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I went to the Israel museum in Jerusalem and saw the dead sea scrolls (or what parts and reproductions are on display in the shrine of the book). The dead sea scrolls are a collection of scroll fragments from between 400 BCE and 400 CE found in the caves of Qumran at the dead sea. Some of them contain parts of biblical texts, e.g., the Psalms or Isaiah.

The discovery of the scrolls and their content is extremely interesting from a historical perspective, since we can compare the found texts with the version we have today and check for errors and inconsistencies. I am no expert, but as far as I know our versions are remarkably accurate considering the elapsed time!

You can browse some of the scrolls online at the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls page of the Israel museum. Especially interesting is the scroll of Isaiah, which you can directly compare to the version in your favorite Torah edition.

What impressed me when seing parts of them "for real" was, that they are so old and still I can make some sense of them. My Hebrew is by no means perfect and I can only read the parts that are written in the more modern script, but these parts I can read! Parts from a 2000 year old text in original! It just blows your mind when you think about the dimensions.

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