesus Christ was born and ‘before’ those events happened. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a testament of proof to doubters who claimed that the Old Testament prophecies were ‘revised’ or ‘made up’ after-the-fact. The Isaiah Scroll in particular dates back to 150 B.C. (as mentioned earlier).

2) Continuity of the Bible’s Message

Through space and time, the Word of God has stayed consistent and unchanged. From Job in Mesopotamia, to Abraham in Egypt, to Moses in Canaan, to Jesus in Jerusalem, to Paul in Athens, the message maintained with no contradictions. Manuscripts, still around today, date back c. 2200 years starting with the Dead Sea Scrolls (c. 200 B.C.) to the Codex Sinaiticus & Vaticanus (c. 350 A.D.) to the Masoretic Text (c. 850 B.C.) to the KJV (c. 1600 A.D.) to present day copies we hold today such as the NIV (c. 2008 A.D.). The Scrolls are just further proof of this undeniable conservation.

3) Our Messiah has Come and Prophecy is Being Fulfilled Today!

This point ties back to the first point. There are numerous verses in the Isaiah Scroll (alone) that we could list which prophecy about Jesus. His virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14), His Deity (Isaiah 9:6-7), His Miracles (Isaiah 35:4-6), His messenger John the Baptist (Isaiah 40:1-5,9) and basically His whole Crucifixion (Isaiah 50:6 & Isaiah 53:1-12). But that’s not all. It also prophesies about events concerning Israel which we can see and validate today. The re-birth of Israel in a day (Isaiah 66:7-8), revitalization of land (Isaiah 41:18-20 & Isaiah 51:3), its international agriculture (Isaiah 27:6) and the world-wide return of Jews to their land (Isaiah 43:5-6).

. . .

“As and Aside: The Great Isaiah Scroll, consists of two divisions: the first division contains chapters 1 to 39, which is coincidentally the same number of books (39) that are in the Old Testament and the second division contains chapters 40 to 66 (27 chapters) that are the same number of books in the New Testament dealing with the Messianic era (The New Testament portion begins with John the Baptist in Isaiah 40:1-5, just as the New Testament itself does, and ends with the new heavens and the new earth in Isaiah 65 and 66; compare Revelation 21 and 22), even though it was not purposely planned this way when chapters were given to all the Bible books.”

-V’ky Young

 
Isaiah Scroll Photo
 
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way: and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”  (Isaiah 53:6)

Importance

          Almost every original work of literature is gone today. Because of this, scholars base their dating of the time they were originally written by different types of critical analysis such as: inferring from things like the age of copies, comparing language which was used, and excavating corroborative artifacts. The amazing thing about the The Isaiah Scroll is that it is one of the many Old Testament extent Scrolls (meaning we still have them today) which was written before Christ was alive (B.C.). This means that every prophecy in the Old Testament (about Jesus or otherwise) was at least written before Jesus was born or the particular events happened. It is proof of true prophecy, proof of the Bible’s reliability, and proof that God keeps His Word.

Verse

“Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10)

. . .

– Recommended Book –

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