Largest Fragment of Dead Sea Scrolls to be Exhibited at Texas Seminary
By David Jenkins - Crossmap On June 30, 2012
Dead Sea Scrolls
Starting July 12, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Forth Worth, Texas will unveil the largest fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls in an exhibition, "Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible: Ancient Artifacts, Timeless Treasures."
"The chance to view portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls usually requires an overseas trip to a Near East nation, such as Israel or Jordan," said Bruce McCoy, exhibition director.
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The exhibition will include a total of 21 fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls with the help of Green Collection and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The largest fragment on display is from Genesis 37-38, owned by the Kando family of Bethlehem and is regarded as the largest segment in possession of a private collector. Additionally, there will be five other major fragments on display from Genesis 33, 1 Kings 13:22-22, Isaiah 28:23-29, Amos 7:17-8:1 and Joel 3:9-10 - accounting for the latest additions to the ancient artifact display. Others will accompany the collection from passages within Nehemiah, Ezekiel, and Jonah.
Other artifacts will also be on display at the MacGorman Performing Arts Center together with the dead sea scrolls. These include the Isaiah scroll, the Habakkuk Commentary, the Manual of Discipline, and the full Copper Scroll- all found in Qumran at the archaeological site, the discovery site of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Weston Fields, guest curator for the exhibition and executive direct of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation encourages visitors to rethink about the ancient documents. "What I try to get people to understand is, there is a prior question to the 'Is the Bible true?' question, and that is, 'Is what we have the Bible?'" he challenged.
"The scrolls give us a 2,000-year-old snapshot of how the text of the Bible was in Jesus' day," Fields said.
"If there had been cameras, somebody could have stood next to Jesus, taken a picture of the Torah Scroll that He was holding up in the synagogue, put that picture in a vault somewhere for 2,000 years – nobody got a chance to see it, nobody could change it – and all of a sudden, you open up the vault 2,000 years later and say, 'Look, here's a picture of Jesus holding the scroll and look at the text.'"
The Dead Sea Scrolls represent 825-870 separate scrolls with a majority written on animal hide discovered by a shepherd boy, in caves on the shores of the Dead Sea between 1947-1956. The languages used consists of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek and contained both biblical and non-biblical passages, including prophesies by Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Daniel not included in the Bible.