September 2, 2014


FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- Type "Dead Sea Scrolls" into the search bar and Google presents 29 pages of images related to the ancient documents. Stick the 1998 animated film "The Prince of Egypt" into the DVD player and DreamWorks presents its rendition of Bible times in the Near East.

In The Exhibit:
-- Murals of Dead Sea region
-- Artifacts such as coins, pottery and sandals
-- Replica Wailing Wall
-- Authentic Bedouin tent
-- Tent from Qumran dig site
-- Scroll stylus and ink well
-- Replica of Cave 4
-- Dead Sea Scroll fragments and other manuscripts
-- Dead Sea Scrolls film
-- iScroll kiosks
-- Portion of St. John's Bible
-- Early Bibles and texts
-- Gift shop
-- Interactive dig site
For many Christians, the eastern lands where God spoke to Abraham, where God led the Israelites to freedom, and where Jesus was born, lived, died and rose again may just as well exist only in the events' respective time periods. Hindered by vacation time, finances, or other responsibilities, millions of people cannot visit the desert surrounding the Dead Sea. For some, Google and DreamWorks may offer the closest access they may ever have to the lands the patriarchs crisscrossed by sandaled foot.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary hopes to change that reality and give more people than ever a chance to see manuscripts that reveal the faithful transmission of the biblical texts over thousands of years through its Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition, which will run from July 2012 to January 2013.

Organizers expect to see more than 400,000 people visit the exhibit during its six-month run at the seminary's MacGorman Chapel and Performing Arts Center.

Weston Fields, guest curator for the Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition and executive director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation, said that while the ancient scroll fragments do not "prove" the Bible is true, they prove, more or less, that the Bible Christians use today, including 66 books from Genesis to Revelation, is the Bible God intended Christians to have, even thousands of years after He first inspired its writing.

"What I try to get people to understand is, there is a prior question to the 'Is the Bible true?' question, and that is, 'Is what we have the Bible?'" Fields said. ... Read More

Why the Dead Sea Scrolls matter
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- When a Bedouin shepherd discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls in Israel in the 1940s, few people immediately understood their importance. After taking the scrolls back to his camp, this shepherd left one of them on the ground to be torn apart by children, while one person reportedly used another scroll fragment to wipe a baby's bottom. Read More
Scrolls' accidental discovery adds to intrigue
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- While searching for a stray goat in January 1947, a Bedouin goat herder stumbled upon the discovery of a lifetime. The story goes that as he was throwing rocks into a cave, he heard the sound of breaking pottery. He brought his father and brother, and the three entered the cave. Tucked away in this rocky fissure overlooking the Dead Sea near Qumran in Israel, they unearthed jars containing several scrolls. Read More
SBC entities issue 1st report on ethnic diversity
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Southern Baptist Convention entities have issued their first reports in response to historic measures adopted a year ago to improve accountability in the inclusion of ethnic minorities in SBC life. Read More

First Person
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Seminary professor Timothy Paul Jones takes a look at "lost" books that didn't make it into the New Testament, explaining why early Christians rejected them.



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