Nine Unopened Dead Sea Scrolls Found In Israel Antiquities Authority Storeroom

Great find!

Nine tiny but mighty Dead Sea Scrolls have been discovered — or more accurately, re-discovered — within the vaults of at the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), The Times of Israel reported.

scrolls

The rolled scrolls (in the second row) and their empty cases from Cave 4.While searching through the Israel Antiquities Authority storerooms one day in May 2013, Dr. Yonatan Adler, a lecturer at Ariel University and post-doctoral researcher at Hebrew University, came across an unmarked phylactery case.

He had the case scanned on the suspicion that it might contain an undocumented scroll and in December continued investigating for unopened scrolls while on a visit to the IAA Dead Sea Scrolls labs. There he found two scrolls inside a tefillin case that had been documented after the original 1952 discovery but never examined.

Adler eventually found seven more previously unopened scrolls, all of which are believed to have been included in the discoveries in Qumran Cave 4. Phylacteries, also called tefillin in Hebrew, are pairs of leather cases containing biblical passages and traditionally worn by Jews during prayer.

scroll

A phylactery case from Cave 5.These newly re-discovered scrolls are among more than two dozen tefillin scroll fragments discovered in the Qumran caves, and among thousands of scrolls and scroll fragments found containing biblical and secular texts.

Due to the scope of the scrolls’ initial discovery, curator and director of the IAA’s Dead Sea Scrolls Projects Pnina Shor told The Huffington Post, it is reasonable to assume these nine “new” finds will not be the last.

“With the progress of research on the one hand and our digitization project on the other we hope ‘new’ finds will keep ‘popping up’,” Shor said. “Since we intend to image and eventually treat and preserve every single fragment/item, we hope to find many more such treasures, that have gone unnoticed and have not been deciphered yet.”

Although no major revelations are anticipated form the new scrolls, some of the tefillin cases from the Qumran caves that have been opened have revealed fascinating insights into Jewish life in that era (roughly the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century AD), Shor told HuffPost.

“These parchment slips, folded and placed in capsules, are understood to be the “frontlets between your eyes.” mentioned in the Book of Deuteronomy (6:8). The texts are in principle the same as those required by later Rabbinic Halakha and those in use today. Since these tefillin – phylacteries from the Judean Desert caves are the only examples we have from the Second Temple period, we do not know whether their distinctive features reflect the traditions of a specific community or whether they represent a more widespread tradition. Perhaps these “new” ones will shed more light on this matter.”

scroll

A phylactery scroll after it was opened and preserved.Professor Hindy Najman of Yale University also commented to The Times of Israel:

“We have to be prepared for surprises. On the one hand there’s tremendous continuity between what we have found among the Dead Sea Scrolls — liturgically, ritually and textually — and contemporaneous and later forms of Judaism. But there’s also tremendous possibility for variegated practices and a complex constellation of different practices, different influences, different ways of thinking about tefillin.”

Shor will oversee the task of opening and reading these new scrolls, but it will take time and patience, she said. “We need to do a lot of research before we start doing this,” Shor told The Times.

Shor is simultaneously spearheading a project to digitize the entire Dead Sea Scrolls archive for access to a mass audience. She expects IAA to complete the imaging within the next two years, and these nine new scrolls may very well be included in the database

 

Orthodox Churches Will Hold First Ecumenical Council In 1,200 Years

In Istanbul:

Main Entry Image

 Patriarchs of the world’s 250  million Orthodox Christians ended a rare summit in Istanbul on  Sunday calling for a peaceful end to the crisis in Ukraine and  denouncing violence driving Christians out of the Middle East.

Twelve heads of autonomous Orthodox churches, the  second-largest family of Christian churches, also agreed to hold  a summit of bishops, or ecumenical council, in 2016, which will  be the first in over 1,200 years.

The Istanbul talks were called to decide on the council,  which the Orthodox have been preparing on and off since the  1960s, but the Ukraine crisis overshadowed their talks at the  office of spiritual leader Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

As the prelates left a special service at Saint George’s  Cathedral, a woman in the crowd called out in Russian “Pray for  Ukraine!” Two archbishops responded: “You pray, too!”

In their communique, the patriarchs called for “peaceful negotiations and prayerful reconciliation in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine” and denounced what they said were “threats of violent occupation of sacred monasteries and churches” there.

The Russian Orthodox Church, with 165 million members by far  the largest in the Orthodox family, last month issued a  statement along with Moscow’s Foreign Ministry about what they  said were attacks on revered historic monasteries in Kiev and  Pochayiv in western Ukraine.

Russia has used the alleged threat to Russian-speakers in  Ukraine, including the faithful of the Moscow-backed church  there, to argue it has the right to intervene to protect them.

