Thursday, May 01, 2008

A PSALMS SCROLL (apparently 11Q5, the Qumran Cave 11 Psalms Scroll) will be on display for President Bush during his visit for the 60th anniversary festivities:
Israel to display rarely seen scroll

10 hours ago

JERUSALEM (AP) — A rarely displayed segment of the Dead Sea Scrolls will be part of an exhibition for President Bush and other dignitaries attending Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations next month, a museum official said Wednesday.

The ancient manuscripts date back over 2,000 years and contain almost the full text of the Jewish Bible.

The segment on display will be from Psalm 133. It reads: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
And as an aside, on the Megillot list Daniel Stoekl Ben Ezra points out that this AP article appears in Haaretz with a bizarre error:
The ancient manuscripts date back over 2,000 years and contain almost the full text of the Jewish Bible, as well as early Christian texts.
Sounds like someone has been reading too much Dan Brown.

Joe Zias comments:
One of the things that I like so much about the AP here in Jrsm is that senior journalists usually let us check out the article for mistakes like this before it goes out. Here it's obvious someone forgot to ask scholars before it went out and now that it's in the public record, the damage is done. I have a feeling that the misinformation may have come from some gov't PR folks as no scholar dealing with the topic would have permitted such a thing.
But the AP article as currently posted does not have the error. Either it was corrected quickly or Haaretz introduced it.

UPDATE: Ken Penner notes that the Haaretz article also has a concluding paragraph not found in the AP version:
Study of the scrolls has been going on for decades, and some scientists
complain that fragments of the scrolls have been given to too few experts, drawing out the process of analyzing them
This might have applied before 1991, but since then the Dead Sea Scrolls have been fully available in photographs (and more recently in full editions) to anyone who wanted to study them. Could this have been cribbed from some old source? The mystery deepens.