Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Milwaukee DSS exhibition starts on the 22nd

THE MILWAUKEE DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBITION opens on 22 January. The Journal Sentinel gives its top ten high points:
Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit sheds light on discovery, Bible

By Jackie Loohauis-Bennett of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Jan. 16, 2010

The Dead Sea Scrolls saga is an epic that would have made Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille twitch with envy.

The story has all the elements of DeMille's "Ten Commandments" and more, everything from biblical prophecies and international intrigue to an ancient treasure map.

The Milwaukee Public Museum's exhibit "Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible: Ancient Artifacts, Timeless Treasures," running Jan. 22 through June 6, is an epic production in its own right. Five years in the making, it's the largest temporary exhibit ever produced by the museum. The show contains more than 200 items from scroll fragments to pages from medieval Bibles.

The exhibit is designed to explain the importance of the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran beginning in 1947. These parchments have shed new light on the Bible itself and on the times in which the Old Testament was created.

Exhibit visitors might find their heads spinning from the scope of the show. Here's our "10 Things You Must Not Miss" guide to the Dead Seas Scrolls exhibit.

The Vision of Gabriel stone and the Copper Scroll are included.

The exhibit also honors John Trever, as another article, also in the Journal Sentinel, notes:
Exhibit puts spotlight on Milwaukee scholar who helped preserve Dead Sea Scrolls

By Jackie Loohauis-Bennett of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Jan. 17, 2010 3:05 a.m.

The Milwaukee native dodging bullets as he ran through the streets of Jerusalem in 1948 carried a remarkable secret. He knew that if he were hit, the greatest biblical discovery of all time might be lost to the world forever.

John Trever, a student of the Old Testament at the American Schools of Oriental Research, was playing a leading role in revealing the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In the Milwaukee Public Museum's upcoming exhibit, "Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible," opening Jan. 22, Trever is honored as a hero in interpreting and preserving the scrolls and their meaning.


Trever arrived to study at the American Schools of Oriental Research and found himself almost alone there during spring break in February 1948. The original scrolls were then in the hands of the archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, who was trying to identify them in the midst of the violence surrounding the partition of Palestine.

After a series of mysterious phone calls and covert negotiations, the scrolls were brought to the school and shown to Trever and fellow student William Brownlee.

Trever had done his doctoral dissertation on the Book of Isaiah. When the first scroll was unrolled before him, Trever recognized the writings immediately. According to Weston W. Fields' new book, "The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Full History," Trever "burst into (Brownlee's) room with the thrilling announcement." The writing on the scroll was, amazingly, from Isaiah.

"Dad recognized it very quickly, and he realized it was very significant. He knew from the writing the scroll wasn't a fake. He realized it would push the origin of the complete Bible text back more than 1,000 years. He was coincidentally the best-suited person in the world for that initial revelation," James Trever said.

John Trever knew the scrolls were priceless. As gunfire and mortars went off around him breaking fragments of the scrolls onto the floor, he knew they must be preserved somehow for future research.

He needed to save the writings through photographic copies. But he was out of film.

Background here.