In 1961 a group of experts started to explore the caves
of Nahal Hever in the barren wilderness of the Dead Sea. They
risked their lives descending from steel cables into a cavern,
80 meters below. What they found was so horrible that they
gave this cave the nickname 'Cave of Horror'. The explorers
discovered 40 skeletons of adults and children, who had hidden
themselves in this place. They were followers of the Jewish
leader Bar Kochba. During their stay in the cave, the Romans
were quartered on top of the rock. They were literally trapped
and probably died of hunger and thirst.
The explorers also made another important discovery relating
to the Name of God - they found old manuscripts in the caves.
Nine fragments must have been part of an old scroll of leather,
containing the Bible books of Hosea through Malachi. That
is why this is now called the 'Minor Prophet Scroll'. The
text is written in Greek, the common language of that time,
and is dated 50 B.C. - 50 A.D. So it includes the period of
time Jesus lived on earth. What did they know in that time
about the name of God?
Because the Septuagint, commonly used in Jesus' time,
had replaced the Tetragrammaton with Kurios (which means 'Lord'),
the presumption was that the first Christians did not use
the Divine Name. But, the fragments they found put an end
to the theological discussion of whether Jesus and his apostles
used the Divine Name or not. The fragments, written in Greek,
contain the Divine Name in an ancient Hebrew script, showing
that the Name was still used by the Jews in those days. Verses
like Mathew 6:9 and John 17:6 are proof that Jesus used and
hallowed the Name of his father.
What you see shown are 2 fragments found in the cave.
The first and largest fragment contains parts of Habakkuk
(Habakkuk 2:15-20 and 3:9-14). We can see the Tetragrammaton
written twice, in another font – paleo Hebrew. The second
fragment contains parts of Zechariah (Zechariah 8:20 and 9:1,4).
Here also we can see the Tetragrammaton twice, in a first
century Hebrew font.