The Great Isaiah Scroll was found in a cave near the Dead Sea by Bedouin shepherds in 1947. The Isaiah Scroll and
the other scrolls found there became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Isaiah Scroll is the most complete scroll out
of the two hundred and twenty found; it is complete from beginning to end. It has been dated to one century BC.
At over 2100 years old it is the oldest complete copy of Isaiah still in existence.
The Isaiah Scroll has been carbon-14 dated at least four times. The four studies produced date ranges
between 335 BC and 107 BC.
The scroll contains the biblical Book of Isaiah, which is thought to have been popular at the time because of
the number of copies found at Qumran just above the Dead Sea. The Isaiah Scroll is the only complete copy.
The scroll is written on 17 sheets of parchment. It is very large, being about 24 ft. long and 11 in. high.
There are 54 columns of text.
The scroll was sold by the Bedouins to an antiques dealer who happened to be a member of the Syrian Church.
He sold it to Anastasius Samuel, the Metropolitan of the Syrian Orthodox Church in East Jerusalem. Mar Samuel
brought the scroll to America, hoping to sell it and the three others he had in his possession. They were bought
by Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin for $US250,000 in 1954 and brought back to Israel. The scroll is now housed
in Jerusalem at the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum.