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Since their accidental discovery in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been hailed as the greatest manuscript discovery ever made. Amidst the conspiracies, politics, and sensational claims, however, it can be difficult to separate myth from reality. In this Very Short Introduction , Timothy Lim presents the facts and leading theories behind the cultural and historical background of the scrolls, revealing much about the Old Testament and the origins of Christianity and Judaism. He also tells the fascinating story of the scrolls since their discovery, explains the science behind their deciphering and dating, and does not omit the characters, scandals, and controversies that have hastened the scrolls' rise to the status of cultural icon.