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Few scholars today claim that any of the Dead Sea Scrolls (“DSS”) date to the time Christianity was allegedly founded by a “historical” Jesus in the first century of the common era.

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The texts reveal the Gnostics as they saw themselves, not as the Church Fathers characterized them, and thus these texts have provided a wealth of information for the study of ancient Gnosticism and, by extension, ancient Christianity.The translation has been conducted by a team of scholars, correctly noting the lacunae and those places where reconstruction of the text is conjectural or where the English equivalent is approximate. Moreover, the notes alone justify the low, mass paperback price of the book.Each one of the documents is introduced with excellent notes on estimated dating and other information critical to an understanding of the text.This volume is a welcome addition to the personal library of any person who professes an interest in the history of early Christianity, and it is absolutely necessary to anyone who is interested in ancient Gnosticism.Over the years, news items have circulated about how “hints” and “insights” contained in the original texts among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in caves near the ancient site of Qumran can be found in the Bible.

In other words, certain ideas in the scrolls also appear in the New Testament, meaning, of course, that the impression of Christianity as a “divine revelation” appearing whole cloth miraculously from the very finger of God is clearly erroneous.Below, find out more about the scrolls and their deep religious and historical significance.In late 1946 or early 1947, Bedouin teenagers were tending their goats and sheep near the ancient settlement of Qumran, located on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in what is now known as the West Bank.The virtual journey began in Israel, where experts digitally scanned the rolled-up scroll with X-ray-based micro-computed tomography (micro-CT).At this point, they weren't sure whether the scroll had text within it, said study co-author Pnina Shor, curator and head of the Dead Sea Scrolls Projects at the Israel Antiquities Authority.So, they increased the spatial resolution of the scan, allowing them to capture whether or not each layer had detectable ink.