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Judean Desert Caves: Safekeepers of Rare Biblical Treasures, Part 1 of 2

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Around year 132, conflict broke out in Judea. To defend the Jews of the Roman province, Simon bar Kokhba and his men created large numbers of underground hideout caves in towns and villages.

In 1960, archaeologist Yigael Yadin excavated fragments of letters, writings, coins, and an ancient Greek copy of the biblical Book of The Twelve. During an operation to protect the Judean caves, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority announced in March 2021 that dozens of Dead Sea Scrolls fragments and other relics had been found. They were found between 1946 and 1956 by a team of archaeologists and three Bedouin shepherds, Muhammed edh-Dhib, his cousin Jum'a Muhammed, and Khalil Musa. Upon entering the cave, the first Bedouin found a collection of large clay jars with lids and their contents intact. A closer look revealed old scrolls, some wrapped in linen and blackened with age.

Amid regional turmoil in 1949, Syrian Archbishop Samuel secretly brought his precious four scrolls out of the country to the United States. Later in 1954, he placed them up for sale in a Wall Street Journal advertisement. Yigael Yadin, son of Professor Sukenik, bought these on behalf of the State of Israel. Yadin then united them with the three already at the Hebrew University. The Shrine of the Book was built to house these seven scrolls in 1965.

In 1993, Supreme Master Ching Hai mentioned the Dead Sea Scrolls during a lecture in Honolulu, USA. “The Christ’s teachings in His time and the Christian teachings at this time are all right. Both are all right. Maybe the present teaching of Christianity is missing, has been censored in some part, but this I dare not say, in case I’ll be in trouble. And the other teachings of Jesus while He was alive may be more and recorded, you see. According to the Dead Sea Scrolls that I have read, supposed to be very ancient. Even while Jesus was alive, it was recorded. There are many things - some things are missing in the Bible.”

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