This documentary is a BBC production featuring the work that Princeton Seminary professor James H. Charlesworth has done to recover the lost Dead Sea scrolls, one of history’s most controversial discoveries. In 1947, a young Bedouin shepherd, exploring a cave, stumbled upon cryptic writings that had been hidden from view for nearly 2,000 years, and which hold a valuable key to the Jewish and Christian traditions. Charlesworth has made the scrolls the focus of his research and writing for years, traveling to the Middle Eastern desert north of the Dead Sea to continue his search for answers to what has been called “the greatest jigsaw puzzle in history.” Charlesworth has examined many of the scroll fragments and published the results of his scholarship. The film considers the resourceful traders and tribespeople who may be the best hope for locating more priceless relics, or the greatest threat to their survival. Also shown is an exciting high-tech recovery of an ancient scroll; computer enhancement reveals hidden layers of text underneath the words that had been written over them. Along with colleagues from Israel, Europe, and the United States, Charlesworth continues to search for answers that the Dead Sea scrolls may hold for the two great religious traditions of Western culture.
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