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Oldest Bible Text since Dead Sea Scrolls Unveiled

08-06-2015
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JERUSALEM, Israel -- A 1,500-year-old fragment of a Torah scroll unearthed decades ago in the synagogue at Ein Gedi has at long last been deciphered, thanks to state-of-the-art digital imaging technology.

Researchers displayed the two-inch fragment, meticulously preserved since its discovery 45 years ago. At a press conference earlier this week, they revealed what they found written on the parchment: the first eight verses of the Book of Leviticus.

*Click play to watch CBN Mideast Correspondent Julie Stahl's updated report.

Dr. Sefi Porath discovered the scroll in the 1970s excavations at Ein Gedi, which she co-directed with the late Dr. Dan Barag. For Porath, "deciphering of the scroll, which was a puzzle for us for 45 years, is very exciting."

Israel Antiquities Authority Curator Pnina Shor said it's "a privilege" to work with the ancient scrolls.

"Dealing with the Dead Sea Scrolls on a daily basis is really a privilege," she said, referring to the parchment scrolls discovered by a shepherd in a cave in Qumran in the late 1940s.

"The knowledge that we are preserving the most important find of the 20th century and one of the Western world's most important cultural treasures causes us to proceed with the utmost care and caution and use the most advanced technologies available today."

Several years ago, the IAA made the Dead Sea Scrolls available on line.

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