I was watching a program on this topic this a.m. Most interesting in how they were and are being discovered, how they offered some of the desert people so much money for each tiny piece they could bring in so they tore them into small pieces to make more money and how they're being reconstructed and placed into specific times.
In the later scrolls, 1 BC to 100 AD there is no mention of Jesus. Was he a relatively minor event relative to those times?
"...only the shadow knows"
The writings of Josephus the historian told of Jesus and the books of the new testament around that time period of course mention Jesus and His story. It is amazng from that small seed came this great tree of truth. Kind of like the mustard seed anfd the great tree it became and the billions of people who call Jesus their saviour and king. Paul
Loc: Ishpeming, MI 220.127.116.11
There are some problems with linking Jesus with Josephus, as we've discussed here before. Josephus was born in 37AD, several years after the death of Jesus, so there is zero chance that anything he wrote about him would be first-hand.
Josephus wrote many volumes consisting of thousands of pages on the history of the Jews, yet there are only 2 paragraphs in all that writing that mention Jesus. Also, the oldest surviving copies of his writings date from the 4th century AD and are handwritten copies of earlier handwritten copies.
Many scholars of ancient works suspect that the references to Jesus were added or at least enhanced by early Christian scribes to provide proof of the existence of Jesus since the style of those passages differs from that used by Josephus generally.
But he may have talked to eyewitnesses first hand as there were ove five hundred people who had first hand knowledge of the crucifiction and live appearance of Jesus shortly (I think within 40 days of His ressurection) Most of the Apostles were martyred for their total belief in the death and ressurection of Jesus. People don't die for something they might question.they were dead sure of what they knew and also knew that to be absent from the body was to be with the Lord, so they did not lose by dying but gained the promise of eternal life with the Lord Jesus. So Josephus was as good a witness as anyone else at that time. People want to discredit the deity of Jesus Christ but that will be to their detriment one day. Paul
The Teaching Company offers a 24 lecture series on the Dead Sea Scrolls on audio CD or DVD. Our local public library has a few of the other courses they offer that I have checked out and enjoyed -- some more than others. Unfortunately, they do not have this one yet. I'm considering buying it, but will wait until I can find it on sale. They claim each course goes on sale at least once a year.
Concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls, there may be some information in them that parallels the Masoretic Text, but there are fables in them too. I went to see the scrolls a few years ago with great expectation but found a bunch of fables. The best defense against error in any form (fake Bibles and religions) is a solid knowledge of your King James Bible. If you read it, forgeries become readily apparent.
The Teaching Company currently has its course on The Dead Sea Scrolls on sale through October 14. Unfortunately, at the moment, I have had some unexpected expenses which will probably make it impossible for me to buy it during this sale. If anyone does buy it, or already owns it, I would appreciate knowing your opinion of it.