University of Manchester

Dead Sea Scrolls discovery: Fragments thought to be blank reveal text

Four Dead Sea Scroll fragments long thought to be blank have revealed their text. The fragments, which are housed at the University of Manchester in the U.K., shed more light on the famous scrolls. Some 51 fragments were imaged front and back, with six identified for further investigation. Of these, four were found to have readable Hebrew/Aramaic text written in carbon-based ink. “The most substantial fragment has the remains of four lines of text with 15-16 letters, most of which are only partially preserved, but the word Shabbat (Sabbath) can be clearly read,” explained the University of Manchester in a statement. The text may be related to the biblical book of Ezekiel (46:1-3), it added. “One piece with text is the edge of a parchment scroll section, with sewn thread, and the first letters of two lines of text may be seen to the left of this binding,” the university said in the statement. The fragments were studied at King’s College London. “Looking at one of the fragments with a magnifying glass, I thought I saw a small, faded letter – a lamed, the Hebrew letter ‘L’,” said Professor Joan Taylor of King’s College London, in the statement. “Frankly, since all these fragments were supposed to be blank and had even been cut into for leather studies, I also thought I might be imagining things. But then it seemed maybe other fragments could have very faded letters too.” “With new techniques for revealing ancient texts now available, I felt we had to know if these letters could be exposed,” Taylor added. “There are only a few on each fragment, but they are like missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle you find under a sofa.” Experts from the Faculty of Theology of Lugano in Switzerland and the University of Malta also participated in the study. The first Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1946 and 1947 in the Qumran caves in the Judean desert. Further scrolls were found in subsequent years, up to 1956. In total, 1,000 ancient religious manuscripts were discovered. The delicate fragments of parchment and papyrus were preserved for 2,000 years thanks to the dark, dry conditions in the caves. The fragments held in the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library were given in the 1950s by the Jordanian government to Ronald Reed, a leather expert at the U.K.’s University of Leeds. “It was assumed that the pieces were ideal for scientific tests, as they were blank and relatively worthless,” explained the University of Manchester, in its statement. “These were studied and published by Reed and his student John Poole, and then stored safely away.” The collection was donated to the University of Manchester in 1997. The Dead Sea Scrolls continue to be a source of fascination. In 2018, for example, experts in Israel harnessed sophisticated imaging technology to reveal hidden script in some of the scrolls. The technology, which was originally developed for NASA, identified new letters and words, giving experts fresh insight into the historic texts. One of the fragments may even indicate the existence of a previously unknown manuscript, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority, which conducted the research. Also in 2018, researchers at Israel’s University of Haifa translated one of the last two parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Scrolls in the collection of the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. have also been in the spotlight in recent years. Research revealed the scrolls to be fake.

Fascinating!!     🙂

Gutfeld on campus absurdity

Clapping has been banned at Britain’s University of Manchester Student Union because it triggers anxiety and discourages people from attending events. It will be replaced with a silent version of “jazz hands” – which is said to encourage an “environment of respect.” Meanwhile, a Massachusetts professor says that the label “veteran” should be expanded to include peace activists. I say the label “professor” should be expanded to include messy droolers. The one thing these things have in common, besides lunacy, is that they’ve both broken out of the asylum gates of the local university. The seed pods from that garden of stupid, are now blooming in the real world. Why is that? Because no one wants to say, “that’s really dumb.” We are all bullied to silence by the tyranny of grievance. Nobody wants to share the risk in calling out absurdity because that makes you a big meanie. Example: you’re on a subway and a maniac gets on board. He’s a babbling idiot. So everyone looks down at their phones. Why? Because no one wants to assume a piece of the risk. So they hide from the maniac. Then you realize the maniac is Bill de Blasio. Again. He’s screaming inanities. Your head aches. He won’t shut up. So now the joke’s on you. You should have complained the moment de Blasio got on. You should have said, ‘shut up and get out of here. You’re too loud and stupid for mass transit.’ Ideological excess spreads when everyone looks the other way. Whether it’s on campus, in congress, and in media. But maybe for once, let’s share the risk. It might be the only defense we have left.

Adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue on “The Five,” Oct. 3, 2018.  Greg Gutfeld currently serves as host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) The Greg Gutfeld Show (Saturdays 10-11PM/ET) and co-host of The Five (weekdays 5-6PM/ET).  To see the video of Greg going through this monologue, and then the discussion afterwards, click on the text above.  Excellent!!     🙂