3D Technology Proves Hebrew Bible Unchanged for 2000 Years


(Friday Church News Notes, September 30, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, David Cloud, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)

The following is excerpted from “3D tech proves,” The Times of Israel, Sept. 22, 2016: “The charred lump of a 2,000-year-old scroll sat in an Israeli archaeologist’s storeroom for decades, too brittle to open. Now, new imaging technology has revealed what was written inside: the earliest evidence of a biblical text in its standardized form. The discovery, announced in a Science Advances journal article by researchers in Kentucky and Jerusalem on Wednesday, was made using ‘virtual unwrapping,’ a 3D digital analysis of an X-ray scan. Researchers say it is the first time they have been able to read the text of an ancient scroll without having to physically open it. … The digital technology, funded by Google and the US National Science Foundation, is slated to be released to the public as open source software by the end of next year. Researchers hope to use the technology to peek inside other ancient documents too fragile to unwrap … The biblical scroll examined in the study was first discovered by archaeologists in 1970 at Ein Gedi, the site of an ancient Jewish community near the Dead Sea. Inside the ancient synagogue’s ark, archaeologists found lumps of scroll fragments. The synagogue was destroyed in an ancient fire, charring the scrolls. The dry climate of the area kept them preserved, but when archaeologists touched them, the scrolls would begin to disintegrate. So the charred logs were shelved for nearly half a century, with no one knowing what was written inside. … The text discovered in the charred Ein Gedi scroll is ‘100 percent identical’ to the version of the Book of Leviticus that has been in use for centuries, said Dead Sea Scroll scholar Emmanuel Tov from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who participated in the study. ‘This is quite amazing for us,’ he said. ‘In 2,000 years, this text has not changed.'”

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