Leviticus Fragment

Date: 1st century B.C.


It was world news indeed when, by accident, the Death Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947! Local Bedouins and archaeologists started with fierce digging, searching for old manuscripts. An old man remembered an incident from his youth. He was chasing a partridge and accidentally found a cave with potsherds and an old oil lamp. Proof that people had lived in this cave. The man had good memory. He still remembered the exact rock cracks where he had entered the cave. They started digging in the ground and 1 meter deep they found pieces of. In total, they found 40.000 pieces, which came from about 400 handwritings. About 400 were Bible manuscripts. All the books of the Old Testament were represented, with the exception of Esther.

Ancient manuscripts are still of great importance because they reveal much about our human history. Many fragments ware made of papyrus. Papyrus was used from 2000 B.C. as material to write on. It is made from the stem of a water plant called papyrus, which grows along the waterside of the river Nile in Egypt. The word "paper" comes from the word "papyrus".

A few papyrus fragments of the Greek Septuagint that were found were written in the 1st century B.C. One fragment, with verses from Leviticus, does not use 'Kurios' or 'Lord', but the Tetragrammaton IAW (or IAO) - a Greek transliteration of the Divine Name. Thus distinguishing the use of the Divine Name.

The shown fragment contains Leviticus 3:12 and 4:27. The size is approximately 9 cm wide and 5 cm high.


Facsimile made by B. Bonte



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