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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Israel Museum puts some Dead Sea Scrolls online

JERUSALEM — The Israel Museum in Jerusalem launched its Dead Sea Scrolls Project Monday, placing five of the ancient texts online for the general public to study, the museum announced.

The website — http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/ — was developed in partnership with Google and displays searchable, high-resolution images of the texts, as well as short explanatory videos and background information.

The five scrolls that have been so far digitized include the Great Isaiah Scroll, the Community Rule Scroll, the Commentary on Habakkuk Scroll, the Temple Scroll and the War Scroll.

The Great Isaiah Scroll, inscribed with the Book of Isaiah and dating from about 125 BC, is the only complete ancient copy of any biblical book in existence.

The War Scroll dates to the late first century BC or early first century AD and describes a confrontation between the “Sons of Light” and the “Sons of Darkness”, which would last 49 years, ending with the victory of the “Sons of Light” and the restoration of Temple practice according to their beliefs.

The Temple Scroll, from the early first century AD, claims to provide the details of God’s instructions for the construction and operation of the Temple in Jerusalem.

The Community Rule sheds light on the community’s way of life, dealing with subjects such as the admission of new members, conduct at communal meals, prayer, cleansing rituals and theological doctrines.

The Commentary on Habakkuk interprets the first two chapters of the biblical book of the prophet Habakkuk.

The scrolls, said Museum Director James S. Snyder, “are of paramount importance among the touchstones of monotheistic world heritage, and they represent unique highlights of our Museum’s encyclopedic holdings.”

The Dead Sea Scrolls were found between 1947 and 1956 in 11 caves at Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, following a chance discovery by a Bedouin shepherd boy.

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