GOD’S WORD CAN BE TRUSTED! ABSOLUTELY!
One of my favourite packages for my kids was a mystery / adventure theme describing the ultimate treasure hunt to teach them that 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; preparing the Great Isaiah scroll for the coming Messiah; boldly helping others to escape from 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.
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 book 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 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 ‘Secrets of the Missing Scrolls’ theme over several posts. It’s another huge one that is easily straddled over two postings. The more I researched this topic, the more fascinated I became. There are two FREE articles for kids; freebies that I made up for my kids, including a ‘will-you-accept-this-mission-letter’ already done for you – Yay! And the letter won’t self-destruct after they’ve read it :) – plus links to free puzzles and colouring pages. Here are some highlights:
- The year is 125 BC. You are a guest at Khirbet Qumran, on the Dead Sea. You have been asked to fill in for one of the Scribes, who is sick today. He has been working on the Old Testament Scroll of the prophet Isaiah. It is a big one. It will take 54 columns of parchment to record the 66 chapters. One day—who knows, maybe very soon—the Messiah will stand up in the synagogue to read this exact Scripture when He begins His ministry.
- Today the junior scribe has asked you to help him collect all the scrolls of Moses—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. He explains that these first five books of the Old Testament are also called the Pentateuch. This is a fancy word which just means ‘five scrolls.’ penta = five; teuch = scrolls.
- Oh no! The junior scribe at Khirbet Qumran has dropped all the Old Testament scrolls all over the floor! Now they are all scrambled and out of order. Help him unscramble them and file them back into the library.
- The Romans are coming! Quickly! Solve these puzzles to make sure all the priceless scrolls containing God’s Word are put in the right clay jars, ready to go into hiding, and then help the scribes escape. There is not much time. Your mission is incredibly dangerous. Your own life is at great risk, however I know that 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.
- Abruptly zoom ahead in time, all the way to 1947 A.D. You suddenly find yourself following a Bedouin shepherd. Where is he going? All you know is that he must not see you. You are trying not to stumble as you carefully find your way around the crumbling limestone cliffs of the Dead Sea. It is hot and dusty. You notice that he has left his flock of sheep and goats. He seems to be busy searching for a stray. 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. Look! He has discovered a cave. It is tucked into that crevice over there in the steep rocky hillside. 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?!
THINK SPOT: Did you know that the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947… JUST in time to be delivered to the brand new nation of Israel that was formed in 1948?!! During the time that the Jews were out of their homeland and disbursed all across the world, God kept the precious scrolls of His Word safe – in the volatile Middle East – for nearly 2000 years!!! Wow! Isn’t that incredible!
Stay tuned for part 2.
Photos of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls can be found here
Does archaeology support the Bible? (Answers in Genesis)
Discover the location of the most important Biblical discovery ever made check out this cool drone footage over Qumran (3 mins); Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947-1956, extensive excavations have taken place in Qumran. Nearly 900 scrolls were discovered. Most were written on parchment and some on papyrus. Cisterns, Jewish ritual baths, and cemeteries have been found, along with a dining or assembly room and debris from an upper story alleged by some to have been a scriptorium as well as pottery kilns and a tower
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