Congress of Biblical Archeology shortens distance between laypersons and experts. :: Adventist News Network

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Oct 29, 2017
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Leandro Oliveira
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Congress of Biblical Archeology shortens distance between laypersons and experts.

Dr. Adolfo Roitman is curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls and director of the Book Sanctuary at the Israel Museum [Photo Credit: Ronaldo Paschoal]

In the last two centuries, archaeological discoveries have piqued public interest in the history of humanity and the validity of the Scriptures. 

Archeological digs in the Holy Land region increased in the early 19th century with European funding and the establishment of advanced study and research centers in Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Palestine, and Jordan were the first areas to be researched, between 1865 and 1898. It was only after 1922, with British rule in Palestine, that archeologists specifically sought artifacts to corroborate biblical accounts.

It is precisely in this context that one of the main findings referring to the biblical era, the Dead Sea Scrolls, was found in the Qumran caves. The archaeological site of Khirbet Qumran, located 35 kilometers east of Jerusalem, housed about 930 fragments of the manuscripts dating from 250 BC to 100 AD. 

The manuscripts are currently maintained by the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The curator of this collection is Adolfo Roitman. During the First International Congress of Archeology hosted at the Adventist University Center of São Paulo (UNASP)- Engenheiro Coelho campus, October 12-15, Roitman presented details and curiosities of the scrolls found in clay jars by a Bedouin while tending sheep. 

“These manuscripts are Jewish, found by Bedouins, archaeologists and researchers in a very inhospitable area. They represent the most important archaeological finding of the Christian Era. To the general public, biblical manuscripts gain much meaning. In Qumran, we found 230 copies and fragments of the Hebrew Bible, with the exception of the book of Esther,” says Roitman. “Thirty copies of the book of Isaiah were found in the caves of Qumran. All copies were complete and in good state of preservation,”he points out.

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