We began our day at he Israeli Museum where Lon would teach us about the Dead Sea Scrolls. These scrolls were found in a cave by the Dead Sea by two young boys in 1947. Eventually they were taken to an antiquity dealer in Bethlehem. A scholar realized that the scroll was the book of Isaiah and then for a couple of years the scrolls disappeared. They reappeared in 1949 for sale in the Wall Street Journal. Jewish authorities arranged to purchase the 5 scrolls for $250,000.00. For fifty years the public was not allowed to see them. The reason these scrolls are so important is because they are dated at 200 – 250 BC. They are books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Psalms. This proves that the Bible existed before Jesus. Lon’s saying is “The more they dig up the more it proves the Bible right”.
The scrolls are housed in this building. Water is sprayed on the building to maintain the right moisture and sensors keep them at the right temperature.
In the museum we saw the Tel Dan Stele. This is a stone that was found at Caesarea that has Pontius Pilate’s name on it. It was found when excavating the Roman City by the sea and is Non Biblical proof that Jesus existed.
These two amulets were found 25 years ago and are dated to 650 BC. The inscription is the Lord Bless you and Protect you Prayer from Numbers Chapter 6.
Here is one last mosaic to share with you from the museum.
Our next stop was to see the Garden Tomb. Although no one can be certain exactly where the tomb was this spot certainly seems to fit the Bible’s description.
From there we were off to Bethlehem. We saw the mountainside where the shepherds were watching their flocks on the night of Jesus’s birth.
We would then visit the site where Jesus was born. And of course there is a church built over the site to protect it. Here is a few pictures of that church in Bethlehem.
It is important to note here that Bethlehem is actually controlled by the Jordanians. Here you can see the border wall as we exited the city and went back to Jerusalem for the evening.