200 BC - 100 AD.
In 1947, the world became aware of a discovery made in Israel. In the village of Qumran, located near the Dead Sea, people found an ancient library that belonged to a community of people who had settled there in the second century BC. That community copied the religious texts, which were the scrolls of the Hebrew prophets and historical writings.
SACRED TEXTS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
Eighteen centuries later, Bedouins shepherd, Muhammed Edhdhib, found clay jars with manuscripts inside in one of the caves near his village. It turned out that the first of them contained the Biblical text of Isaiah, the oldest ever found. By March 1952 the caves around Dead Sea were deeply searched. The archaeologists found scrolls of: Psalms, Ezekiel, and Habakkuk. Qumran discoveries prove that the books of the Old Testament, which we had previously derived from scrolls dated X or XI century AD, for centuries were copied very carefully, faithfully representing the original scrolls.
On the basis of the entire collection of texts, we can assume that the Qumran community was characterized by a strong belief in the coming of the Messiah, the king and high priest, and the restoration of the kingdom of Israel. To date, we have found about 900 manuscripts in the caves, from which 233 were manuscripts of Biblical texts. Approximately 60% of the manuscripts of the Bible contain texts consistent with the Masoretic text, dating back to IX century AD, about 5% of the manuscripts are consistent with the text of the Septuagint, written down in the III century BC, another 5% confirms the Samaritan Pentateuch, and 30% of the text is characteristic only of the community of Qumran. The discovery of the Qumran confirms the reliability of scribes who faithfully transcribed texts of the Old Testament over the centuries