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Researchers Reconstruct Early Version of Old Testament Text From Burned Scroll
WSJ ^ | Sept. 21, 2016 | ROBERT LEE HOTZ

Posted on 09/27/2016 10:46:48 PM PDT by aquila48

From a charred Hebrew scroll, researchers resurrected one of the earliest known versions of the Old Testament using a new digital reconstruction technique that may prove invaluable in revealing words from other previously unreadable finds, said scientists who plan to make the imaging software freely available.

In research published in Science Advances Wednesday, computer analysts at the University of Kentucky in Lexington detailed the technology they used to reveal text within a roll of parchment reduced to charcoal in a burning synagogue 1,500 years ago, “virtually unwrapping” the scroll without ever actually touching the artifact.

While important to archaeologists, the digital reconstruction technique also may prove useful for forensic experts intent on recovering words from more modern texts damaged by fire or shredding, they said. The recovery software can be used in conjunction with almost any digital scanning technique.

“Damage and decay are the natural order of things but sometimes you can pull a text back from the brink of loss,” said Kentucky computer scientist William Brent Seales, who led the digital reconstruction. “We were absolutely jubilant.”

The words recovered from the En-Gedi scroll, first made public by the Israel Antiquities Authority last year, are verses from the Book of Leviticus, making it the most ancient scroll from the five books of the Hebrew Torah to be found since the Dead Sea Scrolls. Religious scholars in Israel this week who analyzed the text said it is the earliest known copy of a central book of the Torah exhumed from a holy ark—one that is identical to the text printed in most versions today.

“You can’t imagine our joy when we realized that this was part of the book of Leviticus,” said Pnina Shor, head of the Dead Sea Scrolls project at the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.

(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Israel; News/Current Events; US: Kentucky
KEYWORDS: bible; burned; digital; engedi; israel; kentucky; leviticus; oldtestament; reconstruction; scroll; torah; university
It's simply amazing that they were able to read what basically was a lump of coal.

Check out the video - it's great.

1 posted on 09/27/2016 10:46:48 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: aquila48

Pretty cool. Thanks for posting. From UK, too. I really like the Lexington KY area. It is one of my top choices if I ever decide to relocate.
.
Curious, is the magazine called “Science Advances Wednesday”, or was it published Wednesday in Science Advances? ;-)


2 posted on 09/27/2016 11:14:41 PM PDT by monkeyshine
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To: aquila48
Oh my God, not Leviticus!

Isn't that that horrible book that causes SJW's to run screaming to their safe spaces?

It's just one trigger verse after another.

3 posted on 09/27/2016 11:36:27 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: aquila48

Yes, this is great news. There’s hope they might be able to decipher the scrolls found in a wealthy man’s home library that was entombed when Vesuvius buried Herculaneum.


4 posted on 09/27/2016 11:49:08 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: aquila48

This is an excellent application of the tech. Thanks for posting, great video.

I thought is most interesting and valuable:

“Religious scholars in Israel this week who analyzed the text said it is the earliest known copy of a central book of the Torah exhumed from a holy ark—one that is identical to the text printed in most versions today.”

I think it’s important in regards to reliability of current versions.


5 posted on 09/27/2016 11:59:43 PM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: D-fendr

‘Scholars’ have tried to paint the Masoretic Text as no more than 1300 years old. This seems to roll that back by several hundred years, although Leviticus may not have enough textual variants to judge properly.


6 posted on 09/28/2016 12:14:57 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto

Thanks much for your informed reply.

This is anecdotal, but I’m old and have followed these things for a long time. I think the age of these things, writing and civilization and religious culture, has been continually discovered to be older and older and older.

The more we learn, the further back it goes.

It, seems to me, that once it was put into writing, it was meticulously preserving in text (while simultaneously preserving language and religion and culture).

Of course we cannot know the, likely much more lengthy, oral chain; but, I believe, we can attribute a very similar adherence to the original there.

We are looking at a very very long time of unbroken transmission of history and beliefs. The more we learn the further back it goes.

I think 10,000 years is a conservative estimate. And that can be difficult to grasp and understand the content.


7 posted on 09/28/2016 12:40:52 AM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: D-fendr

Certainly in the case of Jews, or even Catholics, the first historical indication or proof of acceptance of a text or even belief is always generations, hundreds of years or more, after it was widely accepted. Modern scholars like to pretend that isn’t really the case.


8 posted on 09/28/2016 1:01:58 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you'd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

9 posted on 09/28/2016 4:43:12 AM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do !)
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To: aquila48

I should have saved the lumps of coal I got from Santa as a kid...maybe they were ancient copies of books of the Bible.


10 posted on 09/28/2016 5:53:27 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: aquila48

Leviticus?

PETA, GLAAD, and related groups are deeply saddened.

Meanwhile, people like me, who love the Bible, are jubilant! :-)

Every time they find something like this, “scientists” are shocked (SHOCKED I tell you!) that the text is nearly identical to what we read today.


11 posted on 09/28/2016 7:17:51 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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