The Scrolls as a Start, Not an End by Edward Rothstein.
Before their discovery, the earliest known texts of the Hebrew Bible were from about 1,000 years after these scrolls were written. In the caves were over 800 scrolls and fragments, including Hebrew biblical texts before they were canonized, all written during a 200-year period of ferment in which the Israelite religion was about to be shattered by exile in A.D. 70, as Christianity was emerging. They showed how consistent transmission of these texts was, how many possibilities there were for interpretation and how fundamental the texts had already become.
More at the NYT.