The Dead Sea Scrolls in High Def

Thanks to the good folks over at Google, we now have the privilege of being able to view the DSS in high def from our home.

The Israel Museum welcomes you to the Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project, allowing users to examine and explore these most ancient manuscripts from Second Temple times at a level of detail never before possible. Developed in partnership with Google, the new website gives users access to searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence, offer critical insight into Jewish society in the Land of Israel during the Second Temple Period, the time of the birth of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. Five complete scrolls from the Israel Museum have been digitized for the project at this stage and are now accessible online.

It goes without saying how important these writings are to both Jewish and early Christian studies. There discovery in the middle of last century was perhaps the greatest archaeological find in the past hundred-plus years.

As of right now, five of the scrolls have been digitized and placed online for viewing: the Great Isaiah Scroll, the War Scroll, Commentary on the Habakkuk Scroll, the Temple Scroll, and the Community Rule Scroll.

For those who may not know much about the Scrolls, they have included a section on their site that gives the reader the basic information about their discovery, their nature and significance, the Qumran Community, and the Shrine of the Book, where the Scrolls reside in Israel.

[HT: Jim]

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