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Oldest Complete Manuscript of Ten Commandments On Display in Israel

by Staff

The oldest known complete manuscript of the Ten Commandments will be on display for two weeks in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Associated Press (AP) reported Tuesday.

The 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scroll, from a collection of the world’s most ancient biblical manuscripts discovered near the Dead Sea east of Jerusalem, has never before been publicly displayed in Israel and has only been shown in brief exhibits abroad, said Pnina Shor of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The manuscript is so brittle that it will only be on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for two weeks before it is returned to a secure, pitch-black, climate-controlled storage facility there.

The ancient manuscript will be part of an exhibit called “A Brief History of Humankind,” consisting of 14 artifacts spanning thousands of years. The exhibit includes a tool that was used in elephant hunts, as well as the oldest complete sickle. Two objects in the exhibit—a 5,000-year-old Mesopotamian tablet and 2,700 year old coins that were found in what is now Turkey—are on loan from other museums. The exhibit ends with an original handwritten manuscript of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.

The exhibit is part of a celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary, prompting the museum’s director, James Snyder, to observe, “After only 50 years, we may be one of only a very few museums worldwide that can tell such a broad story from its own holdings.”

Last year, the Israel Antiquities Authority teamed up with Google to digitize its complete collection of the Dead Sea Scrolls.


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