From Israel Yigael Yadin Completes Study Of 2,000-Year-Old Temple Scroll -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 02:4 (Autumn 1973)
Article: From Israel Yigael Yadin Completes Study Of 2,000-Year-Old Temple Scroll
Author: Anonymous


From Israel
Yigael Yadin Completes Study Of 2,000-Year-Old Temple Scroll

After six years of study, Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin has completed a 600 page manuscript analyzing the so-called “Temple Scroll,” the most recently acquired of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The scroll was secretly purchased by Yadin during the 1967 Six-Day War from an Arab antiquities dealer in Bethlehem for nearly $100,000. Written on parchment, it is the longest — nearly 30 feet — of all the scrolls found near Qumran on the western shore of the Dead Sea. The scroll was fairly well preserved, although humidity has turned some of it to pulp. On some portions, ink had adhered to layers of parchment so that the writing came out back-to-front.

Based on textual evidence, Yadin dates the original compilation of the material to the second century B.C. The surviving copy was probably written about a century later.

From time to time Yadin has released tantalizing bits and pieces of information about the contents of the scroll (see BIBLE AND SPADE, Spring 1972, pages 49 and 50). Now, at last, scholars will have the full text for study.

Written in the first person, as if God were speaking, the scroll contains laws and a detailed explanation of how the temple in Jerusalem should be built. It has the Ten Commandments exactly as given in the Old Testament, but includes many laws not in the Old Testament. For example, it commanded the Jews to choose a king and build a temple. The scholl also ordered priests to be celibate, banned bigamy and divorce, and said the temple should not be built

if it could not be constructed according to proper specifications. In general, the laws are much harsher than those of the Old Testament and, according to Yadin, are stricter than the rules of the Pharisees of New Testament times.

The Temple Scroll will provide much new material for linguistic and historical studies by Biblical scholars. Yadin, for example, believes that the Temple Scroll and the sect at Qumran deeply influenced first-century Christians. It will be interesting to see what conclusions scholars draw from the contents of the scroll and particularly, what part the scroll will play in the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem which Christians look forward to as a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.

(THE JERUSALEM POST, February 28, 1973; THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 6, 1973.)


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