Friday, October 11, 2013

Oldest Jewish Prayer Book Found

A rare link between the Dead Sea Scrolls and Medieval Judaism:
The artifact, coming from what is known as the Green Collection, dates to 840 AD, creating a rare link between the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls and medieval Judaism.

“This find is historical evidence supporting the very fulcrum of Jewish religious life,” said Dr. Jerry Pattengale, executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative, the research arm of the Green Collection. “This Hebrew prayer book helps fill the gap between the Dead Sea Scrolls and other discoveries of Jewish texts from the ninth and 10th centuries.” The Green Collection is an artifact collection run by the Green family, perhaps most famous for its chain of Hobby Lobby stores in the US.

The prayer book is in its original binding and contains Hebrew writing with Babylonian vowel pointing, which, along with Carbon-14 tests, has helped historians place its time period. Babylonian vowel pointing was a writing custom associated with Old or Middle English.

“The public will have the opportunity to witness the prayer book, along with the findings from The Green Scholars Initiative’s initial round of research, at a new museum, expected to open in Washington in early spring 2017,” said Steve Green, president of retailer Hobby Lobby.

“The research conducted by Green scholars the world over will bring to light the contents of valuable early Jewish texts—from Dead Sea Scrolls and Cairo Genizah leaves to rare manuscripts still being identified,” added Pattengale. (Read more.)

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