In 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in caves in Israel. Scrolls from several different books were found, including the Hebrew Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls included a complete copy of the book of Isaiah dated to 125 B.C. Before this discovery, the earliest copies of the Hebrew Bible were from the 900s A.D., so the Dead Sea Scrolls were about 1,000 years older than any existing copy. The scrolls gave scholars a chance to see if there were any copying errors that crept in over that millennium. It turns out that the copies we were 95 percent accurate. The 5 percent error comes mainly from misspelled words, and did not affect the content of the book.
What is particularly amazing about the book of Isaiah is that it has a lot of prophecies about the Messiah, which were originally written 700 years before Jesus. And now, we have copies of the original that predate Jesus’ life by about 125 years. You can get copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls and read them for yourself (written in Hebrew, but I’ve heard that Israeli school children can read them).
These verses about Jesus (written 700 years before He was born) were found in both the Dead Sea Scrolls and previously discovered manuscripts:
- Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14; Immanuel means God with us).
- For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
- I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting (Isaiah 50:6).
Isaiah 53 gives a crystal clear gospel message; you should read it for yourself. Some of the more specific prophecies are:
- The LORD has laid on Him all of our iniquities (53:6).
- He was led like a lamb to the slaughter (53:7).
- He was buried with the rich (53:9).
I’m curious what people who follow the Jewish faith think about this. Certainly a lot of them have studied the Scriptures and seen this, and these are very specific prophecies.