The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Catholic Faith

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Catholic Faith


In what ways are the Dead Sea Scrolls significant to the Catholic faith?

In the winter of 1946, three Arab shepherds were tending their flocks along the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. One was amusing himself by throwing rocks into the caves that dotted the limestone bluffs above the shoreline. He was startled, however, when a rock produced the sound of shattering pottery. Climbing the cliffs a few days later to investigate, the shepherd entered the cave to find broken pottery and intact clay jars. One jar contained three leather scrolls, including a complete copy of the Book of Isaiah in Hebrew from the second century BC—about a thousand years older than any other Hebrew copy of a biblical book. This was the beginning of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, perhaps the most important archeological find of the 20th century.

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