Ancient Jewish prayer book may be oldest in the world, dated A.D - New York News

Ancient Jewish prayer book may be oldest in the world, dated A.D. 840

Updated:
By The Green Collection. This Jewish prayer book, dated at A.D. 840, is believed to be the oldest book of its kind ever found. By The Green Collection. This Jewish prayer book, dated at A.D. 840, is believed to be the oldest book of its kind ever found.

By: Matthew Brown, Deseret News

Scholarly research and carbon testing have dated an ancient Jewish prayer book to A.D. 840, which could make it one of the oldest books of its kind ever found, the owners of the artifact announced Thursday.

The Green Collection, one of the world's largest collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts, purchased the book about a year ago from a private party for an undisclosed price.

The provenance of the book, which is about the size of a large smartphone and originates from the Middle East, is still being researched, said Jerry Pattengale, executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative.

But the complete 50-page parchment manuscript is in its original binding and contains Hebrew script that incorporates Babylonian vowel pointing, which is akin to Old- or Middle-English for the English language.

Steve Green, president of the Hobby Lobby craft store chain who oversees support for the Green Collection, announced the find at the annual meeting of the Religion Newswriters Association's annual conference in Austin, Texas, along with plans for a new museum that will house the book and more than 40,000 ancient religious texts and artifacts.

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, D.C., in early spring 2017,” Green said.

He said the Green Collection and yet-to-be named national Bible museum are designed to showcase and share the message of the Bible.

"We are not collectors," said Green, an evangelical Christian. "We buy (ancient biblical texts and artifacts) because of the story that they tell. We believe in this book. … It is a guide for us and our lives."

Research on the Jewish prayer book, which is equivalent to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, will be released in late 2014 or early 2015 by the Green Scholars Initiative, the research arm of The Green Collection, the press release stated.

This find is historical evidence supporting the very fulcrum of Jewish religious life,” Pattengale said. 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.”

In May, scholars in Italy identified the oldest-known Torah scroll from the 11th or 12th centuries.

Stephen Pfann, a senior scholar with the Green Scholars Initiative and president of the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, along with his students, determined the age of the prayer book.

The Babylonian vowel pointing along with Carbon-14 tests have led researchers to place the prayer book in the times of the Geonim - the Babylonian, Talmudic leaders during the medieval period.

"The artifact may well be the earliest connection today's practicing Jews have to the roots of their modern-day rabbinic liturgy," the press release stated.

Research on the prayer book will be included in the forthcoming Green Scholars Initiative series "Early Jewish Texts and Manuscripts," edited by Pattengale and Emanuel Tov.

The series will feature in-depth examination of some of the world’s oldest and most rare biblical texts, including portions from the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Micah, Daniel and the Psalms.


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:59 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:59:51 GMT
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me. It's like another language."Cory manages Greenpoint's Academy Records Annex, where they want you ...
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me. It's like another language."Cory manages Greenpoint's Academy Records Annex, where they want you ...
  • Queens Beer Week kicks off

    Queens Beer Week kicks off

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:19 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:19:20 GMT
    Queens wants to be known as New York City's beer capital. Queens Beer Week kicked off on Friday to celebrate the borough's crafty breweries and the more than 60 venues that serve their beer. Dan Bronson of Crescent and Vine in Astoria is the bearded brains behind the inaugural Queens Beer Week. He organized it all. The nine-day celebration of beers brewed in Queens.
    Queens wants to be known as New York City's beer capital. Queens Beer Week kicked off on Friday to celebrate the borough's crafty breweries and the more than 60 venues that serve their beer. Dan Bronson of Crescent and Vine in Astoria is the bearded brains behind the inaugural Queens Beer Week. He organized it all. The nine-day celebration of beers brewed in Queens.
  • Woman wanted for baby snatch attempt in custody

    Woman wanted for baby snatch attempt in custody

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:57 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:57:17 GMT
    Police have taken into custody the woman believed to have tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. Tara Anne McDonald, 46, was being evaluated at a hospital Friday night. The attempted kidnapping occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
    Police have taken into custody the woman believed to have tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. Tara Anne McDonald, 46, was being evaluated at a hospital Friday night. The attempted kidnapping occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices