Latter-day Saints love ancient religious records. We have already
received the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Pearl of Great Price, and we look forward with
anticipation to receiving the "words of the lost tribes of Israel" (2 Nephi
29:13), to the unsealing of a large portion of the golden plates, and to the restoration
of other ancient texts authored by Adam, Enoch, Joseph, and others.
It was no wonder, then, that since the 1947 discovery of
ancient scrolls hidden in caves along the shores of the Dead Sea, many Latter-day Saints
have been fascinated by the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Although these scrolls do not contain the records we await,
they do help answer some important questions related to the gospel: How has the Bible been
transmitted to our day? What did the Jews believe in the years between the end of the Old
Testament and the time of Christ? How much of the full gospel was known by these people
before the coming of Christ?
The essays in this collection help to answer these and other
questions. They give an overview of the history of the scrolls, compare the scrolls and
their writers to the Book of Mormon and its authors, and discuss what the scrolls teach
about topics like the Messiah and the plan of salvation. The collection also includes a
description of how high technology is aiding in all aspects of the translation of the
scrolls, from DNA analysis to computerization. The essays are written by BYU faculty who
are members of the international team of scroll editors, world-renowned scroll scholar
Florentino García Martínez, and other researchers at BYU and FARMS.