Skip to comments.Ancient Jewish prayer book may be oldest in the world, dated A.D. 840
Posted on 09/28/2013 6:40:04 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
...the complete 50-page parchment manuscript is in its original binding and contains Hebrew script that incorporates Babylonian vowel pointing.
Steve Green, president of the Hobby Lobby craft store chain who oversees support for the Green Collection, announced the find at the annual meeting of the Religion Newswriters Association's annual conference in Austin, Texas, along with plans for a new museum that will house the book and more than 40,000 ancient religious texts and artifacts...
"We are not collectors," said Green, an evangelical Christian. "We buy (ancient biblical texts and artifacts) because of the story that they tell. We believe in this book. It is a guide for us and our lives."
...In May, scholars in Italy identified the oldest-known Torah scroll from the 11th or 12th centuries.
Stephen Pfann, a senior scholar with the Green Scholars Initiative and president of the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, along with his students, determined the age of the prayer book.
The Babylonian vowel pointing along with Carbon-14 tests have led researchers to place the prayer book in the times of the Geonim -- the Babylonian, Talmudic leaders during the medieval period.
"The artifact may well be the earliest connection today's practicing Jews have to the roots of their modern-day rabbinic liturgy," the press release stated.
(Excerpt) Read more at deseretnews.com ...
This Jewish prayer book, dated at A.D. 840, is believed to be the oldest book of its kind ever found. It was purchased about a year ago by the Green Collection from a private seller for an undisclosed price. [The Green Collection]
I wonder if it came from the black market in Iraqi antiquities. Anyway, it should now be placed somewhere safe, and made available for study.
It could have come from a WWII-era collection; whole communities of Jews were exterminated by the Nazis and didn’t show up to claim their hidden property after the war.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
The Green family is planning to build a museum in Washington, DC to house its huge collection of biblical manuscripts. In recent years they’ve had a travelling exhibit going from major-city to major-city with their collection of extremely rare biblical manuscripts and bibles.
As an example they have a copy of the Wycliffe Bible...the first translation into English...from the 1300s, pre-dating the printing press. I looked up the price for such copies and they sell for over 2 million dollars (for one small book). In its day the Wycliffe bible was illegal, and was confiscated and burned by the English monarchs...hence they are very (very) rare.
The Greens also have a fragment from a New Testament...dating probably from the FIRST CENTURY (making it utterly priceless).
All of their collection is not only available to serious scholars, but, is being shown as much as possible, to the general public—usually with little to no entrance fees.