Scrolls chronicle early Christianity

Published January 1, 2004

Dr. Adolfo Roitman, curator, examines the War Scroll, part of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Que.

Amateur historians do not have to go to Israel to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient artifacts dating from 3,200 to 1,300 years ago, which chronicle the evolution of Judaism and early Christianity.

Select portions of three of the first Dead Sea Scrolls, which are among the oldest biblical manuscripts and were found by a young Bedouin shepherd in 1947, are now on exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Que., until

April 12.

Many of the artifacts on display, including the Isaiah B Scroll, have never left the Holy Land until now and have never even been on display at the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scroll collection at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, said Dr. Adolfo Roitman, curator of the Shrine of the Book. He was speaking at a Toronto event announcing the exhibit opening.

“This exhibit is not an archaeological exhibit. It’s real life,” said Dr. Roitman, adding that the Book of Isaiah, in particular, is part of the cultural tradition of both Jews and Christians. The exhibit, he said, shows that “your narrative is my narrative,” said Dr. Roitman, a rabbi who is a well-known expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The exhibit shows more than 100 other “ancient treasures” including an inscription on a stone block that is the oldest mention outside the Bible of the Davidic dynasty.


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