Vatican scholars are preparing to rewrite the Bible by incorporating revelations contained in ancient scrolls discovered beside the Dead Sea in Palestine. A team of theologians and historians were to gather in Italy in late September to start the potentially explosive task of inserting new details about the life and times of Jesus Christ. The influence of radical Jewish groups who wanted to overthrow Roman rule is likely to be included in the new Bible, bolstering those who interpret Christ as a revolutionary who fought political oppression.
The Bible is based mostly on manuscripts written centuries after Christ lived, but the Dead Sea scrolls, found at Qumran by shepherds in 1947, have been dated to the decades before and after His crucifixion. The 800 documents, written by the Essenes, a Jewish sect, date from 170 BC to AD 68, and chronicle the turbulence of the Roman occupation of Judea.