Saturday, December 22, 2012

Digitized Dead Sea Scrolls

Many moons ago I visited an interesting place called Qumran.  Shortly thereafter, I visited the museum where the scrolls that were discovered in Qumran have been preserved and put on display.  Just yesterday I discovered that, in partnership with Google, experts in Israel have now made the Dead Sea Scrolls available for viewing on the internet.  Who could have imagined that in 1946 a Bedouin shepherd in search of a lost goat would have stumbled upon such an archeological treasure, and that such a treasure would then be available for anyone to view online (see also here)?

Having only sampled some of the scrolls, I cannot serve as a guide to what is contained therein, but what could be more exciting than studying ancient scrolls that were penned by Essenes, Jerusalem priests or Zadokites?  I am probably most curious about the Enoch scroll and Isaiah, but Genesis, the Ten Commandments, Psalms, Paleoleviticus, Tefillin, Minor Prophets, Community Rule, Apocryphon of Daniel, The Book of War, and the Legal Papyrus also sound tantalizing.

Since my Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Nabataean are quite rusty, I am glad that there are English translations available.  Enjoy the scrolls, and by all means, if you come across any other ancient documents, be they scrolls, plates or papyrus, please let me know.