Wednesday, October 01, 2008

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS at the Jewish Museum get a glowing review at
Dead Sea Scrolls Tell Spine-Tingling Tales of Salvation: Review

Review by Carly Berwick

Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- How will we know salvation when we see it? And how should you blow a trumpet when the apocalypse comes? Answers to these questions -- and more -- lie on a few dimly lit scraps of parchment.


This is the first time three of the scrolls have ever been shown: the Book of Jeremiah, which consecrates the Sabbath and concurs with contemporary versions nearly verbatim; the Words of the Luminaries, a hymn; and the Book of Tobit, a tale of piety's reward that was rejected from the Hebrew canon but picked up in some versions of the Christian Bible.

Together, the scrolls provide a spine-tingling narrative of fractious religious tribes jostling for truth, much like various Christian and Jewish factions today.

The ``War Rule'' scroll describes an imminent great and final battle, with priests taking positions among foot soldiers and blowing trumpets to rally the troops, while the ``Community Rule'' scroll lays down strict standards for sect membership.

Then there's the Aramaic Apocryphon of Daniel, dating to the first century B.C. It's of particular interest to devout Christians, since it prophesizes the coming of the son of God.

The exhibition also includes artifacts excavated at the site of Qumran and its vicinity, conjure the lives of the people who saved the scrolls in clay jars.