Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments for Sale
Family who first sold them is now selling scraps, much to Israel's displeasure
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2013 12:23 PM CDT
This photo shows damaged fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem.   (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

(Newser) – Parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls are up for sale—in tiny pieces. Nearly 70 years after the discovery of the world's oldest biblical manuscripts, the Palestinian family who originally sold them to scholars and institutions is now quietly marketing the leftovers—fragments the family says it has kept in a Swiss safe deposit box all these years. Most of these scraps are barely the size of postage stamps, and some are blank. But in the last few years, evangelical Christian collectors and institutions in the US have forked over millions of dollars for a chunk of this archaeological treasure.

This angers Israel's government antiquities authority, which holds most of the scrolls and threatens to seize any more pieces that hit the market. But William Kando, a member of the family that first sold the scrolls, isn't worried. "If anyone is interested, we are ready to sell," he says. Written mostly on animal skin parchment about 2,000 years ago, the manuscripts are the earliest copies of the Hebrew Bible ever found, and the oldest written evidence of the roots of Judaism and Christianity in the Holy Land. (The main collection is now online thanks to a collaboration by Israel and Google.)

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments for Sale is...
30%
31%
16%
11%
2%
9%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 9 comments
1492
May 28, 2013 8:22 PM CDT
Discovered in 1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls in the 4th Cave had written proof that Jesus of Nazareth happened. Writings that corroborate Jesus as the Messiah the Son of God. As you know, the Israeli people are still waiting for their Messiah. Writings that never dispute the cruxifiction and rising of Jesus. The writing of these scrolls began around the time when Jesus died and resurrected. It was 1st Century. A.D. 68. They were stored by the Essenes who dwelled by the Dead Sea at the time the Romans returned to destroy Jerusalem and the surrounding villages. The Old Testament is the Jewish Bible. Their Torah. It wasn't until 1991 that a group of scholars finally got the government of Israel to release this information. These scrolls speak about our Savior. Therefore no one should be selling them for a profit and no one should be trying to hoard them. They are Divine Writings. As it is, the authors wrote a Best Seller...little did they know. Thank you tribe of the Essenes for the trouble you took in hiding these everlasting writings. I can visualize you running from the Romans but having accomplished your task. I know why the Romans returned to do away with Jerusalem...I will have it in my Book "Reasonable Evidence". Am working for a July 1st release. 1942
Mr_Joshua
May 26, 2013 10:55 AM CDT
This angers Israel's government antiquities authority, which holds most of the scrolls and threatens to seize any more pieces that hit the market. Screw these fvckers. They don't OWN history. They are just being bullies as usual. And you can call me...................Mr Joshua
Libris_Fidelis
May 26, 2013 6:22 AM CDT
The Dead Sea Scroll is NOT the world's oldest "biblical" manuscript. The Vatican has three partial copies of the ORIGINAL Greek Biblo in their archive, age so far unknown, written somewhere around a half century to a century before Jesus was allegedly born. The Greek Biblo came first a century-and-a-half before Christianity, then somewhere around a half century AFTER Jesus was allegedly crucified Christianity formed and Christianity has nothing to do with Jesus... Christianity was a Jewish rebellion against the powers of the rabbis because a christ is an unordained theistic figure below a rabbi, and there were hundreds of christs through history. Of course god-believers would never want to know the truth... they are too busy BELIEVING !!!!