J. A. Sanders published his findings on the Psalms Scroll first
in 1965, as the fourth volume of "Discoveries in the Judaean
Desert," the official publication series. This is a later
version published in the United States.
J.A. Sanders The Dead Sea Psalms Scroll (Itacha, 1967). Printed book. General Collections, Library of Congress.
The First Hebrew Printed Book of the Bible: The Psalms
Hand-written books of the Bible were found among the Dead Sea
Scrolls. This Psalter is the first book of the Bible printed in
Hebrew. This edition of the Psalms includes the commentary of
David Kimhi and was printed in 1477, probably in Bologna. The
commentary on the Psalms was heavily censored by Church
authorities. The owner of the book, however, inserted by hand
each word that had been expunged.
Psalms (Bologna, 1477) Printed book. Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress.
The Aleppo Codex
Until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, the Aleppo
Codex, which dates to the tenth century C.E., was the oldest
known Bible codex. This facsimile was published in 1976.
Aleppo Codex (Jerusalem, 1976) Printed book. Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress.
This is the earliest of the great polyglot editions of the Bible
and includes texts in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin.
Produced under the patronage of Cardinal Francisco Ximenes de
Cisneros (1436-1517), it was believed to have cost 50,000 gold
ducats. Psalm 145 is a hymn arranged according to the letters of
the Hebrew alphabet. It is interesting to note that today's
biblical text does not include a verse for the letter "nun," the
fourteenth letter of the alphabet. The fragment of the Psalm
Scroll displayed here does include a missing verse for this
Psalms [Complutensian] (1514-1517) Printed polyglot Bible. Rare and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress.
The Community Rule
A complete version of the Community Rule was uncovered in Cave 1.
It was photographed by J. Trever, an archaeologist at the
American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. This
manuscript is one of three that were exhibited at the Library of
Congress in 1949. The fragment of the Community Rule on display
here is from Cave 4.
John Trever Scrolls from Qumran Cave I (Jerusalem, 1972) Printed book. Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress
This eighteenth-century Torah scroll was written in North Africa.
It is rolled to Leviticus, 23:22-29, which corresponds to the
Leviticus Scroll from Cave 4 displayed here (object no. 4). Note
the "wandering peh" (a Hebrew letter) which occurs frequently in
the displayed column.
Torah Scroll (North Africa, c. 18th century) Parchment. Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress.
The large paleo-Hebrew fragment of Leviticus on display here was
published in 1985 by D.N. Freedman and K.A. Mathews. The authors
transliterated the paleo-Hebrew script into modern Hebrew
D.N. Freedman and K.A. Mathews The Paleo-Hebrew Leviticus Scroll (11 Qpaleo Lev) (Winnona Lake, Indiana, 1985) Printed book. General Collections, Library of Congress
Displayed here is the opening page of the First Book of Maccabees
from the Walton Polyglot Bible. First Maccabees describes the
rule of the early Hasmonean princes who freed Judea from the yoke
of the Syrian rulers in 168 B.C.E. It is included in the Roman
Catholic scriptural canon, but was removed from the Protestant
canon after the Reformation and relegated to the Apocrypha.
First Maccabees [Walton's Polyglot] (London, 1655-1657) Printed book. Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress
The modern descendant of the paleo-Hebrew script of the Leviticus
Scroll (object no. 4) is the Samaritan script. This biblical
manuscript, written in the Samaritan script, is opened to
Leviticus 23:22-29. Note the similarity between the paleo-Hebrew
script of the Leviticus Scroll written in the late second century
B.C.E. and this Samaritan manuscript from the late nineteenth
Leviticus [Samaritan Pentateuch] (1880) Manuscript book. Hebraic Section, African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress
Dead Sea Scrolls from the Third Century C.E.
In his ecclesiastical history, Eusebius relates the story of
Origen, who consulted scrolls found in caves near Jericho for his
"Hexapla," a comprehensive redaction of the Hebrew Scriptures
completed in the first half of the third century C.E.
In the . . . edition of the Psalms . . . [Origen reported] again how he found one of [the translations] at Jericho in a tunnel in the time of Antoninus the son of Severus.
Eusebius Auncient ecclesiasticall histories ... (London, 1585) Printed book. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress
The First "Dead Sea Scroll": The Damascus Document
Scholar and educator Solomon Schechter's discovery in 1896 of a
sectarian document--which turned out to be a medieval version of
the Damascus Document--among the Cairo Genizah trove was first
published in 1910 as "Fragments of a Zadokite Work." Displayed
here is a reprint of this first Dead Sea Scroll publication,
published 37 years before the discovery.
Solomon Schechter Documents of Jewish Sectaries (New York, 1970) Printed book. General Collections, Library of Congress.
Ecclesiasticus: The Wisdom of Ben Sirah
Included among the Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus extols wisdom and
ethical conduct. A Hebrew version of the book, which was known
only in Greek after the tenth century, was discovered by Solomon
Schechter in the Cairo Genizah in the late nineteenth century.
Fragments of the original Hebrew version were discovered in Cave
Displayed here are Greek (from the Septuagint), and Latin versions of Ecclesiasticus from the second of the great polyglot Bibles, the "Antwerp" or "Plantin" Polyglot.
Ecclesiasticus [Plantin's Polyglot] (Antwerp, 1569-1572) Printed book, volume 3. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress.