An exhibition of select Dead Sea Scrolls opens this Friday, November 16th, at the Cincinnati Museum Center (near my old stomping grounds of Mason, Ohio). The Dead Sea Scrolls include the oldest surviving manuscripts of Bible books. Around 600 biblically-related artifacts on loan from the Israeli Antiquities Authority will also be displayed, including some recent discoveries.
The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) were discovered in caves near the Dead Sea in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. They include copies of Bible books that date from the 2nd century B.C. through the 1st century A.D. These are the oldest biblical manuscripts we possess.
Why does this matter? Dave Duszynski – a VP at the Museum Center – explains:
Before the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, the oldest biblical texts were dated 1,000 years later,” he said. “So this goes back 1,000 years and we find extremely similar biblical texts to what exists in the Bible today. That’s something interesting, especially to people of the Jewish and Christian faith.
The DSS boost our confidence in the Bible’s textual integrity. You can read more information about the exhibition here. The article includes a slideshow of the exhibit.
The display will alternate between two sets of ten scrolls each in order to minimize the fragile scrolls’ exposure to light. This selection of scrolls is different from other recent exhibitions in the U.S., so it’s guaranteed to be a unique experience.
The exhibition runs through April 14th – lots of time to arrange a visit. I may be taking a trip to that area in the near future. If that works out, I will definitely work in a visit. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in biblical things. One normally has to travel to Israel to see any DSS.
If you visit the DSS exhibition in Cincinnati, be sure to enjoy some Cincinnati chili, one of the top regional foods in the U.S. Of the things I miss from living there, cheese coneys (mini hot dogs with mustard, Cincinnati chili and finely-shredded mild cheddar cheese) are at the top of the list.