Tuesday, December 20, 2011

World's Oldest Parchment of The Ten Commandments Coming to New York for First Time Ever

World's Oldest Parchment of The Ten Commandments Coming to New York for First Time Ever for Two Weeks Only - PR Newswire - sacbee.com

NEW YORK, Dec. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The oldest and best preserved parchment manuscript of the Ten Commandments – the rules that are the pillars of morality and law in the Western world and which 3,500 years later were written into the civil and criminal codes of 12 of the original 13 U.S. colonies – will be exhibited in New York City for the first time during the holiday season. 

Written in Hebrew between 50 BCE and 1 BCE on a parchment that measures just over 18 by 3 inches, the Ten Commandments Scroll will be on view in the exhibition Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times at Discovery Times Square from December 16, 2011 to January 2, 2012.  The text in the narrow strip of parchment encapsulates and defines how men and women should work and live with each other and their faith in a civil and collaborative society. 

The scroll contains text from Deuteronomy 5 and is among the trove of ancient writings known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, a group of approximately 900 manuscripts discovered in a series of caves in the Judean desert the late 1940s and 1950s.  The scrolls were initially found by Bedouin shepherds near the Dead Sea in Israel and are believed to date from around 250 BCE to 68 CE.

The 15-day exhibition period of the Ten Commandments scroll is the longest that the Israel Antiquities Authority has allowed outside Israel because of the scroll's universal importance, its fragility, and its age.  Following the exhibition, the Ten Commandments scroll will be returned to Israel.  Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times, continues through April 15, 2012.  The exhibition will then proceed, without the Ten Commandments Scroll, to The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA. 

In addition to the Ten Commandments Scroll, exhibition highlights include more than 500 artifacts from the Biblical to Byzantine Period in Israel.  The artifacts and Scrolls combine to provide a captivating and intriguing look at one of the most influential periods in history when Judaism arose, the Roman Empire's dominance was soon to ebb, and the seeds of Christianity emerged. 

Many objects in the exhibition have never been on public view.  Highlights include exquisite mosaics, stone carvings, and household items such as jewelry and ceramics.  In addition, the exhibition will feature a scale recreation of a section of Jerusalem's Western Wall – complete with an authentic three-ton stone from the Wall in the historic city. 

Only two ancient manuscripts of the Ten Commandments are known to exist: The Ten Commandments Scroll, and the Nash Papyrus, which is in the Cambridge University Library, dates from between 150 and 100 BCE and is incomplete.  The next earliest version of the Ten Commandments dates from just after 1000 CE – a span of over 1,000 years. 

Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times is created by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) from the collections of the Israel National Treasures and produced by Discovery Times Square and The Franklin Institute. 

ABOUT DISCOVERY TIMES SQUARE Discovery Times Square (DTS) is New York City's first large-scale exhibition center presenting visitors with limited-run, educational and immersive exhibit experiences while exploring the world's defining cultures, art, history and events. More than a museum, DTS has featured a renowned line-up of exhibitions including Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Leonardo Da Vinci's Workshop, King Tut, Pompeii The Exhibit, and Harry Potter: The Exhibition. DTS is located at 226 West 44th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenues).  For more information, visit www.discoverytsx.com

ABOUT THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. Pennsylvania's most visited museum, it is dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access to hands-on science education. Considered one of the great science centers in the nation and the world, The Franklin Institute is known for blockbuster exhibits, one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences, and cutting-edge community learning with national influence. All are aimed at explaining science in ways that impact people's lives. For more information, visit www.fi.edu.

Event:         First New York Exhibition of Historic Ten Commandments Scroll, in Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times     Dates:            December 16, 2011 to January 2, 2012     Hours:             Sunday - Thursday: 10am - 8pm (Box office closes at 7pm)   Friday - Saturday: 10am - 9pm (Box office closes at 8pm)     Location:     Discovery Times Square, 226 West 44th St., New York, NY 10036   (between Broadway and Eighth Ave.)   http://www.discoverytsx.com     Admission:       $19.50 (children 4-12), $25.00 (adult) and $22.50 (65 and over)   Discounts for 15 or more with advanced reservations.     Tickets:           Discovery Times Square box office or (866) 987-9692

 SOURCE Discovery Times Square