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Dead Sea Scrolls, The

Ancient writings, copied between the second cen-tury BC and AD 68; collection of more than eight hundred documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered from 1947 to 1956 near the ruins of the ancient village of Qumran, near the Dead Sea. Dan Brown says that the Dead Sea Scrolls, which he mistakenly groups with the writings from Nag Hammadi,

  • tell "the true Grail story";
  • "speak of Christ's ministry in very human terms";
  • represent "the earliest Christian records" and
  • "do not match up with the Gospels in the Bible" (DVC, 245-46).
  • The Scrolls never mention the Holy Grail, a legend that didn't emerge for another millennium (late 1100s), in a novel by Chretien de Troyes.
  • They don't describe Jesus "in very human terms."
  • They aren't Christian records at all—they're Jewish writings, most of which originated centuries before Christ's birth. The Scrolls seem to have been copied by a small Jewish sect known as the Essenes, who probably hid them during the con?ict with the Romans that culmi-nated in the burning of the Jewish temple in AD 70. Approximately one-third of the texts are copies of Old Testament Scriptures; another third are traditional Jewish stories (including various accounts of Enoch's life) and commentaries on Old Testament books; the rest relate to the daily life of the Essene community.

Jose O'Callaghan and Carsten Peter Thiede contend that a fragment known as 7Q5 comes from Mark's gospel. Few scholars have accepted their arguments, but even if they're correct, the fragment would prove anything but scandalous, as it would come from a New Testament gospel. See also Enoch, Book of; Essenes; Holy Grail; Nag Hammadi; Qumran; temple, Herod's.

Printed with permission from Bethany House Publishers, South Bloomington, Minnesota from the book "The Da Vinci Codebreaker : an easy-to-use fact checker for truth seekers" by James L. Garlow.

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  : This website is a response to Sony Pictures movie "The Da Vinci Code"
  based on Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code