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The Scrolls are a set of ancient documents, including a large part of the Old Testament, that were recovered from clay jars, preserved for centuries in the caves at Qumran, most probably by a now lost Jewish sect, the Essenes.For a seven-minute overview of how carbon radiometric dating works, and how it was used to demonstrate that many of the Dead Sea Scrolls could be dated back to several centuries before Christ, you should view this 7-minute video by Reasons to Believe: Why is the dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls so important?For the past seventy years, since radiometric dating has been in use, the decay rates, of various substances, have proven themselves to be very reliable.Using the time-honored principle of , advocates of radiometric dating have used this tool to demonstrate the great antiquity of the earth.First, it serves as evidence for the antiquity and integrity of the Old Testament.Prior to the Dead Sea Scroll discovery, the oldest substantial Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament only went back to about the year 920 C. The Dead Sea Scrolls pushed back that “oldest” date a full 1,000 years, before the birth of Jesus!Not only that, but the Dead Sea Scrolls also gives us crucial information as to the Jewish context, from which would eventually give birth to the early Christian movement, led by Jesus of Nazareth. Thanks to Carbon-14 dating, Christians can have increased confidence that the Bible has historical credibility.In other words, Carbon-14 dating provides us yet another set of data points to further confirm that the Biblical writers were not “making up” the story of God, Israel, and Jesus.
Otherwise, why would they be using such a tool, if they knew that the tool was inherently flawed or misapplied?
In principle, advocates of this type of skepticism might be right.
Variable decay rates might explain a young, as opposed, to an old earth.
But how many Christians know that Carbon-14 dating actually has been used to In 2003, scientists were able to use Carbon-14 dating to accurately date a tunnel running underneath Jerusalem to redirect the supply of water.
According to 2 Kings , King Hezekiah built a water supply tunnel, when the city was under siege, around the year 700 B. The Carbon-14 dating tests, performed on the wood used to make the plaster for the tunnel, gave results that perfectly match the Biblical record. Here is another example of the value of Carbon-14 dating: In an amazing discovery in the 20th century, scientists were able to discover the age of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.These Christians seek to honor God’s Word, so the motives behind the argument against some scientific practices, such as Carbon-14 dating, are well-intentioned.