The Secret of the Missing Scrolls – Part 1

The Secret of the Missing Scrolls; fun Bible adventure theme for kids

GOD’S WORD CAN BE TRUSTED! ABSOLUTELY!

One of my favourite packages for my kids was a fun mystery / time-travel adventure / treasure hunt theme to find out if God’s Word can be trusted. I sent them deep into the desert on a very special and dangerous mission, travelling backwards and forwards through time; working with scribes on the Great Isaiah scroll; boldly helping others to escape from marauding Roman soldiers; witnessing dangerous and secret meetings at the highly volatile Jerusalem border; being part of an exciting archaeological expedition, and actually discovering the archaeological treasure find of the century… real eternal treasure… the very famous Dead Sea Scrolls.

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ABOUT THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the ultimate jigsaw puzzle. Discovered in 1947, and using powerful cameras originally designed for NASA, scholars from museums and universities are still trying to fit the fragments together today. Wow, that’s a jigsaw puzzle that has lasted over 70 years. One of the scrolls was a copy of the Old Testament book of Isaiah written about 125 BC. The original scroll was written about 750 BC. The earliest copy we previously had was from the 10th century. Naturally, everyone was curious to see how the two copies would compare. We all know how easily a story can change when it is passed around. And the Bible was passed around a lot. It went to three different continents and was copied by hand many times. Was it still accurate?

To everyone’s astonishment, the two copies—written 1000 years apart—were almost identical. All vital content remained the same. God had made sure that His Word could be trusted.

I will be talking about this theme over several posts. The more I researched this topic, the more fascinated I became. There are FREE articles, colouring pages, puzzles, and freebies that I made up for my own children in English and French. And today we’ll start with a ‘will-you-accept-this-mission’ sample letter that you can download (English only). Scroll to the end of this post to read the text. That will also give us a broad overview of this theme. Just insert your child’s name, a short note, some hugs and kisses, and then sign it. Letter done. Yay! And the letter will not self-destruct after you’ve read it… promise!  :)

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THE SECRET OF THE MISSING SCROLLS ~ SAMPLE LETTER / STATIONERY FOR KIDS ~ FREE PRINTABLE (A4)

The Secret of the Missing Scrolls; fun Bible adventure theme for kids about the Dead Sea Scrolls; stationery and free sample letter; free printable

DOWNLOAD:  English

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MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS  (not necessary for this package – just for your own personal interest… fascinating)

Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library  (Leon Levy Collection) photos of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem
The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls  at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem
Shrine of the Book  where the actual physical scrolls are kept at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem
Big tech meets Qumran – the Dead Sea Scrolls go online  (timesofisrael)
Does archaeology support the Bible?  (answersingenesis)

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RELATED LINKS

The Secret of the Missing Scrolls – part 2p3p4p5 – p6p7 – p8

The Secret of the Missing Scrolls; fun Bible adventure theme for kids

Bible Treasure Theme – part 1p2p3

treasure gold and coins

Older Boys

FREE Dare to be a Daniel poster for kids (Daniel in the Lions' Den) with Bible verse from Daniel 1:8; free printable

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THE SECRET OF THE MISSING SCROLLS ~ SAMPLE LETTER TEXT

Dear (insert your child’s name)

Your time-travel adventure is to uncover hidden treasure to see if God’s Word can be trusted. It starts where the mountains near Jerusalem plunge 1200 metres to the Dead Sea—the lowest point on earth. For thousands of years this desert has held many secrets buried in its sands. Some of the most dramatic stories from the Bible took place here among the rocky caves and intense heat. Before King David became king of Israel, he came to hide here in the desert mountain caves while fleeing from King Saul. It is where Jesus stood firm against the temptations of the devil, declaring, “It is written”. Your adventure here will be dangerous and exciting. It begins at a little place called Qumran, near the Dead Sea, about 13 miles (17km) south-east of Jerusalem. Your imagination is all you need…

