When a Roman Catholic scholar involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls Project discovers a heretical message contained in one of the Scrolls he hides it. Decades later, a prominent archeologist discovers reference to the scroll in an archeological dig. This discovery spurs the world religions into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, in which all who seek the hidden scroll are mysteriously silenced, leaving the salvation of humankind to a father and son, who must either find the hidden scroll … or die trying.

The Dead Sea Scrolls in Ten Easy Steps

4)  After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel expanded its border to the Jordan River. The Qumran complex was in that territory, so became property of Israel. And so did the scrolls.

Cave 8 opening on left ; Cave 7's mysteriously sealed opening on right

In 1972, a Spanish scholar named José O’Callaghan claimed that papyrus fragments from Cave 7 represent some of the New Testament books. Other scholars disagreed, and claimed the fragments from Cave 7 are too small to know what they represent.

But O’Callaghan’s assertion excited a lot of imaginations. Here’s why: The Essenes occupied the Qumran complex for over thirty years following Jesus’ ministry, and their complex was less than a day’s walk from Jerusalem. Yet none of the Qumran Scrolls (i.e., the Dead Sea Scrolls) were New Testament material. They represent all of the Old Testament books except Esther, but to date, nothing has been found that’s provably New Testament.

5)  So questions arose. Did the Essenes store New Testament scrolls in a separate place? And if so, why? They were, after all, orthodox Jews. Unless, of course, some of them were closet Christians.

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