Friday, September 30, 2011

The Importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls

In what is a very exciting project the Israel Museum and Google have collaborated together to create a digital copy of the Dead Sea Scrolls. So far they have digitized five scrolls. Overall the Dead Sea Scrolls include some of the oldest copies and fragments of the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament. My Hebrew is not quite strong enough for me to recognize much of characters used in the Isaiah Scroll (the Temple Scroll text is easier to recognize) but it is very interesting to see these scrolls in such detail.

The first video is a quick introduction to the project and the second video is a lecture by Dr. Weston Fields on the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Dr. Fields video is a very interesting lecture on the history and importance of the Scrolls. He discusses the importance of the scrolls at around the 19 minute mark to about the 27 minute mark of the lecture. The one sentence summary is that the Scrolls show how well the process of transmitting the scriptures was handled. It means that the Jewish people were able to transmit their texts very well and this is important in that it gives us the confidence that our Scriptures are reliable in terms of literary accuracy.  

From the Israel Museum in Jerusalem:

The Dr. Weston Fields Lecture:

Further Reading:

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