June 25, 2012 |
The pivotal moment at the "Dead Sea Scrolls" exhibition now at the Franklin Institute came for me in front of a glass case in which sits an incense holder about a foot high and a foot square. It's a sand-colored piece of pottery, scored with handmade Xs and what appear to be stamped circles. Scholars place it in a long-ago Jewish home in Israel, where it was discovered. It is 3,000-odd years old. The first thing I noticed is the burn mark on its surface — the legacy of incense, as if it had been lit last night.
May 14, 2013
Geza Vermes, 88, a translator of the Dead Sea Scrolls and renowned for books exploring the Jewish background of Jesus, died Wednesday, David Ariel, president of the Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, said Saturday. Mr. Vermes had an early interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls, a cache of documents written between 200 B.C. and A.D. 200 which were discovered in caves at Qumran, near Jericho, between 1947 and 1956. Mr. Vermes published the first English translation of the scrolls in 1962.
September 26, 1991 |
Moving to quell the controversy over the unauthorized release of photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Israel Antiquities Authority yesterday said it "agrees in principle" that photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls should be widely accessible and announced a meeting to discuss the issue. The meeting is to be held in December in Jerusalem, where, mostly at the Rockefeller Museum, the original scrolls have been stored under the control of the authority. The authority will invite representatives of institutions that currently maintain photographs of the scrolls.
September 22, 1991 |
A research library will give scholars access to photographs of all the Dead Sea Scrolls, ending the virtual monopoly by a select few who controlled the archaeological treasures for 40 years. The decision, to be announced by the Huntington Library in this Los Angeles suburb today, has touched off an academic brawl. The decision was received enthusiastically by scholars who believe the world deserves access to vital historical documents, but it dismayed those who feel their years of work on the 500 scrolls is being stolen.
October 12, 1991 |
Two thousand years after they were written and more than 40 years after they were discovered, the famed Dead Sea Scrolls are being catalogued for a publication that will be available to the public. The announcement - made by Bible scholars attending a Center City symposium - came weeks after the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., dropped a bombshell by opening its collection of photos of the scrolls to scholars. The ancient Jewish religious writings have been the focus of controversy - fermenting for many years - over who should have access.
May 15, 2012 |
THE DEAD Sea Scrolls, in short (which they are not, running longer than a politician's promises), are the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence. Perhaps the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century, they made their North American debut Saturday at the Franklin Institute, where they'll stay through mid-October. To many atheists, they are the Chronicles of Riddick, or a graphic novel. To most believers, the Dead Sea Scrolls — more than 900 parchments and fragments — offer proof (or at least evidence)
March 19, 2012 |
When the Franklin Institute opens its "Dead Sea Scrolls" exhibit May 12, visitors will catch a glimpse of one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. Centerpiece of the exhibit will be 20 scroll fragments found in the 1940s in Palestine near the Dead Sea. They are part of an extraordinary trove of nearly 1,000 parchments that include the oldest surviving texts of the Jewish Bible, several of which will be on display in Philadelphia. Penned between 150 B.C. and A.D. 70 and sealed in urns, the scrolls make no mention of Jesus of Nazareth.
May 11, 2012 |
One of history's greatest archaeological finds was so improbable that it borders on the miraculous. In 1947, a young Palestinian goatherder discovered a narrow cave entrance by the shores of the Dead Sea, in what is now Israel. Unsure of what he might find, the boy first threw a rock into its shadows and heard something shatter. Entering, he found dozens of tall clay pots packed with ancient writings. Known today as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the 972 parchments and papyrus fragments in this and other nearby caves contained some of the oldest surviving examples of Jewish scripture.
February 8, 1992 |
Theodor Herzl Gaster, 85, an internationally known scholar who published the first English translation of the Dead Sea scrolls, died in his sleep Monday at Osteopathic Medical Center in Philadelphia. Dr. Gaster, who taught for 30 years at Dropsie College (now the Annenberg Research Institute), knew so much about so many fields that a colleague once said, "Dr. Gaster half-asleep is more intelligent than a lot of guys fully awake. " His major field of study was ancient literature of the Hebrews, Canaanites, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and others.
September 26, 1995 |
It was nine years ago that Sidnie White Crawford first squirreled herself away in a narrow, dark room in the basement of the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem. Shoulders hunched, eyes squinting, she sat hours on end, trying to read the Book of Deuteronomy etched on pieces of ancient leather, some no bigger than a thumbnail, all as flaky as pastry. In the smoky half-light of vintage lamps, the difference between ancient script and ancient slips was maddeningly hard to discern. What was that speck peeking from the edge of a fragment?