A young Bedouin shepherd throws a rock into a cave, hears breaking pottery, and discovers some of the most significant ancient documents ever found.
The time: March 1947
The place: Qumran area on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea
This true story is a wonderful example of how God has preserved His Word throughout history.
In these and nearby caves, they found older copies of Old and New Testament books than had ever been discovered before. Where else could these ancient scrolls have survived for 1900 years!
But that's not the most amazing part: When authorities compared these scrolls with scrolls previously discovered, there were only slight variations “attributed to slips of the pen and spelling variations.” There were some scribal errors and additions, but none that changed the message of the gospel. The contents were otherwise identical.
Think about it—thousands of years, hundreds of scribes writing by hand, and the Bible remains the same. That's nothing short of supernatural.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
Sources: The Everything History of the Bible, Jeff Donley, Ph.D., copyright 2006, F&W Publications; History; Biblical Archaeology.
➤ In 2020, several sources reported that the fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls displayed in the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., were proved to be fakes, but as the Smithsonian Magazine reports: “The report does not cast doubt upon the authenticity of the Dead Sea Scrolls held by the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. These artifacts are among the most precious relics of the ancient world, first discovered in 1947 in a cave at Qumran, near the shores of the Dead Sea. Dated to around 2,000 years ago, most of the scrolls were written in Hebrew, though some were penned in Aramaic and Greek.”
➤ Some of these minor changes have led to variations between older translations such as the KJV and newer translations. Even though the scribal additions/errors did not change the message of Scripture, the modern translations have chosen to be more accurate and leave them out or footnote them. See Why the KJV Is Not the Most Accurate Translation.
If you'd like to read more about these scrolls, go to Bite Size Bible Study: Living Dead Sea Scrolls and scroll down to the “More Interesting Facts” section.
I encourage you to read these other one-minute devotions that will strengthen your trust and love for God's Word:
Without the Bible, We're Lost
And if you have a copy of Wisdom for Life, read or re-read Day 17 for more encouragement about God's Word. Be sure to do the “For Further Thought” section for even more insight.
Bible Love Notes