Dead Sea Scrolls

Yesterday my friend Ann and I went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. The scrolls were found in a cave near Qumran in Israel starting in 1947. They date back 2000 years and several of the scrolls contain passages from the Jewish Scriptures (also called the Tanach or the Old Testament).

Scholars disagree but many think they belonged to a group that was active in the 1st Century of the Common Era (CE) called the Essenes. They were massacred by the Romans in 68 CE and may have hidden these scrolls to prevent them from falling into enemy hands or being destroyed. However it happened, these scrolls are an international treasure and nobody should pass up the opportunity to see them.

The beginning of the exhibit was little more than a travelogue to visit Israel but the second part was incredibly inspiring and moving. You can see a photograph of one of the scroll pieces here. If you have a chance to see these, do it.

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