By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Franklin Institute hosts a new exhibit that takes a glimpse back into how people lived during Biblical times. It opens May 12th.

The new Franklin Institute exhibit is called The Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times.

“These are like the earliest writings for many of the major religions we follow today and it’s also a cultural glimpse back over 2,000 years,” says Steve Snyder, vice president of exhibits and program development.

Listen to Hadas Kuznits’ interview with Steve Snyder in this CBS Philly podcast:

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“They were discovered by some Bedouins who came across what looked like some old paper bound in leather. They thought, well maybe they can get some money for it and they took it to a gentleman who was a part time antiquities dealer and the scrolls were in such good shape when they were discovered that they thought oh they have to be fakes.”

snyder steve kuznits Franklin Institute Set To Open Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit

Steve Snyder, vice president of exhibits and program development at the Franklin Institute. (Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

Snyder says it was like uncovering a 3,000-year-old library.

“To survive that long it really was a pretty amazing thing; and it had to do with the fact that the Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth, extremely dry, in these caves, with extremely consistent temperatures, locked away, undisturbed for all this time.”

He says the scrolls, which were found in Israel’s Dead Sea area in 1947, are being lent to the museum to be showcased and he says some of what’s writing in these ancient scrolls is pretty amazing.

“There’s a whole set of scrolls that will be there and they range from the very common, kind of the practices of everyday life up to elements like Genesis — you know, ‘In the Beginning.’ There’s the paraphrase you know, The Lion and The Lamb from Isaiah which a scroll fragment will be there.”

There will also be over 600 artifacts in the exhibit.

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