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Dead Sea Scrolls Enter the Digital Age

The Dead Sea Scrolls have been upgraded from desert to digital! Access to the Scrolls has long been restricted largely to scholars, but thanks to Google and photographer Ardon Bar-Hama, now anyone can view the the celebrated manuscripts online at the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls project.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered by accident in Khirbet Qumran in 1947, contain some of the oldest and best preserved Biblical texts ever found, including the oldest known copy of the book of Isaiah. Until now, they’ve been kept largely out of the public eye. With this digitization project, they’ll finally be available to the public. This video briefly describes the significance of the Scrolls and what this digitization project offers:

You can peruse high-resolution images of the Scrolls and even do Google keyword searches of the text. Five of the seven scrolls have been digitized thus far: the Community Rule Scroll, the Commentary on Habakkuk Scroll, the Temple Scroll, the War Scroll, and the Great Isaiah Scroll.

If you’re a Bible Gateway user, you’re well accustomed to searching and reading digital Bible texts online. However, the incredible photography on display at the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls project adds an almost tactile element to reading the texts—you can practically feel the texture of the ancient parchment as you read. Kudos to Google, Ardon Bar-Hama, and the others who’ve made the Dead Sea Scrolls accessible to modern readers!

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