The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in eleven different caves. All the scrolls were immediately published the moment they were translated except for the scrolls found in cave number four. These scrolls were guarded under a strict secrecy rule for many decades after their discovery.
Finally, in 1991, the keepers of the scrolls were coerced into publishing them. But the general intrigue surrounding the scrolls quickly died down because no one noticed anything remarkable in them. However one scroll in particular got under the skin of cryptographer Michael Wood – the scroll entitled “Some Works of the Law.” The publication of this scroll was the first time archaeologists had seen the phrase “Works of the Law” outside the Bible itself.
The historical meaning of “Works of the Law” greatly affects Christianity today. For the meaning of this phrase is central to the Catholic/Protestant debate. The Protestant Reformation was largely based on a disagreement about what constitutes the “Works of the Law” discussed in the Biblical book of Romans. Catholicism considers the first century phrase as a reference to one thing, while Protestants believe it refers to something else.
Cryptographer Michael Wood was convinced the Dead Sea Scroll found in cave four contained the missing key to empirically deciphering the phrase once and for all. In Breaking the Romans Code, Michael Wood’s empirical decipherment results in a totally unexpected solution. For the phrase’s meaning turned out to be different from what both Catholics and Protestants thought. In fact, the final answer isn’t even among their possible candidates – it turned out to be something neither denomination even considered.