(Photo: AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner)
The Dead Sea Scrolls have long been considered a source of great wonder and revelation for the faithful, and now an author is arguing in his new book that the Hubble telescope validates an ancient passage about the universe found in one of the scrolls.
The Hubble telescope, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, observes the universe with ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared instruments. The Hubble was launched into orbit around the Earth in 1990 and still remains in operation, often capturing intense images of stars, constellations and distant galaxies. In a recent article, The Business Insider listed 10 things Hubble has discovered that science was previously unaware of.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, on the other hand, which were found in caves on the shores of the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1956, represent 825 to 870 separate scrolls written mostly on animal skin. They are written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and are divided into two categories – biblical and non-biblical, and contain prophecies by Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Daniel not found in the Bible.
Among the non-biblical writings are the order of commentaries on the Old Testament, paraphrases that expand on the Torah, rule books of the community, war conduct, thanksgiving psalms, hymnic compositions, benedictions, liturgical texts, and sapiential (wisdom) writings.
The Isaiah Scroll, which, unlike many of the other scrolls, was found mostly intact, and is 1,000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah. In fact, the scrolls, also referred to as the Qumran scrolls, are the oldest group of Old Testament manuscripts ever found.
According to author J. Paul Hutchins's book, Hubble Reveals Creation by an Awe-Inspiring Power, which will be released at New York City's BookExpo America this summer, the ancient prophet Isaiah recorded what appears to be a "divine invitation from God to mankind," inviting people to explore divinely questions through the stars.
Hutchins' book takes a look at the history of the Hubble telescope and the discoveries made in the last two decades, which according to scientists, have revealed how the universe unfolded, calling it " the greatest cinematic drama in human history." He claims that these discoveries are directly related to observations Isaiah recorded in 732 BCE about the unimaginable energy source behind the universe.
The passage in question, Isaiah 40:25-26, reads:
"To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?" asks the Holy One. "Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing."
Hutchins asserts that when Isaiah wrote about the power behind the universe, he did not have the benefit of a powerful space telescope, yet his description matches the discoveries made by Hubble in recent years of powerful galaxies like the Sombrero Galaxy. The Sombrero with its ominous glow at its center exhibits unimaginable energy. The glow is made up of eight hundred billion stars like the Earths' sun, which gives the galaxy the appearance of a Mexican sombrero hat.
Late last year, New York's Discovery Times Square premiered its new exhibit, "Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times."
The new exhibition is said to feature the "largest and most comprehensive collection of Holy Land artifacts" and also the "largest collection of the 2000-year-old scrolls ever displayed in the United States." Discovery Times Square has 20 scrolls on display, four of which will be making world debuts. The scrolls include the biblical books of Genesis, Leviticus, as well as Exodus and Kings, among several others.