On my visit to Israel a few years ago, I spent part of a day at the Shrine of the Book, part of The Israel Museum in Jerusalem. That’s where the Dead Sea Scrolls are located, and where I learned about the scientific and theological study that has taken place with these valuable and sacred documents.
Written between the third and first centuries BCE, the Dead Sea Scrolls include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence. In 68 BCE, they were hidden in 11 caves in the Judean desert on the shores of the Dead Sea to protect them from the approaching Roman armies. They weren’t discovered again until 1947, when a Bedouin shepherd threw a rock in a cave and realized something was inside. … Among other topics, the scrolls offer critical insights into life and religion in ancient Jerusalem, including the birth of Christianity.
Now the Google corporation has announced a new project to make the Dead Sea Scrolls, said to be the most important archeological discovery of the 20th century, accessible to the world.
[via The Official Google Blog]