Qumran Caves

QUESTION: Who Found the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Qumran Caves?

ANSWER:

There’s a great story behind who found the Dead Sea Scrolls in the first caves just above Qumran in Israel. Here it is!

Jum’a Muhammed and Muhammed edh-Dhib (“the Wolf”) are two Bedouin cousins credited with discovering the first Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. There are different stories about who actually threw the famous stone while looking for a stray goat, but Muhammed the Wolf is generally known as the first to actually enter what is now known as “Cave 1” and find the first scrolls.

On that legendary day, the cousins returned to their nomad tent camp with three ancient texts (the complete Isaiah Scroll, the Manual of Discipline and the Habakkuk Commentary). The Isaiah Scroll, now housed in the Shrine of the Book Museum in Jerusalem, is one of the most important manuscript finds in history. During the next couple of weeks, the cousins discovered four additional texts in Cave 1 (a second Isaiah Scroll, the Genesis Apocryphon, the War Scroll, and the Thanksgiving Psalms Scroll).

Over the next few months, the seven scrolls hung from tent poles in the Bedouin camp. Finally, a clan member encouraged the cousins to take the discoveries to the marketplace in Bethlehem to see if they could make a few bucks.


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