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

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Dr. Oren Ableman, a researcher at the Israeli Antiquities Authority, spoke of how the scriptures were of immeasurable worth for humanity: “For the first time in over 60 years, we have fragments of a biblical book that were discovered in an archaeological excavation. It is important also because this is the first time when such fragments, found in an excavation, have been brought straight here to our laboratory. This means we have better documentation of their condition than any other previous discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

Astonishingly, some copies of the ancient manuscripts found in the Judean Desert caves are identical to the traditional text of the Hebrew Bible. Another small scroll records an early copy of the Ten Commandments, the grand description of their Divine revelation at Mount Sinai. One of the best preserved biblical manuscripts is the Book of Psalms, which contains 48 psalms. They include a prose passage that provides a reference to King David as the composer of the Book of Psalms, reading: “and David, the son of Jesse, was wise, and a light like the light of the Sun. And he wrote 3,600 psalms.”

Among the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered were also non-biblical texts, which provide an additional glimpse into life during the Second Temple period, and an opportunity to understand the attitudes and aspirations of the people of that time. Some texts reflect the philosophy and life and of a distinguishing group called “Yahad,” meaning “community.”

During a lecture in 2007, Supreme Master Ching Hai expounded on the Essenes. “According to this research, this book, to study and to practice the teachings of the Essenes is to re-awaken within ourselves an intuitive knowledge that can solve our problems and the problems of the world. Wow! Isn’t that great! I wish everybody practiced the teachings of the Essenes. We are, but not everybody else does, and that’s a pity because it’s such a treasure. Traces of the teachings have appeared in almost every country and religions. Its fundamental principles were taught in ancient Persia, Egypt, India, Tibet, China, Palestine, Greece, and many other countries.”
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