The Evolving Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls

There isn’t much new information in this short National Geographic article promoting their upcoming show about the Dead Sea Scrolls, but they do claim that conventional wisdom — the scrolls were written only by the Essenes in Qumran — might not be entirely accurate.

New research suggests many of the Dead Sea Scrolls originated elsewhere and were written by multiple Jewish groups, some fleeing the circa-A.D. 70 Roman siege that destroyed the legendary Temple in Jerusalem.

“Jews wrote the Scrolls, but it may not have been just one specific group. It could have been groups of different Jews,” said Robert Cargill, an archaeologist who appears in the documentary Writing the Dead Sea Scrolls, which airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel.

Sadly, you’ll have to tune for the entire story, I suppose.  If I could offer National Geographic a piece of advice: giving your article a snappy headline, like “Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls Solved?”, and not really having evidence that the mystery has been solved or offering any new groundbreaking theories is pretty shoddy and misleading work.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Vered Moreno August 2, 2010, 2:02 pm

    I dont think theres new info about the scrolls. shoddy or not, its sheds new light for those of us who dont know the story behind those scrolls, or the Dead Sea, like just about everything the NG publishes.

    The Dead Sea is now nominated for new7wonder, with a new website that was launched last month: and a facebook group that keeps you posted:

    I think the more interesting thing about this whole campaign (with the NG program or not) is the fact that the Dead Sea is actually a candidate shared by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. World peace anyone?