SOURCE: Vision Media

October 21, 2008 04:32 ET

Religion and Ethical Issues Are Debated in Dead Sea Scrolls and Gabriel's Revelation -- Discusses the Controversy and Intrigue Amidst New Scholarship and Technology

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - October 21, 2008) - 60 years after the Dead Sea Scrolls emerged from their desert hiding place of two millennia, another archaeological find -- this one ink on stone -- is stirring debate among scholars of religion and ethical issues. Some say the message on this stone, dubbed Gabriel's Revelation, foretells the coming of a Messiah who would rise from the dead after three days. In an article for, writer Peter Nathan describes the debates over religion and ethical issues stemming from the study of Gabriel's Revelation and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Its parchment and papyrus counterparts, the Dead Sea Scrolls, have ignited scholarly discussions for 60 years since their discovery. To celebrate this anniversary, religion and ethical issue scholars from around the world gathered at the Israel Museum's Shrine of the Book to compare theories and present divergent views on their authors and interpretations of the writings. Were these scrolls and fragments created and stored on-site by a celibate monastic community, or were they treasures brought to the West Bank Qumran caves by zealot rebels for safekeeping during the Siege of Jerusalem? What form of Judaism, religion, and ethical issues were observed by the keepers of the scrolls? Do the Dead Sea Scrolls and Gabriel's Revelation shake the foundations of Christianity by showing that the idea of a suffering Messiah was part of Jewish culture before Christ?

The stone's history is shrouded in mystery, with little known of its provenance before its sudden appearance a decade ago. The scrolls were hidden from the academic world for several decades, cultivating an atmosphere of suspicion and intrigue for those in the fields of religion. And ethical issues were raised until images and translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls were finally released nearly half a century after their discovery.

But today, there seem to be more questions than answers.

Technological advances should allow digital images of most of the Dead Sea Scrolls to be available online within the next year. These digital images may show details of faded script that have faded to the point of being invisible to the naked eye. The on-line images should enable equal access for everyone, which is certain to ensure even wider debate on the various religion and ethical issues surrounding the scrolls.

To learn more about these issues, visit to read Peter Nathan's article titled "The Legacy of the Scrolls" which describes the diverse views and scholarship of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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