BIBLE FRAGMENTS FOUND NEAR DEAD SEA FIRST SUCH FIND IN 60 YEARS
Fragments of an ancient biblical scroll have been discovered in a cave near the Dead Sea in Israel, the first such find in decades, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced, Sara Lemel and Sebastian Engel reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
The discovery comes 60 years after the Qumran scrolls were found in caves at the northern end of the Dead Sea. They are considered the oldest known Bible fragments. Further excavations in the caves began in 2017, to protect them from the looting that can happen in the Judean desert, the antiquities authority said.
The new find includes dozens of fragments of a biblical scroll, a 6,000-year-old mummified skeleton of a child, coins, arrowheads, clothes, sandals, combs as well as a basket, which is said to date back 10,500 years, likely the oldest ever found, according to a statement.
"These finds are not just important to our own cultural heritage, but to that of the entire world," said Avi Cohen, head of the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage. The fragments were written in Greek and date back to the Bar Kokhba period, the researchers said.
A Jewish rebellion under its leader, Bar Kokhba, broke out in the year 132 AD and was quashed around three years later. The scrolls contain passages from the Book of the Twelve, or minor prophets, including from the books of Nahum and Zechariah.
One verse from Zechariah is included in the scroll: "These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to one another, render true and perfect justice in your gates. And do not contrive evil against one another, and do not love perjury, because all those are things that I hate-declares the Lord."