Letter To Our Children
by Pastor Joe | May 11, 2022 | Letters To Our Children
May 11, 2022
The Great Isaiah Scroll
Recently, letter by letter, we have been learning we can trust the Bible is the word of God.
In our last letter, we learned that for Jesus and His apostles, the Old Testament was the word of God in written form (Acts 4:25; 2 Tim.3:16; Hebrews 4:3, 10:15-17) and treated it as such.
Jesus understood His own words were from God (John 6:63; 14:10, 15:3). The Apostles, being given unique and unrepeatable authority by Jesus, told their followers not to go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6). The apostle Peter called Paul’s letter scripture (2 Peter 3:16), and Paul said what he said was God’s command (1 Cor. 14:37).
But what if people think Jesus and His Apostles were wrong?
Three Teen Boys
When I think about summertime, a word that comes to mind is—adventure. I picture kids like you going on adventures in your backyard, maybe setting your imagination on fire reading a book, or searching in the woods for something you know not what!
In 1947 three teen boys from Bedouin named Muhammed Ahmed el Hamed, Jum’a Muhammed Khalib, and Khali Musa made one of the most historic discoveries while searching for a lost goat. They thought the goat was in a cave. They went into the cave, and in it, they found three scrolls in an ancient clay pot.
They were keen enough to know this was something someone needed to know. So, in April of that same year, an uncle of one of the boys took the scrolls to market in Bethlehem. Through a series of steps, the scrolls, being sold for practically nothing, landed in the hands of a professor from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Twenty Years of Searching
What took place afterward was nothing short of miraculous. First, the cave the three boys found the three scrolls, was found to have had another eleven caves to investigate. Second, over the next twenty years, the scrolls found in those caves were the most significant archaeological discovery of the 20th century. They were given the name “Dead Sea Scrolls” because the caves were near the Dead Sea. (The location of the cave(s) is 13 miles east of Jerusalem and 1,300 feet below sea level.)
What was found were twenty-eight nearly complete scrolls and over 100,000 fragments of another 875 manuscripts from every book of the Hebrew Bible except the book of Esther. These Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts became the oldest copies of Old Testament text we now have. The discovery made it so that we now have copies of the Old Testament 1000 years older than previously held.
Think of it like this; the person who doesn’t believe the Bible is God’s word, as Jesus or the Apostles did, must carefully consider the massive paper trail of people preserving and protecting the text. People from different places, in different time periods, treated the Bible as sacred, and so from God. In this, they showed how extraordinarily well those entrusted with copying the books of the Bible did their job. It’s like thousands and thousands of signposts pointing to the same thing.
The Great Isaiah Scroll
The Great Isaiah Scroll was a find in the caves of great importance. The scroll spread out was 24 feet long. It was the best-preserved of all the biblical scrolls found in the cave and the only scroll having the entire text of an Old Testament. Written on 17 sheets of parchment, around 125 years before the birth of Christ, as translators went to work, they found that the book of Isaiah we have in our Bibles reads like the book of Isaiah found in the cave. The 2147 years of separation made no real difference.
We will consider more in our next letter but for now, think about how God carefully made it so His word would be recorded, read, preserved, and remain accurate. Nothing changed in the Bible when those three teens found those old scrolls and brought them to light. More proof that the Bible is not like other books.
God bless you this week!