Friday, September 23, 2016

Still more on the Ein Gedi Leviticus scroll

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: An Early Leviticus Scroll from En-Gedi: Preliminary Publication) (Michael Segal, Emanuel Tov, William Brent Seales, Clifford Seth Parker, Pnina Shor, Yosef Porath with an Appendix by Ada Yardeni. This is the scholarly publication in Textus 2016 that generated all the recent excitement. I've only had time for a quick look at the first part of it. Given the C-14 test results given in the article, I am baffled by the original report that said they dated the scroll to the late sixth century CE.

The recent media coverage has generally been good, but a couple of headlines have gotten overly excited:

Digitally unwrapped Hebrew scroll reveals earliest copy of Old Testament Bible scripture (The Straits Times)

Scientists finally read the oldest biblical text ever found (The Independent)

There are many Dead Sea Scrolls fragments of the Hebrew Bible that are older than the oldest date posited for the Ein Gedi Leviticus Scroll. And arguably the oldest biblical text ever found was in the Ketef Hinnom silver amulets from the seventh century BCE.

Background here and links.