In the 1940’s and 50’s, archaeologists discovered a collection of almost 1,000 ancient texts of great historical and religious significance, including some of the earliest known manuscripts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents.
Thought by some to be the library of a Jewish sect known as the Essenes, these texts became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls after their discovery on the northwest bank of the Dead Sea.
On the evenings of Sunday, Nov. 18 and Monday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m., visiting lecturer Stuart Nixon will speak at the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community about the many surprising ways in which scholars believe the Scrolls may inform understanding of the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.
Some of the scrolls predate Jesus by a few hundred years. The rest date to the period when the New Testament documents were being written.
But nowhere in the Bible is there any mention of the Dead Sea Scrolls. And nowhere in the Dead Sea Scrolls is there any mention of Jesus or any other New Testament figure. So what’s all the fuss about the Scrolls?
Because most of the Scrolls predate Jesus and include a great deal of information not previously known to historians, they open a window on the world into which Jesus was born and the circumstances of the Jewish people at that time. Mr. Nixon will follow this trail of evidence step by step, drawing on the latest findings of archaeology and other Biblical studies.
Mr. Nixon is a journalist, a genealogist, and a historian with the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. He is a contributing writer to Presbyterian Outlook magazine and he reviews books for Presbyterians Today.