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.

Reader's Review: Good read! Would definitely recommend!

By Jessica 

I really enjoyed this book. It was well-written, with an interesting story line. If you enjoy historical fiction, and are willing to keep an open mind about beliefs that may clash with what you believe, it's definitely worth your time to read.

Habakkuk Scroll

The Commentary on Habakkuk (Pesher Habakkuk, 1QpHab), is a relative complete scroll (1.48 m long) and one of the seven original Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in caves of Qumran in 1947. It interprets the first two chapters of the biblical book of the prophet Habakkuk and comprises 13 columns written in Hebrew, in a clear, square Herodian script. However, the tetragrammaton, the four-letter, ineffable name of God, is written in ancient Hebrew characters, unlike the rest of the text. The scroll has been dated to the second half of the first century BCE.

In this work, the verses of the biblical book are copied paragraph by paragraph, in their original order. The scriptural text of Habakkuk on which the commentary is based, however, appears to be at variance from time to time with the Masoretic text. Each paragraph is accompanied by a commentary, introduced by the Hebrew word pishro, "its meaning," or pesher hadavar al, "the meaning of the matter is in regard to." The commentary uses a prophetic style to address events of the author's time.

Two major subjects are treated in this composition. One relates to the internal religious politics of Jerusalem and the Temple priesthood, and the other – to the repercussions of the appearance of the Romans (called in the work Chaldeans or Kittim) on the historical scene. As in most of works of this genre, no historical personages are mentioned by name, but there are allusions to such individuals as "the Teacher of Righteousness," "the Wicked Priest," "the Man of Lies," and others, whose exact identities have yet to be established.

This exceptionally well-preserved scroll is a key source of our knowledge of the spiritual life of the secluded Qumran community. It sheds light on the community's perception of itself and serves as paradigm against which other examples of this genre (such as Pesher Nahum or Pesher Micah) are evaluated

Click Here To Examine The Scroll

Reader's Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Story. Excellent Book!

J Bryden Lloyd

Writing Style - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
In what has to be one of the better works I have read in recent months, the writing here I engaging and impressive. Dr Brown writes a considered and eloquent descriptive and realistic dialogue throughout, which pulls the action along beautifully.

Character Development - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
One of the really outstanding features of this work, is the authors skill in endearing the reader to a group of characters, even the bad guys are given certain relatable qualities, despite the fact you know you need to dislike them.
Each character is definitive and unique and the story winds around each one with an intricate quality.

Descriptive - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
Like the characters, the scenes, locations and feelings are conveyed expertly. Even sounds, tastes and smells are described in exceptional detail. The ancient scenes at the start of the book really do lay down the background to the key elements of the plot, and the hops through to the present are well plotted and carefully develop all the remaining characters and sub-plots.

Language & Grammar - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
From the opening line, the level of language, editing and grammar is thoroughly professional and brilliantly executed. Any aspiring writers out there should consider this as a first-class example of how to get the finished article right.

Plot - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding) - NO SPOILERS
This is a strong storyline and with the interwoven sub-plots working hard to keep the reader on their toes, I can't recommend this book enough. The interaction between the characters makes the story run smoothly and, where necessary, violently through its motions. The back-plot of `the scroll' and its location inexorably links every character and as conclusions are drawn, the reader is taken on an awesome roller-coaster ride.

General - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
I guess you can see where this is going by now... This was an excellent book, one I thoroughly enjoyed and will undoubtedly read again. I picked this up last September, and it only got to the top of my reading pile a few days ago.
Needless to say, the content pulled me along to the point where I read into three consecutive nights in my search for the conclusion, and I was not disappointed.

FIVE stars. A quite exceptional book! Very, very highly recommended.

Dr. Adolfo D. Roitman on The Great Isaiah Scroll

The Great Isaiah Scroll  is one of the original seven Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in 1947. It is the largest and best preserved of all the biblical scrolls, and the only one that is almost complete. The 54 columns contain all 66 chapters of the Hebrew version of the biblical Book of Isaiah. Dating from ca. 125 BCE, it is also one of the oldest of the Dead Sea Scrolls, some one thousand years older than the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible known to us before the scrolls' discovery.

Reader's Review: Priceless Book

This book is indeed priceless! A real must-read! A captivating book!

I really thought I was watching a movie when I was done. It's the special strong wording of Dr. Brown that captivates the reader as if you are watching a thriller movie not just reading a book. I have rarely ever finished reading a book in just two days!!! I want to read it again, God willing! But for now I will first finish reading "The Returned". I have started ordering The Eight Scroll book as a gift to my faithful friends of different religion adherents.

Dr. Adolfo D. Roitman on he Community Scroll

The Community Rule (Serekh Hayahad, 1QS), formerly called the "Manual of Discipline," is the major section of one of the first seven scrolls discovered in Cave 1 at Qumran in 1947. Written in Hebrew in a square Hasmonean script, it was copied between 100 and 75 BCE.

In addition to this manuscript, fragments of no less than ten additional copies of the work were found in Cave 4 (4Q255-264), and two tiny fragments of another copy came to light in Cave 5 (5Q11). The copy from Cave 1 is the best preserved and contains the longest version of the text known to us. On the basis of comparison with the fragments from Cave 4, however, scholars have concluded that the manuscript from Cave 1 represents a late stage in the evolution of the composition.

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Dead Sea Scrolls: Community Rule Scroll

  Credit: The Israel Museum, Jerusalum  The Community Rule Scroll is a sort of manual for life, from governing who joins the community to laying down rules about how to behave at communal meals.  The Community Rule which was previously referred to as the Manual of Discipline and in Hebrew Serekh ha-Yahad is one of the first scrolls to be discovered near khirbet (ruin of) Qumran, the scrolls found in the eleven caves between 1947 and 1954 are now referred to simply as the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

Newly Discovered Qumran Photographs from the 1950's

Bedouin man is posing in pool 

(P. Pennarts, 31 December 1953) 

A Bedouin man is posing in pool, and note channel on right. This picture has been taken a few seconds after Leo Boer took the previous photo. This pool shows evidence of earthquake damage; de Vaux believed that the earthquake was that of 31 BCE, meaning that it was not used in Periods II and III.

This photo belongs to The Palestine Exploration Fund

Gabriel's Vision - Translation

Translation (Semitic sounds in caps and\or italics)

Column A
(Lines 1-6 are unintelligible)

7.   [… ]the sons of Israel …[…]…
8.   […]… […]…
9.   [… ]the word of YHW[H …]…[…]
10. […]… I\you asked …
11. YHWH, you ask me. Thus said the Lord of Hosts:
12. […]… from my(?) house, Israel, and I will tell the greatness(es?) of Jerusalem.
13. [Thus] said YHWH, the Lord of Israel: Behold, all the nations are
14. … against(?)\to(?) Jerusalem and …,
15. [o]ne, two, three, fourty(?) prophets(?) and the returners(?),
16. [and] the Hasidin(?). My servant, David, asked from before Ephraim(?)
17. [to?] put the sign(?) I ask from you. Because He said, (namely,)
18. [Y]HWH of Hosts, the Lord of Israel: …
19. sanctity(?)\sanctify(?) Israel! In three days you shall know, that(?)\for(?) He said,
20. (namely,) YHWH the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of Israel: The evil broke (down)
21. before justice. Ask me and I will tell you what 22this bad 21plant is,
22. lwbnsd/r/k (=? [To me? in libation?]) you are standing, the messenger\angel. He
23. … (= will ordain you?) to Torah(?). Blessed be the Glory of YHWH the Lord, from
24. his seat. “In a little while”, qyTuT (=a brawl?\ tiny?) it is, “and I will shake the
25. … of? heaven and the earth”. Here is the Glory of YHWH the Lord of
26. Hosts, the Lord of Israel. These are the chariots, seven,
27. [un]to(?) the gate(?) of Jerusalem, and the gates of Judah, and … for the
sake of
28. … His(?) angel, Michael, and to all the others(?) ask\asked
29. …. Thus He said, YHWH the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of
30. Israel: One, two, three, four, five, six,
31. [se]ven, these(?) are(?) His(?) angel …. 'What is it', said the blossom(?)\diadem(?)
32. …[…]… and (the?) … (= leader?/ruler?), the second,
33. … Jerusalem…. three, in\of the greatness(es?) of
34. […]…[…]…
35. […]…, who saw a man … working(?) and […]…
36. that he … […]… from(?) Jerusalem(?)
37. … on(?) … the exile(?) of …,
38. the exile(?) of …, Lord …, and I will see
39. …[…] Jerusalem, He will say, YHWH of
40. Hosts, …
41. […]… that will lift(?) …
42. […]… in all the
43. […]…
44. […]…

Column B
(Lines 45-50 are unintelligible)

51. Your people(?)\with you(?) …[…]
52. … the [me]ssengers(?)\[a]ngels(?)[ …]…
53. on\against His/My people. And …[…]…
54. [… ]three days(?). This is (that) which(?) …[… ]He(?)
55. the Lord(?)\these(?)[ …]…[…]
56. see(?) …[…]
57. closed(?). The blood of the slaughters(?)\sacrifices(?) of Jerusalem. For He said,
YHWH of Hos[ts],
58. the Lord of Israel: For He said, YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of
59. Israel: …
60. […]… me(?) the spirit?\wind of(?) …
61. …[…]…
62. in it(?) …[…]…[…]
63. …[…]…[…]
64. …[…]… loved(?)/… …[…]
65. The three saints of the world\eternity from\of …[…]
66. […]… peace he? said, to\in you we trust(?) …
67. Inform him of the blood of this chariot of them(?) …[…]
68. Many lovers He has, YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of Israel …
69. Thus He said, (namely,) YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of Israel …:
70. Prophets have I sent to my people, three. And I say
71. that I have seen …[…]…
72. the place for the sake of(?) David the servant of YHWH[ …]…[…]
73. the heaven and the earth. Blessed be …[…]
74. men(?). “Showing mercy unto thousands”, … mercy […].
75. Three shepherds went out to?/of? Israel …[…].
76. If there is a priest, if there are sons of saints …[…]
77. Who am I(?), I (am?) Gabri’el the …(=angel?)… […]
78. You(?) will save them, …[…]…
79. from before You, the three si[gn]s(?), three …[….]
80. In three days li[ve], I, Gabri’el …[?],
81. the Prince of Princes, …, narrow holes(?) …[…]…
82. to/for … […]… and the …
83. to me(?), out of three - the small one, whom(?) I took, I, Gabri’el.
84. YHWH of Hosts, the Lord of(?)[ Israel …]…[….]
85. Then you will stand …[…]…
86. …\
87. in(?) … eternity(?)/… \

Dead Sea Scroll in Stone?


Dominic Buettner for The New York Times

When David Jeselsohn bought an ancient tablet, above, he was unaware of its significance.
JERUSALEM — A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.

When David Jeselsohn bought an ancient tablet, above, he was unaware of its significance.

If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, since it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time.

The tablet, probably found near the Dead Sea in Jordan according to some scholars who have studied it, is a rare example of a stone with ink writings from that era — in essence, a Dead Sea Scroll on stone.

It is written, not engraved, across two neat columns, similar to columns in a Torah. But the stone is broken, and some of the text is faded, meaning that much of what it says is open to debate.

Still, its authenticity has so far faced no challenge, so its role in helping to understand the roots of Christianity in the devastating political crisis faced by the Jews of the time seems likely to increase.

Daniel Boyarin, a professor of Talmudic culture at the University of California at Berkeley, said that the stone was part of a growing body of evidence suggesting that Jesus could be best understood through a close reading of the Jewish history of his day.

“Some Christians will find it shocking — a challenge to the uniqueness of their theology — while others will be comforted by the idea of it being a traditional part of Judaism,” Mr. Boyarin said.

Given the highly charged atmosphere surrounding all Jesus-era artifacts and writings, both in the general public and in the fractured and fiercely competitive scholarly community, as well as the concern over forgery and charlatanism, it will probably be some time before the tablet’s contribution is fully assessed. It has been around 60 years since the Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered, and they continue to generate enormous controversy regarding their authors and meaning.

The scrolls, documents found in the Qumran caves of the West Bank, contain some of the only known surviving copies of biblical writings from before the first century A.D. In addition to quoting from key books of the Bible, the scrolls describe a variety of practices and beliefs of a Jewish sect at the time of Jesus.

How representative the descriptions are and what they tell us about the era are still strongly debated. For example, a question that arises is whether the authors of the scrolls were members of a monastic sect or in fact mainstream. A conference marking 60 years since the discovery of the scrolls will begin on Sunday at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the stone, and the debate over whether it speaks of a resurrected messiah, as one iconoclastic scholar believes, also will be discussed.

Oddly, the stone is not really a new discovery. It was found about a decade ago and bought from a Jordanian antiquities dealer by an Israeli-Swiss collector who kept it in his Zurich home. When an Israeli scholar examined it closely a few years ago and wrote a paper on it last year, interest began to rise. There is now a spate of scholarly articles on the stone, with several due to be published in the coming months.

“I couldn’t make much out of it when I got it,” said David Jeselsohn, the owner, who is himself an expert in antiquities. “I didn’t realize how significant it was until I showed it to Ada Yardeni, who specializes in Hebrew writing, a few years ago. She was overwhelmed. ‘You have got a Dead Sea Scroll on stone,’ she told me.”

Much of the text, a vision of the apocalypse transmitted by the angel Gabriel, draws on the Old Testament, especially the prophets Daniel, Zechariah and Haggai.

Ms. Yardeni, who analyzed the stone along with Binyamin Elitzur, is an expert on Hebrew script, especially of the era of King Herod, who died in 4 B.C. The two of them published a long analysis of the stone more than a year ago in Cathedra, a Hebrew-language quarterly devoted to the history and archaeology of Israel, and said that, based on the shape of the script and the language, the text dated from the late first century B.C.

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Dead Sea Scrolls: The War Scroll

The War Scroll, also known as "The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness," tells an end-of-days-style tale of a battle between good and evil.

Newly Discovered Qumran Photographs from the 1950's

(L. Boer, 31 December 1953) 

The photograph has been taken from the north-west corner (standing on the wall), as can be concluded from the number on the rock in the wall in front, looking south towards the doorway, with the north-east corner on the far right.

 The photo also takes in the pool at the back. The photo most clearly relates to Periods II and III. At the right side Peter Pennarts (standing on a high wall on the south) is taking a picture of a Bedouin man  who has descended a few steps in the pool. Together with Dutch journalist Jan Glissenaar, Pennarts travelled seventeen months across the Middle East in a jeep (visible at the left of the ruins). The day this picture was taken they were shown around by Leo Boer.

This photo belongs to The Palestine Exploration Fund

Reader's Review: We've Been Waiting For a Long Time to Read Such A Great Book!

By Dr. Samar 

The Eighth Scroll is a great book in that nice message it brings: the message of a universal love and brotherhood between religions. Here, Religion History presents herself in a very modern scientific and then objective frame. The Eighth Scroll shows how sincerity can remove spontaneously any barrier between men with different confessions. I like this book and wish to watch it as a film.


MS in Aramaic on vellum, Qumran, ca. 4 BC-68 AD, 4 fragments sticking together, each 1,8x1,9 cm, of which 3 are inscribed, part of 3+1+2 lines in a Herodian Hebrew book script. The uninscribed fragment, 0,7x2,4 cm, and further a linen cloth 2,2x4,2 cm adhering. 

Context: Part of the Dead Sea Scroll, of which 2 larger fragments (11,3x9,6 cm 14 lines and 5,8x6,4 cm 7 lines), and ca. 9 tiny fragments (mostly uninscribed) survives, with the text of Daniel. Fragment 2 from the present MS matches the largest fragment. They were found in Cave 1 in a lump of vellum consisting of 9 layers also containing 1QDana and 1QPrayers.

Commentary: Daniel 3:26 - 27 is not present on any other Dead Sea Scroll, so this MS is the earliest witness to the text, actually written in the lifetime of Christ and the Apostles.
Originally written 167-164 BC, Hebrew is the original language of Daniel 1:1 - 2:4, Aramaic of 2:4 - 12:13. The present MS is in the original language as well, and copied only about 200 years after the book of Daniel was written.

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