The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dead Sea Scrolls soon to be online

The Dead Sea Scrolls, that remarkable collection of 2,000-year-old documents found back in the 1940s in those Judean desert caves, have been very tightly controlled by the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. For years only a select group of scholars had direct access to the original manuscripts. In recent years, however, the texts, along with photographs of the original documents have been published in book form -- in 39 large, expensive volumes. This was an improvement, but they were still available to only a limited audience. But this is all going to change.
A fragment of a Dead Sea Scrolls manuscript

Google has teamed up with Israel's Antiquity Authority to make the documents available online to everyone, for free! Not only will you be able to view the original documents, but the you can also access an English translation of all the manuscripts. Interestingly, because of the wonders of advanced digital photography and infrared technology, the online copies will actually be clearer that the original manuscripts. This will be a boon for scriptural scholars and other researchers and will likely lead to a significant increase in interest in these documents. No word yet on how long it will take to complete the project.

To read more click here: Google to Bring Dead Sea Scrolls Online

A worker in the conservation laboratory at the Israel Antiquities Authority holds a frame with small fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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