Dead Sea Scrolls go online

2011-09-26 21:46

Jerusalem - Two thousand years after they were written and decades after they were found in desert caves, some of the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls went online for the first time on Monday in a project launched by Israel's national museum and web giant Google.

The appearance of five of the most important Dead Sea scrolls on the internet is part of a broader attempt by the custodians of the celebrated manuscripts - who were once criticized for allowing them to be monopolised by small circles of scholars - to make them available to anyone with a computer.

The scrolls include the biblical Book of Isaiah, the manuscript known as the Temple Scroll, and three others. Surfers can search high-resolution images of the scrolls for specific passages, zoom in and out, and translate verses into English.

The originals are kept in a secured vault a Jerusalem building constructed specifically to house the scrolls. Access requires at least three different keys, a magnetic card and a secret code.

The five scrolls are among those purchased by Israeli researchers between 1947 and 1967 from antiquities dealers, having first been found by Bedouin shepherds in the Judean Desert.

The scrolls, considered by many to be the most significant archaeological find of the 20th century, are thought to have been written or collected by an ascetic Jewish sect that fled Jerusalem for the desert 2 000 years ago and settled at Qumran, on the banks of the Dead Sea.

The hundreds of manuscripts that survived, partially or in full, in caves near the site, have shed light on the development of the Hebrew Bible and the origins of Christianity.

The most complete scrolls are held by the Israel Museum, with more large pieces and smaller fragments found in other institutions and private collections.

Tens of thousands of fragments from 900 Dead Sea manuscripts are held by the Israel Antiquities Authority, which has begun its own project to put them online in conjunction with Google.

That project, aimed chiefly at scholars, is set to be complete by 2016, at which point nearly all of the scrolls will be available on the internet.

  • acoetsee - 2011-09-26 23:14

    Historically this is good, this is good.. although this news might result in another religious dissection because the original story’ has run its course. The last 'finale’ was February, if I’m not mistaken so another prophetic reinvigoration needed, no pun intended on the catholic diocese or the zionists, charismatic’s, the baptists, methodist, born again wafflers and on and on. Sadly also no happy ending, just fire and brimstone or a knob on your forehead unless of course you die and have ‘paid’ your which case you might have 21 virgins O sorry that’s another god (see how happy the burka ladies are)..feel welcome to quote your crutch, chapter, page, author and verse if you so wish, end times always a good point reference.

      lalaland - 2011-09-27 06:51

      Book of Genesis: 3:4 The serpent said to the woman, “Surely you will not die, 3:5 for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.” 3:6 When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. We are in awe of your wisdom.

  • abc101 - 2011-09-27 08:56

    This article was stolen from indiatimes dot com . Can News24 not be sued for this?

      daaivark - 2011-09-27 09:12

      Most news providers subscribe to a variety of so-called "wire services" that provide such "interest" items from all over the place. So "stolen" is probably not exactly the right term to use. So no, I don't think they can be sued.

  • Werner Lubbe - 2011-09-27 09:10

    Great! More religious Voodoo everyone!

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