The world debut exhibition, Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times , was on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia from May 12-October 14. The exhibition was created by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) from the collections of the Israel National Treasures and produced by Discovery Times Square and The Franklin Institute.Gene and Amy took us to see it last night, the final day of the exhibition.
The exhibit featured one of the largest collections of the 2000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls ever displayed in North America as well as a three-ton stone from the Western Wall in Jerusalem. It included more than 500 items from the biblical era on display alongside the famed scrolls, including many newly discovered Holy Land artifacts. Objects included remains of religious articles, weapons of war, stone carvings, textiles and beautiful mosaics along with everyday household items such as jewelry and ceramics.
Hailed as the most important archaeological find of the 20th century, the story behind the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is almost as interesting as the scrolls themselves.
The first cache of scrolls was discovered in 1947 when a Bedouin shepherd casually tossed a rock into a cave and heard a pot shatter. Over the next eight years, archaeologists excavated a series of caves and found thousands of parchment fragments that included the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible.
While the scribes of the scrolls are unknown, the ancient text shed light on the language used in the Bible, much of which remains unchanged to this day.
The fragments of the scrolls were displayed inside a circular case. The place was very full and ringed with a line of people that inched forward slower than a snail's pace.
I was amazed at the precise hand lettering on the scrolls. The writing on several phylacteries was so tiny I and perfect it was unbelievable even though I was seeing it with my own eyes.
The men who copied these holy writings on scrolls took their work very seriously. The most complete scroll is the book of Isaiah. A comparison of this scroll with the book of Isaiah we have in our Bible showed only a few minor differences in punctuation. Here is tangible proof that the Word of God has not changed in 2000 years. The way people explain and interpret the Scriptures may change but God's Word has not and will never change. God said what He meant and meant what He said. It's a solid foundation we can build our lives and eternal destinies upon.