Closely aligned with President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine  policy, the Russian church has a partner Ukrainian Orthodox  Church mostly in the Russian-speaking east of the country that  is loyal to the Moscow patriarchate.

There are two rival Orthodox churches mostly in western  Ukraine, both meant to be Ukrainian national churches. Neither  is part of the global Orthodox communion and the patriarchs’  communique expressed the hope they would one day join it.

On the Middle East, the patriarchs denounced “the lack of  peace and stability, which is prompting Christians to abandon  the land where our Lord Jesus Christ was born.”

Rest here.

 

Israel Tightens Airspace Rules

Hat tip to Irish Anglican, Fr Rob.

Ben Gurion Airport

Jewish Press is reporting:

Israel has tightened airspace rules for aircraft entering Israeli airspace according to a report on Israel Channel 2.

The report said that the rules have been tightened in response to the missing missing Malaysian plane MH370.

Additional unnamed measures have been taken to protect Israel from potential attacks via its airspace from hijacked/sabotaged commercial jetliners.

There is suspicion among some Israeli security experts that Iran is involved in the plane’s disappearance.

 

Crimea Votes to Join Russia

TIME reports on the Crimean referendum results.

While the New Republic asks: Is Eastern Ukraine next.

 

RIP Archbishop Lawrence Henry

archbishop henry

eNCA:

Catholic Archbishop Emeritus Lawrence Henry has died, the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference announced.

Archbishop Henry died on Tuesday night. According to the SACBC website, he had been diagnosed with cancer the previous day.

He served as the Catholic Archbishop of Cape Town from 1990 until his retirement in 2009.

In paying tribute to his life, the SACBC stated that Henry “continued to be active assisting in leading services whenever requested”.

He was succeeded by Archbishop Stephen Brislin.

And the announcement via Archbishop Brislin:

I regret to inform you that Archbishop Lawrence Henry passed away on Tuesday 4th March at about 23h45. He died peacefully in Cape Town Medi-Clinic. Archbishop Henry had been undergoing tests over the past few days. His health took a turn for the worse on Sunday night when he experienced a great deal of abdominal pain and he was rushed to hospital. Doctors confirmed on Monday afternoon that he had cancer and that it had spread to different parts of the body. He was seen by an oncologist early on Tuesday afternoon. Despite doctors’ recognition of the seriousness of his condition the suddenness of his death was unexpected by all. Doctors have given us the assurance that Archbishop Henry died without pain.

Please keep him in your prayers and please ask parishioners at all your Masses today to pray for him. Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as possible.

I wish to offer my condolences to you and to all who mourn the passing of Archbishop Laurie.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

+Stephen Brislin Archbishop of Cape Town

RIP.

 

Syria…

Pictures emerge of thousands of residents of the Damascus district of Yarmouk, who have remained trapped for nearly a year, queuing for food and aid.

This picture taken on January 31, 2014, and released by the UNRWA on February 26, 2014, shows residents of the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmouk queuing to receive food supplies in Damascus, Syria

This picture taken on January 31, 2014, and released by the UNRWA on February 26, 2014, shows residents of the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmouk queuing to receive food supplies in Damascus, Syria…

More here.

 

Archbishop Bans Eulogies at Funeral Masses

Canadian Catholic Archbishop Terrence Prendergast:

Roman Catholics in Ottawa are no longer permitted to deliver eulogies during funeral Masses, the local archbishop has decreed.

The Feb. 2 decree from Archbishop Terrence Prendergast reminds the faithful that Catholics gather at funerals “not to praise the deceased, but to pray for them.”

Contrary to popular belief, eulogies “are not part of the Catholic funeral rites, particularly in the context of a funeral liturgy within Mass,” the decree stated. Many Catholics, it pointed out, do not know this.

Rest here.

 

Nashotah House and Bishopess Jefferts-Schori

Nashotah House is an Anglo-Catholic seminary. So there’s a bit of a hullabaloo over Katherine Jefferts Schori’s invitation to the institution.  Anyway, I see they have a statement out.


 

On Continuing Anglican Unity

Fr Anthony Chadwick has a look.

… Indeed, we look forward to the fortieth anniversary of the Congress of Saint Louis, and to much progress having been made to recover from bad experience in this process of Christian healing and reconciliation.

Read the rest of his thoughts here.

 

Biblical Waters: Can the Jordan River Be Saved?

Nat Geo has a look.

With the swelling ranks of Syrian refugees in Jordan, an overstressed river is at risk of going dry.

Aerial photo of the Jordan River.

The Jordan River, seen here, is now mostly saline water and liquid wastes.

Rest here.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 825 other followers