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Vander Kam explains, “A group that set a goal of spreading its religious message to all peoples to the ends of the earth had a very different understanding of God’s plan than ones who seem to have done no proselytizing and had no interest in bringing the nations into the fold.” Nevertheless, there are some similarities between the two groups and their writings, which make for interesting comparisons.
The project will grant free, global access to the 2,000-year-old text — considered one of the greatest archaeological finds of the last century — by uploading high-resolution images that are exact copies of the originals.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the caves by Qumran, a site in the Judean Wilderness on the west side of the Dead Sea. Vander Kam explores similarities between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament in the March/April 2015 issue of BAR. Vander Kam points out that there is no overlap between the cast of characters in the scrolls and the New Testament (except for figures from the Hebrew Bible). However, they shed some light on the world in which Jesus lived.
What do they say about the world in which Jesus lived? The Dead Sea Scrolls are comprised primarily of two types of texts: parts of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and sectarian works written by the small group (or groups) of Jews who lived at Qumran. Further, it is quite possible that the two groups never interacted with each other.
"Anyone in his office or on his couch will be able to click and see any scroll fragment or manuscript that they would like," she said.
Experts have long complained that only a small number of scholars were allowed access to the scrolls at any given time, which were found in caves near the Dead Sea in the late 1940s.
The curious thing is that not all of these miracles, such as “raising the dead,” appear in the passages from Isaiah, which were the source material for the lists—the prophecies being fulfilled.