The Dead Sea Scrolls are going online
By Hans Olav Arnesen
The Dead Sea Scrolls are now available online. At least some of them. Only 6 scrolls have been digitalized so far, and only one of them, The Book of Isaiha, is available in an English translation. A Chinese copy is also under way as there is a growing demand for Biblical resources in China. The project is a joint effort by Google and The Israel Museum and can be accessed here. The scrolls belonged to an Jewish sect that lived around the Qumran area by the Dead Sea. The first of the Scrolls were discovered in 1947 and further discoveries followed through to the 1950s. A certain consensus amongst biblical archeologists seem to be that the scrolls belonged to the essenes. They were a somewhat reclusive Jewish sect with a world rejective worldview and a strong eschatological focus that disappeared after The Great Revolt between 66-73 A.D.
The process of digitalizing the Dead Sea Scrolls have been both bold and innovative in many respects, including the means by which the neccesary funds have been gathered. The Israel Antiquities Authority, who have been responsible for the work, have collected funds by letting private individuals «adopt» various texts from the 900 manuscripts that are waiting to be digitalized. The price for adopting a page started from 1200 $ and Jacob Frisch, from the Friends of Israel Antiquities Authority in New York, told the Daily Mail that: «People love the idea of adoptinga chapter from Leviticus or Deuteronomy.»
Qumran by the Dead Sea