  1. Your first tasks require skill. The year is 125 BC. You will be assisting the scribes at Qumran to prepare new scrolls and put them in order. They expect the Messiah to come at any time. There is much to be done.
  2. Next, your time machine will zoom ahead nearly 200 years—to 68 AD. The Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, has come and gone. It has been 36 years since His resurrection. You are again at Qumran with the scribes, but today there is a great panic. Everyone is in immense danger. The Roman soldiers are coming! Your task is to help the scribes hide all their precious scrolls in caves, and then help them escape. There is not much time. Your mission is incredibly dangerous. Your own life is at great risk, however God will give you the help and strength you need to be brave and courageous as you care for others. I am confident that you will succeed.
  3. After that, you will abruptly zoom ahead in time, all the way to 1947 AD. You suddenly find yourself following a Bedouin shepherd. You are trying not to stumble as you carefully find your way around the crumbling limestone cliffs of the Dead Sea. Where is he going? Shhhh! He must not see you! You do not immediately recognise the area as being Qumran. The shifting sands of the desert have changed the area much in the last 1900 years. It is hot and dusty. You note that he has left his flock of sheep and goats, and seems to be searching for a stray. Look! He has discovered a cave! It is hidden in that steep, rocky hillside over there. Intrigued, you hold your breath as he throws a rock into the mysterious darkness. Who knows? Maybe it will be full of treasure. Startled, you jump back. Was that the sound of pottery breaking?
  4. You abruptly find yourself in 1948 AD—roughly one year later. You witness a dangerous and secret meeting at the Jerusalem border. Tensions in the area are high. Your task this time is to stay silent and watch. On one side of the border wire, you recognise Professor Eliezer Lipa Sukenik from the Hebrew University. On the other side, an antiquities dealer is holding an ancient fragment of antique leather through the wire for the professor to examine. What are those marks on it? It looks like ancient writing. They talk in hushed tones about ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls’. The professor is eager to see more. You follow them at a safe distance. The professor carefully takes a scroll and opens it. It is 1,000 years older than any other Old Testament scroll that he has ever seen. Later, you see him write in his diary: “My hands shook as I started to unwrap one of them. I read a few sentences. It was written in beautiful biblical Hebrew. The language was like that of the Psalms, but the text was unknown to me. I looked and looked, and I suddenly had the feeling that I was privileged by destiny to gaze upon a Hebrew Scroll which had not been read for more than 2,000 years.” You ponder all you have seen and wonder if it has anything to do with the cave at Qumran.
  5. It is now 1949 AD. You are surprised to discover that you are again back at Qumran, this time digging with an archaeological team. Everyone is buzzing with excitement, talking loudly and openly now about ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls’. As your team searches the desert for hidden treasure, archaeologists Roland De Vaux and Gerald Lankester Harding inspect a photo of broken pottery jars. You look up. In the photo, you can clearly see the jars have been broken and glued back together. You smile as you remember that day in the desert. It was the sound of pottery breaking that you heard! A sound which echoed around the world! What the shepherd found that day and thought was nothing but old scrolls—some wrapped in linen and blackened with age—turned out to be the greatest find of the century! And you were there to witness it! God had kept His Word safe, hidden on dusty scrolls in the desert for more then 2000 years. It was nothing short of a miracle! These scrolls are just like our Old Testament Bible that we read today. This proves that God’s Word CAN be trusted! We hope that you enjoyed your archaeological adventure with us today. Warm greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus.

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Information from: deadseascrolls.org.il; dss.collections.imj.org.il; imj.org.il/en/wings/shrine-book; timesofisrael.com/google-meets-qumran-thousands-of-dead-sea-scrolls-fragments-go-online; and other sources

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And when you write to your sponsored child, don’t forget to tell them whose words were ‘God-breathed’ onto those scrolls all those centuries ago. The God of the Old Testament is the same Lord Jesus who walked the streets of first century Israel, who died to pay the penalty of our sins and then rose again…

Tell them about Jesus!

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21 thoughts on “The Secret of the Missing Scrolls – Part 1

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