The Dead Sea Scrolls have been described as the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century. The first scrolls were discovered in 1947, in a cave near the site of Qumran by the Dead Sea. Eventually the remains of over 900 scrolls were found in 11 caves around Qumran. The scrolls date to the time of Jesus and include the earliest preserved copies of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). They were deposited in the caves by members of a Jewish sect called the Essenes who lived at Qumran. In this seminar, students explore the meaning and significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls – and learn about broader issues such as how canons of sacred scripture developed among Jews and Christians – through classroom discussions, thought papers, and creative assignments.