Other Caves and Discoveries
Traveling about eleven miles south of Qumran, you come to the caves of the Wadi Murabba'at. At one time, Murabba'at was occupied by a garrison commanded by Simeon Ben Losebah, the leader of the second Jewish revolt against Rome (A.D. 132–135). Manuscripts from this time period, including two letters from the commander himself, were found here in 1952.
Many fragments of biblical texts dating to this same time period were also found at Wadi Murabba'at. A fragment from the Minor Prophets written in Greek, along with other scrolls, was found in the caves of nearby wadis.
The rock fortress of Masada was conquered by the Romans in A.D. 74. During the 1963–1965 excavations, several manuscript fragments were found in these ruins, including portions of what appear to be Psalms, Leviticus, Ecclesiasticus (the Wisdom of Ben Sira), and Jubilee.
Remember the discussion from Chapter 6 about apocryphal and pseudepigraphal texts? Some believe Ecclesiasticus and Jubilee, respectively, fit into those categories. According to some scholars, neither the pseudepigraphal nor the apocryphal works have any authority or credibility. Their texts claimed that their authors were biblical writers. However, some believe that the texts date to centuries later than when Jesus and the apostles lived.
Midway between Qumran and Murabba'at, manuscripts were found at Khirbet Mird. These collections, dating between the fifth and eighth centuries A.D., reportedly contained several biblical texts written in Greek and in Palestinian Syriac. It is believed that the Greek texts included New Testament fragments of the uncial codices (books) of Mark, John, and Acts. The Syriac texts are thought to be fragments of Joshua, Luke, Acts, and Colossians.