Posted by: Randall Niles | September 7, 2009

Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls have been called the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times. They were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves near the Dead Sea in present-day Israel. The discovery is comprised of 825 to 870 separate scrolls, represented by tens of thousands of fragments. Most of the texts are written in Hebrew and Aramaic, with a few in Greek.

Fragments of every book of the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament) have been discovered, except for the book of Esther. Now identified among the scrolls are 19 fragments of Isaiah, 25 fragments of Deuteronomy and 30 fragments of the Psalms. The Great Isaiah Scroll is fully intact, and contains some of the most dramatic prophecies of a coming “Messiah” (Savior of the world). 

Based on various dating methods, including paleographic, scribal, and carbon-14, the Great Isaiah Scroll dates to between 100 and 335 BC. As such, this find has revolutionized textual criticism of the Old Testament and prophecy. Phenomenally, the manuscript represented by the Great Isaiah Scroll dates to no less than a century before Christ and is in substantial agreement with the next oldest Isaiah manuscript dating to the 10th century AD. This reality verifies the amazing accuracy of the texts as they have been passed down from generation to generation.

We now have dramatic evidence that the key prophecies contained in today’s Old Testament are the same prophecies that existed prior to the time Jesus walked this earth. There was no contrivance after-the-fact… There was no conspiracy of religious zealots… No manipulation by the 4th Century Roman Church… 

Simply, did Jesus Christ fulfill the requirements of the Jewish Messiah set forth in the Jewish Scriptures? 

I was in Israel last year when the Israel Museum in Jerusalem was displaying the Great Isaiah Scroll in honor of the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence (1948). Because of its fragile condition, the scroll had not been on public view for 40 years. What an awesome experience to walk into the dark and quiet “Shrine of the Book” and view the scroll, which speaks of the Messiah who would come and be “pierced for our transgressions,” “crushed for our iniquities,” and “led like a lamb to the slaughter.” (Isaiah 53:5-7) 

Read the entirety of Isaiah 53 today and remember that this was written by Isaiah about 700 years before Jesus. The complete manuscript now on display in Jerusalem dates to at least 100 years before Jesus. Therefore, all that remains is what to make of Jesus, who “poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12) 

Keep thinking,  

Randall Niles



  1. My question is : Who printed, the first Bible of the dead sea scrolls ? OR How was the Bible of the dead sea scrolls printed ?

    Thank you: Ken Smith

  2. Very nice! I am happy to see this and i will be investigating this further….


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