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7Q: Cave Seven Qumran

A month before Christmas 1946, a Bedouin shepherd boy Muhammad edh-Dhib was looking for a lost goat on what was then the Jordanian West Bank of the Dead Sea. Hoping to get the animal to reveal itself, he threw a stone into one of the many limestone caves that dot the West Bank cliffs. Instead of goat noises or the echo of the stone hitting the cave’s floor, he heard the sound of pottery shattering. Over the next few months, he and his cousins explored the grotto and were disappointed when, rather than gold or other ancient treasures, all they could find in some old jars and pots were the remains of seven crumbling parchment scrolls. That’s the official version of the discovery of priceless Jewish manuscripts written before and during the first Century AD at Qumran.

Extensive searches of caves in the area by archeologists over the next few years revealed dozens of ancient scrolls nearly all of which were in fragments. The press dubbed them the Dead Sea Scrolls. From then on, these documents, along with religious scrolls found in Egypt at about the same time, became the victims of ignorance, greed, war, intrigue, seduction, theft, academic rivalry, conspiracy, politics, betrayals, forgeries, and heaps of religious speculation – all the ingredients of a first-rate ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ adventure story.

Added to this mix were the claims of several reputable scholars that fragments found at Cave 7 at Qumran or 7Q were the earliest known Christian writings. Did Jesus of Nazareth live among the Jewish Essene monks who wrote these scrolls? What if there were other Christian writings from 7Q that the scholars didn’t know about? News of the find attracted illicit treasure hunters who sold scroll fragments to dealers as well as to the official archaeologists. There were rumors that a few seekers kept their finds. Could one of these documents be the missing Q gospel, one of the original texts on the life and sayings of Jesus from which half of the New Testament Gospel writers copied?

And what if someone found a genuine first-century copy of Q? It would be headline news and create enormous excitement amongst scholars. Its contents could threaten traditional Church ideas, customs and dogmas. Politics intrigue, and controversy over who should have access and rights to study and publish Q would invariably dominate its ownership.

Because of its enormous theological and culture value, Q would be worth tens of millions of dollars. This would add to the attention of vested interests, shadowy powers and organized crime to the blend of religious, political and academic rivalry and intrigue that made saving the Dead Seas Scrolls such an escapade. 7Q: Cave Seven Qumran is the tale of such a discovery. 7Q is a thriller based on New Testament scholarship and was originally published as a novel in Russian by Moscow's Eksmo publishing house. 7Q has been revised and released For more information and to read a sample go to Amazon.
Graeme J Davidson More comments

 

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