Religion: Dead Sea Jewels

On a spring day in 1947, among the barren Judean foothills that rise above the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, a goat in search of greener pasture precipitated the most significant religious discovery in recent history. As a Bedouin shepherd pursued the animal, he stumbled on a hidden cave. For Biblical scholars, the cave contained green pastures indeed: the first of the now famous Dead Sea Scrolls.

The shepherds, who had hoped for treasure, were disappointed to find eight crumbling manuscripts wrapped in linen and stored in large jars. In Jerusalem, they eventually...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!