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Next to the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls are the most valuable literary source for the study of ancient Judaism. Some readers are surprised to discover that many of the scrolls are written in Aramaic. What is the particular significance of the Aramaic texts among the scrolls for elucidating the literary, societal, political, and religious contexts of ancient Judaism and nascent Christianity?
Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2018
The power of hidden writing
In 1979, archaeologist Gabriel Barkay discovered two miniature silver scrolls from a late Iron Age (seventh century B.C.E.) tomb in Ketef Hinnom outside of Jerusalem. When unrolled, the scrolls had tiny texts written on them—similar to the priestly blessing in Numbers 6:24–26. Curiously, though, these texts were hidden from human eyes, which begs the question: Who was their intended audience?
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2018