I know, it’s exciting, but we’ve all go to keep our pants on.
Okay, okay. This may not be as exciting to some of you as it is to me, but this is a really big deal.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1947 in caves above the Dead Sea by a Bedoin, are perhaps one of the most amazing discoveries of all time. Not only are they the oldest Hebrew copies available of the books of the Bible (except the book of Esther) but they contain numerous other writings that tell us all about a fascinating, ascetic, Jewish sect from the first century of the Common Era (the time of Jesus, in case you were wondering).
This find and the information derived from it have had a profound impact on scholarship since its discovery, seriously affecting our understanding of Judaism in this period, arguably shedding light on earliest Christian theology, general history, biblical studies and so much more.
However, there’s always been a debate about who should have access to the scrolls, both because of scholarly dibs but also because of the difficulty of preserving the scrolls and keeping them intact. Finally, that problem is solved.
Now all scholars will be able to look at the Dead Sea Scrolls in their original form on the internet, opening up the world of scholarship to all who may wish to partake. This project, in my eyes, is similar to others that seek to put very old materials on the internet that are otherwise only available in particular archives (EEBO, SSB, etc.) so that everyone who wants to browse the originals can do so.
The decentralization and dissemination of knowledge is awesome and I, for one, frickin’ love it. The more people who have access to more information, the better our world becomes. I say, great call putting the Dead Sea Scrolls online.
What are your thoughts on the dissemination of knowledge? Have you ever read parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls or are you familiar with the Qumran sect? Do you think this will matter?
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Filed under: Bible, History, Religion | Tagged: 1947, Aramaic, Bedoin, Biblical Hebrew, Christianity, Dead Sea, Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew, History, Internet, Jerusalem, Jesus, Jews, Judaism, knowledge, Qumran, Religion, scholars, scholarship, sect, theology | Leave a Comment »