Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ten Commandments - Genesis Fragments Online

2,000 Year Old Bible Manuscripts Online Include Genesis And Ten Commandments

On Tuesday, the Israel Antiquities Authority launched the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, an online collection of some 5,000 images of scroll fragments, at a quality never seen before.

The texts include one of the earliest known copies of the Book of Deuteronomy, which includes the Ten Commandments; part of Chapter 1 of the Book of Genesis, which describes the creation of the world; and hundreds more 2,000-year-old texts, shedding light on the time when Jesus lived and preached, and on the history of Judaism.

Internet users and scholars can discover and decipher details invisible to the naked eye, at 1215 dpi resolution. The site displays infrared and color images that are equal in quality to the Scrolls themselves. There’s a database containing information for about 900 of the manuscripts, as well as interactive content pages.

Google partnered with the Israel Antiquities Authority as part of ongoing work to bring important cultural and historical materials online, to make them accessible and help preserve them for future generations.

A little over a year ago, Google helped put five manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls online. The ancient documents include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence. Written more than 2,000 years ago on pieces of parchment and papyrus, they were preserved by the hot, dry desert climate and the darkness of the caves in which they were hidden.

The Scrolls are possibly the most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century.

Photo: Part of the Book of Genesis. Photo by Shai Halevi, courtesy of Israel Antiquities Authority

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