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MUFONET-BBS NETWORK - MUTUAL UFO NETWORK ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS - WIRE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 旼컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴커 =START= XMT: 16:18 Wed Sep 04 EXP: 16:00 Wed Sep 11 쿌MERICAN PROFESSORS USE COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY TO "RECONSTRUCT" 쿏EAD SEA SCROLLS 쿙EW YORK (SEPT. 4) UPI - Two American professors Wednesday 퀁eleased a secret text of the Dead Sea scrolls, ending a 쿯our-decade monopoly by a small band of scholars who had 쿷ealously guarded the ancient parchments in a Jerusalem 쿺useum. 쿌 majority of the 2,000-year-old scrolls had been 쿹anguishing in unpublished form since their discovery in 1947 by a bedouin in the caves of Qumran in what was then 쿕ordan-occupied Palestine. 쿔n publishing the first of five proposed volumes, two 쿾rofessors from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, broke 퀃he lock of the tightly-knit scholars who maintain the 퀂crolls at the Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem, said 쿓ershel Shanks, the editor of ''Biblical Archaeology 쿝eview.'' 쿌ccording to Shanks, 500 scrolls unearthed in Cave 4 of 쿜umram were turned over by Jordanian officials to the 쿺useum, then called the Palestine Archaeological Museum, 퀇ith a stipulation that they not be turned over to ''anyone 퀇ho is circumcised.'' 쿞hanks said a group of four scholars gained monopolistic 쿪ccess to the scrolls after they agreed to that stipulation 쿪nd the scrolls were later bequeathed to a second generation 쿽f scholars who for the most part agreed to the terms. 쿌 separate set of scrolls found in Cave 1 were 퀂urreptitiously acquired by Israel and are now displayed in 퀃he Shrine of the Book in West Jerusalem. 쿢ntil the publication of the bootleg volume, only about 20 쿾ercent of the Dead Sea scrolls had been published with the 퀁est remaining inaccessible to Biblical scholars at large. 쿍ut the American scholars, Dr. Ben Zion Wacholder and Martin 쿌begg, found an ingenius way to reconstruct the text without 쿽btaining access to the original documents. 쿍y acquiring a copy of the scrolls' concordances - a list of 퀇ords and phrases on file cards that describe where certain 퀇ords appear in the original - the two scholars used a 쿭esktop computer to string a text together. 쿞ome 50,000 of the file cards will eventually produce the 쿯ive proposed volumes. ''No ancient text had ever been reconstructed by computer 쿫efore,'' Wacholder said. ''We can assure the public that it is close to the original. 쿍ut we do not claim that it is a final edition,'' he said. ''We are not saying this material is infallible. It is as 퀁eliable as it is faulty.'' 쿌begg, who developed the idea of using word-processing 퀂oftware to recreate the text, said comparisons between this 퀆olume and texts similar to the Dead Sea scrolls showed many 쿽f the reconstructions to be exact. 쿞hanks, who for decades had lobbied for greater public 쿪ccess to the ancient scrolls, got additional ammunition 쿹ast November when an Israeli newspaper published a 퀆irulently anti-Semitic interview with John Strugnell, a 쿭ean of the Harvard Divinity School and the scrolls' chief 쿮ditor. 쿔n the interview, Strugnell described Judaism as ''a 쿴orrible religion.'' When asked what it was about the 퀁eligion that bothered him, he replied, ''The fact that it 퀂urvived when it should have disappeared.'' 쿞hanks, at a news conference at a Manhattan hotel, blasted 퀃he ''anti-Semitism'' of the scholars who control the 퀂crolls and described their work as ''marred by the 퀂cholarly attitude of secrecy.'' ''This secrecy is to my mind a breach of trust,'' Shanks 퀂aid. ''These texts do not belong to these men. The time has 쿬ome for a little cultural Glasnost.'' 쿟he first volume, which contains 23 ancient manuscripts, 쿬ontains almanacs, fragments of ancient calendars and names 쿽f local rulers, said Wacholder, who is virtually blind and 퀂tudies the Torah from memory. 쿥acholder, 67, said what distinguished the ancient Jews from 퀃he modern is a sense of ''millenialism,'' that a Messiah 퀇ould arrive to save humanity. Thus, he said, the volume 쿽ffers a glimpse into a social environment that bred early 쿎hristianity. 쿟he text also offers glimpses into social legislation, 쿭escribes rules on how to urinate and has a section on 쿹eprosy, he said. ''It shows how these people understood God, the Torah, the 쿻ation around them and who they were,'' Wacholder said. 쿟he volume, which is in Hebrew but with an introduction in 쿐nglish, is available from the Hebrew Union College. =END=


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