At Qumran!

Today, we were able to go up to Massada, which is located in the region of Judea and it is also, near the Dead Sea. Going up the hills is becoming easier, because we have been hiking a lot. We also planned to get up extra bright up and early in order to catch the sunset at Massada, but we caught it when we barely got there instead of on top of the hill like we wanted to. Nevertheless, when we got there, we were able to explore around on our own and visit the remains of this city. I was able to see the Western Palace, which had a lot of beautiful mosaics plastered on the ground. Then, we were also able to see the water cistern of that place, and we were able to go down and visualize how enormous it was/is.

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After this, we then headed back to the bus and went to Ein Gedi and there we were able to see the waterfalls there as well. The sight was amazing because we had hiked the way up in order to have a good view. The water seemed very refreshing and cool as well. After this, we were then able to go to Qumran. I had been anticipating going to this place for quite some time. Although I am not very knowledgable in the Dead Sea Scrolls, I still have a fascination towards them. I only know a little bit about it, but it is still very interesting to me.

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Being able to be at the place where they were actually discovered was surreal to me. Learning more about it was even better, and mainly because it was a discovery that opened a lot of doors for scholars to come up with theories, or strengthen theories, as they attempt to reconstruct the past for the present people in our day to understand. Also, another interesting thing that reinforced my belief in the bible, is what our professor told us about the different versions of the text in regards to the Hebraic and Greek texts. He said that we can find assurance in knowing that God is working through man as they write the texts, and although there may be some variations, this does not mean that it does away with the credibility of the bible, but rather, it reinforces it because we know that the generations have believed this text (the Bible) to be majorly important that they believed it authoritative enough to preserve it.

(Here are some of the caves at Qumran)

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Lastly, we were able to go to the Dead Sea and swim in it as well. I was able to float on it because it was so salty. However, I did get the full experience because some of it got on my eye, and it stung a whole lot too. Nevertheless, today was one of my favorite days so far.

-Jessica Cruz

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