Israel’s Antiquities Authority says it is building a national archaeological center to house nearly two million ancient artifacts, including the world’s largest collection of Dead Sea Scrolls.
The authority said Tuesday the center in Jerusalem will serve as a research center for Israeli archaeology and history, and will house a library of some 150,000 books, archives on local excavations from the past century, and conservation and restoration labs. Some 15,000 Dead Sea Scroll fragments, currently in government custody at the Israel Museum, will also be stored there.
The center, designed by Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, is being built next to the Israel Museum and will be inaugurated in 2016. It will eventually serve as the authority’s headquarters.
The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation of Cleveland is funding the project. (source)
New research conducted by a Trinity College academic in Jerusalem offers new insights into one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which is concerned with the mystery of existence.
Dr Benjamin Wold, Assistant Professor in New Testament at the Department of Religions & Theology, has been conducting research on the Dead Sea Scrolls known as “4QInstruction” which is believed to have been composed around the mid-2nd century BC. Despite considerable efforts to reconstruct this scroll from multiple copies, experts believe that only about 30 per cent of the document remains. Found in the remaining passages are frequent admonitions to understand the “mystery of existence.”
Research conducted at the Israel Museum consulting individual fragments of the document has allowed Dr Wold to offer several new reconstructions of the document and confirm others. Read more.
JERUSALEM – Parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls are up for sale — in tiny pieces.
Nearly 70 years after the discovery of the world’s oldest biblical manuscripts, the Palestinian family who originally sold them to scholars and institutions is now quietly marketing the leftovers — fragments the family says it has kept in a Swiss safe deposit box all these years.
Most of these scraps are barely postage-stamp-sized, and some are blank. But in the last few years, evangelical Christian collectors and institutions in the U.S. have forked out millions of dollars for a chunk of this archaeological treasure. This angers Israel’s government antiquities authority, which holds most of the scrolls, claims that every last scrap should be recognized as Israeli cultural property, and threatens to seize any more pieces that hit the market. Read more.
CINCINNATI – The Ten Commandments scroll – one of the most important of the Dead Sea Scrolls in existence – is going on display in Cincinnati beginning Friday.
The tightly guarded scroll, one of the approximately 900 Dead Sea Scrolls in existence, can be seen through April 14 at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
The Ten Commandments scroll will be added for the last 17 days of the exhibit “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times,” which also features 10 other scroll fragments from Israel. The scrolls are of great historical and religious significance because they include the earliest known surviving manuscripts of text included in the Hebrew Bible.
The Ten Commandments scroll is one of only two ancient manuscripts to feature the commandments, the foundation of Jewish and Christian religions. Read more.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, arguably the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century, have now been placed online for anyone to freely view them in unprecedented high resolution detail.
Launched the middle of December, 2012, the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library is the brainchild of a collaboration between the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the Google Research and Development Center in Israel. The objective is to eventually place the entire collection of about 930 manuscripts, comprised of thousands of Dead Sea Scroll fragments and representing the complete known archive of the world-reknowned ancient documents. Already, hundreds of images have been placed online for view and study by anyone interested.
Israeli paleographer Ada Yardeni has recently identified 50 Dead Sea scrolls found near Qumran in Israel as having been penned by the same scribe, a scribe who also penned scrolls that have been found at the Herodian mountain-top fortress of Masada, where Jewish rebel zealots made their last suicidal stand against the Romans in 73 A.D.
The subject scrolls were previously discovered in six different caves in the area of the Qumran site. In an article authored by Sidnie White Crawford and published in the November/December 2012 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Crawford writes that documents penned by the same scribe and found in multiple caves implies that “the scribe was a member of that sect who also copied Jewish scriptural scrolls, countering the idea that the Qumran collection was a non-sectarian ‘general Jewish’ library.” Read more.
The celebrated Dead Sea Scrolls, first discovered in 1948 in the caves adjacent to the ancient site of Khirbet Qumran near the Dead Sea, are known to represent the earliest known texts of almost every book of the Hebrew Bible, except for two — the Book of Esther and the Book of Nehemiah. Now, a Norwegian Dead Sea Scroll scholar has announced his discovery of a fragment of Nehemiah.
Working together with Esther Eshel of Bar-Ilan University, Torleif Elgvin of Evangelical Lutheran University College in Oslo, Norway, has been examining previously unknown fragments from 29 scrolls (including scraps of four others). The fragments include that of Nehemiah for the first time, textual variations of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, Ruth, Proverbs, and the Twelve; a fragment from an unknown Enoch-related text and two new copies of 1 Enoch; and a new copy of a sectarian biblical commentary. Read more.
PHILADELPHIA — Ancient Israel was always at the epicenter of political, religious and moral change from the biblical period of Kings David and Solomon to Second Temple times when the Greeks and Romans ruled the land and the birth of Jesus was at hand. These turbulent and transformative times shaped western culture and gave rise to Judaism, Christianity and eventually, Islam.
On May 12, The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia opens Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times, a new exhibition that explores that rich history with the largest collection of artifacts from biblical to Islamic periods ever to tour outside of Israel. Running through Oct. 14, the exhibition features more than 600 objects, including a 3-ton stone from Jerusalem’s Western Wall and 20 extremely rare fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls collection. They will be displayed in two sets of 10 for approximately three months each. Read more.