Monday, October 25, 2010

Dead Sea Scroll Fragments Purchased by SWBTS

From a story posted by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary:

Less than a year after acquiring three fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, has added three more biblical fragments, making it the largest collection of an institution of higher education in the United States. The new fragments were obtained from a private collector in Europe through the generous gift from a friend of the seminary.

“The acquisition constitutes another significant milestone in the development of our programs in biblical studies and archaeology,” said Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern. “We are especially grateful for the friends of Southwestern who have made these acquisitions, as well as three other fragments, possible and for Mrs. Patterson and Candi Finch who worked so tirelessly to get them to Fort Worth.”

The set of six fragments is one more than the set owned by Azusa Pacific University near Los Angeles, which acquired five pieces in 2009. The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago also owns a fragment. Steven Ortiz, associate professor of archaeology and biblical backgrounds and director of the Charles D. Tandy Archaeology Museum at Southwestern, noted that having one fragment would be just as important as owning six.

“It is not a race to see who can collect the most fragments,” Ortiz said. “The goal is to get these out of the hands of private collectors and make them available to the public, especially scholars.


Early analysis shows the new fragments include portions of Deuteronomy 9:25–10:1, Deuteronomy 12:11-14, and Psalm 22:4-13. Psalm 22 is known as a prophetic messianic psalm that describes the brutality of Jesus’ death 1,000 years before he was crucified.

The full story is here.

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