Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dead Sea Scrolls on the Net

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the mysterious scrolls written by a Jewish sect that fled Jerusalem for the desert 2000 years ago and who settled at Qumran on the banks of the Dead Sea, are at last public. They can be viewed here. Here's the article in The Guardian.

The scrolls have been translated. To see the translated version click on the scroll, wait a few seconds, and the translation appears in a box. Read the following text from Chapter 5: Verse 2.

"Chapter 5 : Verse 2

"And he digged it, and cleared it of stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a vat therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes."

I have a great veneration for all old texts. Even the ones written on palm leaves. Writing was so difficult then. Scribes (the tribe whose traditional job it was to write) had to write with crude instruments (a sharp piece of iron, quills dipped in ink) and the results were texts of amazing clarity that captured the zeitgeist of the times.

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