2,000-Year-Old Biblical Texts Discovered in Israel, First Since Dead Sea Scrolls

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Biblical fragments of Zechariah and Nahum discovered in 2021For the first time in about 60 years, excavations by Israeli archaeologists have uncovered fragments of a biblical scroll, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). More than 20 bits of parchment were found after teams rappelled down 90 yards off a cliff into “the Cave of Horror” in the Judean Desert reserve’s Nahal Hever.

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Latest Biblical Archaeology Research]

The IAA says the 2,000-year-old fragments are Greek translations of the Old Testament books of Zechariah and Nahum, and are radiocarbon-dated to the 2nd century AD. The name of God is written in Hebrew.

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One of the fragments reads, “These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to one another, render true and perfect justice in your gates. And do not contrive evil against one another, and do not love perjury, because all those are things that I hate—declares the LORD” (Zechariah 8:16-17).

The original Dead Sea scrolls, a collection of about 900 Jewish manuscripts, were also found in desert caves in that general region near the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1956. They date from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD and include the earliest known copies of biblical texts. Those texts included sections of the Old Testament 1,000 years older than any previously known copy.

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Read more about the discovery in this article by CBN News.


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