Ancient Hebrew Bible On Display For First Time In Washington

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    This Pentateuch was written around the year 1000 and is displayed at the Museum of the Bible. Photo by Alejandro Matos/Museum of the Bible

    WASHINGTON (VosIzNeias) – A rare medieval Hebrew Bible manuscript that had been in private collections for years was unveiled for the first time in many years at the Museum of the Bible in Washington.

    The Bible, which is currently on display is called “the Washington Pentateuch,” is one of the oldest intact Torah manuscripts in the world, consists of two sections – one written around the year 1000 in Cairo, and the other written in Alexandria, Egypt, in the first half of the 12th century.

    Before the appearance of books, Jews read the Pentateuch from the Torah, a scroll made of parchment or animal skins. Torah scrolls are still read in synagogues, but because they do not contain vowels, readers sometimes consult Pentateuch collections such as the one on display at the Museum of the Bible for the authoritative pronunciation.

    The museum said in a statement that only a dozen “intact Hebrew manuscripts” from the 10th and 11th centuries have survived, and the majority are found either in Israel or in Russia. The manuscript on display now in Washington is the only intact Hebrew bible from that era which can be found in the United States, according to the statement.

    The exhibit at the museum is titled “A Fence Around the Torah.”

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    5 COMMENTS

    1. FYI experts who examined this and other scrolls from this same time period found major differences in the wording when compared to the torah scrolls used today. The torah you read today is not word for word as it was originally crafted. These ancient documents prove that.

      • Nope, not even close. There are indeed a few differences, but most are along the lines of a matres lectionis (vov or yud) present or not. Word for word, this and similar manuscripts are indeed the same as the Torah scrolls we have.

    2. Comment:promoting and proving the authenticity of this amazing book called the bible is the best one could ever do.No book ever attracted enemies than the bible yet it remain standing an gaining grounds. kip it up

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